A Fascinating Analogy Between Sports and Politics

When we look for ideas between sports and politics that link together, seldom do we get the chance that we have right now to sound smart. So I feel that I must take that opportunity.  I also want to apologize for being AFK lately; I was hurt in an accident and sitting at the desk has been off-limits.

Some years ago, there appeared on the football scene (that’s soccer to us) a young man named Leonel Messi. Messi has an uncanny talent for kicking goals, and for a few years he romped around every soccer pitch in Europe, scoring goals just about at will. This was delightful to all soccer fans, but I’ll bet it was another story behind closed doors.

I am sure there were a lot of meetings in which the promoters and owners of the various teams realized that they must up their level of play in order to avoid presenting their audience with anything more than a showcase for Messi. They must have searched through their equivalent of the minor leagues and boosted their training levels. The result was quite an improvement in the sport.

Now, turning from the sublime to the ridiculous, we have what is left of the Republican Party. It is simply not possible that the Republicans did not see Hillary Clinton coming. Because her husband was out in front, becoming a governor and then president, they were of course up to their usual tricks, including the inauguration of the Culture Wars as they also tried every device to veto the election. Failing in that, they tried to get their Watergate payback by trumping up impeachment charges, forgetting that impeachment is all very well, but the decision goes to the Senate. I have always wondered if the Republicans really realized that if they managed to remove Clinton from office, they would then be faced with President Al Gore.

But somebody began keeping tabs on Mrs. Clinton as well, doing one thing that actually worked: they sowed the seeds of dislike and distrust for her through coordinated commentary. By now it has been about thirty years since this crusade began, but hey, the stuff is there and they are deploying it. Not even the relentless fact-checking can stop it now.

But for all the work that the Republican seditionists – like Robert Novak who outed an active intelligence agent – the Republicans let one thing slip. Their Culture Wars got out of control. This was partly because ego-maniacs like politically-minded preachers simply cannot be restrained when their egos break free. It was also because the corporate media got into their sensationalism contest, and soon you had to be talking like Alex Jones just to get somebody stick a microphone in front of your mouth.

So this is where the analogy breaks down. Where professional soccer had training fields for excellence, the Republicans have nothing. They have no policy. They have no coherent plans to improve the nation’s health care, education or infrastructure. Where the soccer professionals could look for their rising stars, there are no rising stars in the American Republican Party. They have Senator Marco Rubio, who just announced that he would run for his seat again, despite the fact that he did virtually nothing in office and seldom was even seen in the Senate. Vote for me again!

Just when the Republican scandal and corruption machine completely lost its way, and Donald Trump came braying into center stage, the worst Republican nightmare came true: the liberal behemoth named Hillary Clinton decided that her time had come. And so it has. At this point Clinton is presenting America with the idea of an athlete who can really play better than anyone else – like Messi hitting soccer and going off like a bomb on all their statistics.

The confusion and despair among the powerful Republicans, such as they are, is amped up to eleven by the fact that in contrast to their field as it first appeared and the candidates began tearing each other apart, the Democrats have not one but two excellent candidates. A president and vice president team? President and Secretary of State? Watch for the personal attacks to become more and more unhinged as it dawns on the Republicans, for the first time in years, that there is a constituency for excellence.

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