Author, Lecturer, Ethicist

The Losers Hall of Shame

Okay all you trivia mavens: let’s see if you can figure out what the following all have in common:

1.     Former New York Met pitcher Anthony Young (1966-2017);

Met Pitcher Anthony Young

Met Pitcher Anthony Young

2.     John “The Engineer” Turmel (1951- );

3.     Richard Burton (1925-1983) and Peter O’Toole (1932-2013);

4.     The Prairie View A&M Panthers football team;

5.     The Reverend Glynn (Scott) Wolfe (1908-1997);

6.     Lehman Brothers (1850-2008) and

7.     Donald J. Trump (1946 - )

Stymied? Well, they are all members of the “Losers’ Hall of Shame.” First, a brief visit with 6 of the first 7:

  • Pitcher Anthony Young holds the all-time Major League Baseball record for the greatest number of games lost in a row: precisely 29 between April 14, 1992 and May 1, 1994. Despite retiring with a respectable career era of 3.89, his won-loss record was a horrific 15-48 . . . which works out to a winning percentage of just .238.

  • The Prairie View A&M football team holds the all-time NCAA record for most consecutive losses: 80 games between 1989 an 1998

  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Canadian John “the Engineer” Turmel holds the all-time record for both the most elections contested, and for the most elections lost, having contested 96 and losing 95. The only election he did not lose was cancelled.

  • Actors Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole, who were among the few major movie stars who were also great actors, hold the record for having received the greatest number of Academy Awards Best Actor nominations (7) without ever winning

  • The Reverend Glynn “Scott” Wolfe holds the world’s record for the greatest number of marriages and divorces: 29. His longest marriage lasted 11 years; his briefest a mere 19 days. At his death in 1997, none of his surviving ex-wives and but one of his estimated 40 children attended his funeral.

  • Lehman Brothers, which came into existence in 1850, holds the all time record for the largest bankruptcy in American business history: approximately $691 billion, following the 2008 financial meltdown.

  • · President Donald J. Trump: as America’s 45th president, he ordered this country’s longest governmental shutdown. As of today, January 13, 2019, that shutdown has lasted more than 3 weeks . . . with no end in sight.

You can make book on Anthony Young, Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole and the rest of the losers not crowing over their missteps. Young probably felt far better over his career ERA than his all-time record for ineptitude. So too did Burton and O’Toole likely find far greater pride and solace in their truly great film roles than for all those times they failed to win an Oscar.

‘45, on the other hand, will likely take eternal, boastful pride in holding the record for creating and orchestrating the longest governmental shutdown in all American history. Back in mid-December of last year, the president told then-Speaker elect Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer “I am proud to shut down the government for border security . . . I will take the mantle . . . . I will be the one to shut it down.” Of course, by the time the shutdown had lasted a mere 7 days, he was placing blame squarely on the shoulders of “Cryin’ Chuck and Nancy” and all the Democrats in Congress.

The fist governmental shutdown did not occur until the republic was more than 200 years old. The year was 1976, That first partial shutdown came under President Gerald Ford when he vetoed a spending bill amid a dispute over the budget for the Department of Health, Education & Welfare - a federal department which no longer exists under that name. A whole slew of shutdowns would ensue over the next two decades. There were half a dozen during Jimmy Carter's four years in office, and eight between 1981 and 1989 during Ronald Reagan's administration. During the Clinton era, there was a major shutdown caused by then-House Speaker Newt Ginrgrich’s “Contract With America.” That shutdown lasted a mere 5 days followed by a 21-day impasse which stood until just the other day as the longest government shutdown ever.

And now we have a new record . . . which our current president owns with pride but nonetheless blames on everybody but himself. He is quickly becoming the Anthony Young or John “The Engineer” Turmel of American history. His spot in the “Losers Hall of Shame” is assured.

But ‘45 seems far, far more concerned about getting funding for his wall on our Southern border than anything else. Lacking an ounce of empathy or understanding for the working stiff (which our most blue-blooded presidents – the Roosevelts - did possess), he is more than willing to upend lives, families and American safety in order to get what he wants. And his suggestions as to what people who live paycheck-to-paycheck should do? “Have a garage sale — clean out your attic, basements, and closets at the same time,” sell “unwanted, larger ticket items through the newspaper or online . . . watch children, walk pets, or house-sit.“ How’s that for empathy?

Besides the president’s all but total lack of understanding of how government works, there is this fact: unlike virtually every other shutdown over the past 4 decades, this POTUS is using said shutdown as a partisan political tool - as a way of keeping his most manic political supporters on his side. He is far more concerned with the 2020 presidential election and hearing the riotous cheers of his shrinking base than he is with the lives and families of those who are on the federal payroll. He simply cannot understand how anyone can go without a paycheck or two . . . or three or four. Hey, they can just go to their parents for a handout or get another part time job in order to tide them over until they get their back pay. Never mind that airline travel is being endangered, that the purity of the food we eat is no longer being investigated, or that medical research projects upon which our very lives depend are going without funding dollars. What’s far, far more important to ‘45 is getting his $5.7 billion for a border wall which cannot - and will not - keep illicit drugs or murderous thugs out of the country.

Will the president’s utter hard-hardheartedness come back to haunt (and ultimately destroy) both him and the party he owns in the 2020 election? Only those with a fully functional crystal ball can possibly know the answer. It would seem, however, that if this issue is brought up again and again by whomsoever the next Democratic nominee (Sherrod Brown? Kamala Harris? Elizabeth Warren? Amy Klobuchar? Joe Biden? Bernie Sanders? Adam Schiff?) may be, it will cause one whole hell of a lot of American voters to turn against ‘45 and the party of close-mouthed cowards he leads.

Let ‘45 be elected to the Losers Hall of Shame instead of a second term in the White House. Goodness knows, it will wreak far less damage upon the men, women and children of this country, as well as our traditional allies around the world.

666 days to go until the next general election.

Copyright©2019 Kurt F. Stone