This applies on a grander scale too. Alexander, Charlemagne, Genghis Khan, they all followed this model to a degree, even on a grand scale.
But what you never, ever, ever do is humiliate a fallen opponent. That shit always comes back to bite you in the ass.
Want an example? Treaty of Versailles. Not only blames Germany for WWI, but rubs its collective nose in it. Outside of physically forcing Scheidemann to kiss Woodrow Wilson's boots or auctioning off some pretty German girls on a block in Vegas, it's kind of hard to imagine how harder Germany could've been kicked. Everyone wanted Germany to be a weakling and think about what it did. Nobody felt like enslaving or wiping out the populace, nor letting them keep their dignity. End result, WWII.
I'm oversimplifying, of course, but I'm also illustrating a very real point.
Now let's look at today.
Last June, the supreme court declared the fundamental right of same-sex couples to marry.
This was celebrated around the world. The white house itself was lit like a rainbow.
It was also opposed by the U.S. populace at a rate of somewhere between 40-50%.
Think about that for a second.
Forty-odd percent. A little over four in ten Americans.
Many of us celebrated, including me.
But how many of us stopped to check our privilege?
Specifically, the privilege in having someone gay (4% of the population) or trans (0.5% of the population) among our loved ones, allowing us to celebrate?
How many people were left out of that party?
A little over four in ten.
Call them uninformed or bigoted or hateful or whatever other dismissive adjectives you have, if you like.
But they still exist. Not only defeated, but humiliated.
And you're wondering why we're seeing religious freedom and bathroom bills today?