“We Won, You Lost — Get Over It!” — Lenin’s “Who/Whom” for a Post-Literate Era

by | Nov 23, 2016

When supporters of Donald Trump rebuke aggrieved liberals by exclaiming, “We won, you lost – get over it!” what exactly do they mean?

Had Hillary won the election, her adherents would be anticipating radical new ventures in social engineering. Instead, some of them are throwing tantrums over their frustrated desires to exercise vicarious power over others (while enriching the powers that would also be used against them, as well). Many of Trump’s supporters, who would likely be pitching a fit of their own had the outcome been different, are gloatingly anticipating opportunities to punish people they obviously despise – and Trump’s storied capacity for personal vindictiveness is abetting those expectations.

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In a sense, the “Deal with it!” refrain is a call-back to a similarly arrogant proclamation made by Barack Obama three years ago. Political tribalism of this kind is hardly the exclusive possession of one statist faction in this country.

Were the United States of America a functioning constitutional republic, those who win political elections would be rewarded with a burden, not a privilege: They would be responsible for protecting the individual property rights of all people within the government’s claimed jurisdiction. The powers they exercise would be limited to those necessary to accomplish that objective.

If that arrangement prevailed today, the losing faction in a presidential election would be lecturing the winners about how they have won the obligation to serve and protect the rights of those whose political views and affiliations they oppose.

Electoral politics doesn’t work that way, of course – which is why it is a snare and a delusion for people who haven’t come to understand that the state itself is a malignant fiction.

Americans too readily see the law as a weapon to wield against others, rather than as the means of protecting individual rights.  Applying Lenin’s famous formula that the key political question is “Who does what to Whom?” Americans covet the role of “Who,” forgetting that they will eventually become the “Whom” – and that the “what” in this equation – the exercise of power over others – is never morally acceptable.

About Will Grigg

Will Grigg (1963–2017), the former Managing Editor of The Libertarian Institute, was an independent, award-winning investigative journalist and author. He authored six books, most recently his posthumous work, No Quarter: The Ravings of William Norman Grigg.

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