One reason why Americans don’t mind losing an argument is that once they lose, they can be seen as the underdog. Underdogs are people who are considered unlikely to win. There is a long history in America of the Underdog finding support and overcoming difficult odds to ultimately win in the end.
In the 1960s and 1970s a cartoon superhero series about an underdog (that was even called “Underdog”) was very popular.
In 1980 the US Olympic hockey team, which was comprised of young and inexperienced players, played against the seasoned Russian Olympic team. Even though the Russian team was highly favored to win, the American team ultimately defeated them. This event later inspired the 2004 film “Miracle.”
Cowboys, as lone travelers in a foreign land, were often the underdogs in the cowboy/Indian conflicts in early American history, yet many of them were able to overcome the difficulties and survive.
At age 13, Bobby Fischer won a chess match against one of the leading American chess masters. That match became known as the “Game of the Century.”
underdog: a loser or predicted loser in a struggle or contest; a victim of injustice or persecution: a less powerful person or thing that struggles against a more powerful person or thing.
Robert Frost, the celebrated American poet, wrote in 1928: „I’m a poor underdog. But tonight I will bark with the great Overdog. That romps through the dark.“