The first time I heard the phrase “Winning Ugly” was during the 1983 American League pennant race when ‘my team,’ the Chicago White Sox were doing just that, winning games, and not looking very good doing it.  But the phrase took on national prominence after the book Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis (1993) was published by two Australian tennis coaches, Brad Gilbert and Steve Jamison.

Meanwhile, the dictionary of American idioms defines the phrase as achieving victory after putting in a lot of effort and unglamorous technique and enduring many hardships or overcoming many obstacles. (As opposed to winning with ease, grace, or style.)  But to my way of thinking, winning ugly means not worrying about how it looks and leaving no resource unearthed to accomplish the goal of winning—and that’s exactly what Donald Trump did during his four years as President of the United States—he won ugly!

Donald Trump was reviled by the media and the Washington, New York, and Hollywood establishments.  He was criticized unmercifully for doing his job, i.e., putting America and Americans first!  It’s no secret the former president was a rough and tumble guy and at times was vain and insensitive.  He praised the art of negotiation although he wasn’t inclined to compromise. There were times he would micromanage, and he had a difficult time finding competent individuals who shared his vision.  Meanwhile and was vilified for just about everything he did, as a virulently dishonest media tried to subvert him and his message at every turn.

But his followers loved him, and reason can be found in the words of Hollywood actor James Woods who said, “Donald Trump loved America more than any president in our lifetime, save for Reagan and even then, I believe both men were on par with each other.”

Donald Trump was perhaps the most controversial president of modern times, perhaps even the most controversial in all American history.  But when assessing politicians, it’s wise to remember the old saw that “actions speak louder than words” and that “results not activities are the true measure of success.)  So today I wanted to look back in retrospect and ask the simple question, “What was so bad about a president who…

  • Made good on his campaign promise to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
  • Enacted the USMCA trade agreement?
  • Reduced illegal border crossings to their lowest point in 20 years?
  • Declared a Nationwide Public Health Emergency on opioids and reduced the amount of drugs entering our country from across our southern border?
  • Reformed the Veterans Administration so veterans could use their own doctors reducing wait times for America’s heroes from months to days.
  • Secured the release of more American hostages from foreign prisons than any other administration in modern history?
  • Brokered three Middle East Peace Accords, something that 71 years of political intervention and endless wars failed to produce?
  • Was the first president not to engage the nation in a foreign war since Eisenhower?
  • Had fewer American troops serving in war zones than at any time during the last 30 years?
  • Had the greatest impact on the economy, bringing jobs, and lowering unemployment to the Black and Latino population of ANY other president in history?
  • Ensured that employment for women reached its highest levels in history?
  • Had the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, praise him for being the first and only leader of a NATO nation to finally persuade the other NATO nations to pay keep their agreements regarding military expenditures?
  • Ensured that the North Koreans stopped sending missiles toward Japan and threatening the West Coast of the US?
  • Eliminated ISIS in Syria?
  • Eliminated ISIS’ leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi?
  • Eliminated the world’s #1 terrorist, the Iranian mastermind, Qasem Soleimani?
  • Intimidated Iran to stop harassing U.S. ships in the gulf by threatening to sink their patrol boats?
  • Turned our relationship with the Chinese around, and bringing hundreds of businesses back to the US, and reviving the economy?
  • Fast tracked the development of not one but two COVID vaccines (btw, we still don’t have a vaccine for SARS, Bird Flu, Ebola, or a host of diseases that arose during previous administrations.)
  • Rebuilt a depleted military that had fallen into a terrible state of disrepair?

No, Donald Trump did not ‘win’ the 2020 election, but he won many things for the American people despite the most vicious and hateful attacks on an American president since the Civil War.  So, to this writer’s mind, the election results notwithstanding, Donald Trump did win, he “won ugly” for the American people.

Quote of the day: “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”—Thomas Jefferson

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