Monday, September 2, 2013

We learn politics through sports

I came to realize last night while talking with a friend just how politics and sports are similar. I remember the day I stopped being a NASCAR fan. Dale Earnhardt had just wrecked and his car sat on the grass with flat tires. This accident should have put him out of contention because according to NASCAR rules the car would have had to be towed to the garage area. It is only then the car can be worked on by the crew.

As the rollback truck backed up to the race car and began attaching the cable, Dale began shouting and frantically waving his arms. He stopped the track crewman from further actions, all the while shouting that loading the car would cause further damage.

Moments later Dale's pit crew appeared carrying tires and a jack. While in the infield grass they put tires on the car and Dale was soon back on the track three laps down. He came back to win the race while fans screamed loudly.

Some might wonder how this compares to politics, while some are smiling at this point. Because Earnhardt was extremely popular, NASCAR loved the money he made for them, and the sports media was all too happy to have a new king of racing, so they didn't push the extreme violations of rules. Any other driver would have been severely penalized during the race.

We see the same thing happening in the world of politics. When you have a large segment of the population, a complicit media, certain politicians can get away with anything short of public homicide. President Obama has done things for which H.W. Bush and other presidents were demonized. Even the simple act of playing golf caused an uproar for Bush, while Obama plays much more often, it's defended by the media.

Too many of us have been guilty of overlooking wrong doings as long as it is done by our own team. This state of mind seems to start with t-ball and continues all the way though professional sports. We all know of the home field advantage, which in part means the officials will likely favor the home team. I don't see how we expect the world of politics to be any different. We have been taught since childhood to always support the home team. I see people who proudly state the fact that for several generations their family has always voted for the Democratic candidate. You find the same allegiance to unions. Many often resort to fisticuffs in support of the home team.

The first step in fixing this country and the government is to first look inward at our own actions. Will you be the fist to step forward and complain when the umpire calls a clear strike a ball in favor of your own child?

Too many of us help cover and dismiss the past and present mistakes of our own candidates and elected officials. Trends sometimes begin with one person. Will this new trend of doing the right thing start with you? The next time there is a clear violation of the Constitution, but it's in favor of your personal beliefs, will you complain?

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