Candidate Trump told Americans he was a winner and that his “America First” strategy would “Make America Great Again,” telling voters we would be winning so much our heads would spin.

How’s that panned out; seems like winning (tax and health reform) has come at a cost, as has our foreign policy strategy, where "winning" equals alienating most of our traditional allies.

Regulations have loosened the way for business, and the stock market is “winning,” but at what cost? Will our children have clean air to breathe and is global warming really a “hoax”?

With our president insisting (over and over and over and over again) that there is no Russian collusion and that he is the victim of a Democratic “witch hunt,” it is time to see, once and for all, if there was collusion. The only way to do that is to be transparent. At this writing Trump is backpedaling about talking with Mueller’s team, after promising he would earlier in the investigation. Just like his promise to release his tax information (so we could determine how much self-interest he has in tax reform and in foreign governments), this is another promise that has evolved into a “change of mind” and “nobody cares.”

Trump’s latest slurs regarding immigration and his derogatory remarks about Haitians and Africans add to the list; if winning the immigration battle means culling out entire countries, rather than figuring out a fair and equitable vetting system, that’s not “winning.” We need a path for citizenship that includes vetting and border security; can’t we find that winning path with bipartisanship and honor? Trump promised in front of the television cameras that he would definitely sign a bipartisan bill, if one were presented. That sounded like “winning,” and many Americans were encouraged.

But just one day later, he backpedaled his crude remarks, denying them and saying instead it was just “strong language,” a complete turnaround suggesting a bully mentality and that “winning” on the high ground isn’t in the cards.

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An inspiring example of winning with honor came recently during the National College Athletic Association championship football game, when Alabama replaced its starting quarterback, Jalen Hurts, and put in freshman Tua Tagovailoa, to start the second half after Hurts' underwhelming performance in the first half.

Hurts had brought the team to the “ship” and sported a 25 and two record as a starter, playing most of the snaps this season, and bringing Alabama to this pinnacle game. However, his anemic three-of-eight passing for 21 yards had left his Crimson Tide down 13 to 0 to Georgia as the first half ended.

What Tagovailoa was able to do on the field was remarkable; he brought them all the way back to tie the game at 20 with a chance to win at the end of regulation, but the kicker missed a short field goal, sending the game into overtime, where Tagovailoa threw a game-winning touchdown pass for a walk-off win.

Then there was the rest of the story.

On the first drive after coming into the game, Tagovailoa led his team down the field methodically for a touchdown to get them back in the game.

The camera pointing to the sidelines showed Hurts; he was jumping up and down, cheering on his replacement and was the first to congratulate him on the sidelines after the touchdown. Hurts continued to cheerlead for the rest of the game and proudly stood with his teammates after the game, even though he, the star player, had been unceremoniously benched by legendary coach Nick Saban, who said later he thought his “Tide” needed to throw the ball in the second half to get back into the game and that Tagovailoa “gave us the best chance to succeed.”

I have been involved in games when players are taken out and they pout; it brings the team down and doesn’t move the cause forward.

Hurts’ performance as a cheerleader was awesome; it was about winning the right way.

It was about team (there is no “I” in team”), and it was about sportsmanship.

Winning at any cost might work for some; but winning the right way is how our country ought to approach policy.

There is way too much ego in Washington; we need to take a page out of Jalen Hurts’ playbook, because winning without honor is not winning.

Rah, rah — America the Great!

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“Our lives are like islands in the sea, or like trees in the forest. The maple and pine may whisper to each other with their leaves…. But the trees also commingle their roots in the darkness underground, and the islands also hang together through the ocean’s bottom.”

— William James, psychologist and philosopher (1842-1910)