Shortly after the 2012 election, a member of my county GOP committee contacted me about her son. He was “really upset” about Romney losing, and she asked if I could reach out to him.
I know I was supposed to say “Buck up, we’ll win the next one.” But considering he was 17 and nearly an adult, I opted to be real.
Here’s what I wrote:
Your mom tells me you’re upset about Romney losing the election. Good. I’m glad you’re upset. Do you know who doesn’t mind losing? Losers. You’re obviously a winner, and this is how winners feel when they lose.
Never learn to like it.
You’ve got your whole life ahead of you. I can’t promise that you’ll never feel this way again. Winning is not a guarantee, it’s not a right.
But if you learn from the mistakes of those who came before you, you’ll have a better shot at victory.
Remember the sort of people in our party who said that Romney was the best nominee. Study Romney’s strategy, and how it worked out. The same sort of people will recommend the same things about different candidates and campaigns. Remember that following their lead will result in you feeling this way again and again.
Hopefully your generation will do what this current one would not. I pray for the sake of our nation that’s the case.”
Neither the young man nor his mother ever spoke to me again. I know it was a lot to lay on a kid, but I’ll never regret telling the truth.