Politics: America’s New Favorite Sport
In the absence of regularly scheduled sporting events due to cancellations caused by COVID-19, we’ve all been looking for ways to fill the void. Some have taken up new hobbies like bread making and day trading. Others have found ways to kick off home improvement projects around the house that they’ve been putting off. And maybe some of you wasted your days away binge watching Tiger King or blowing through seasons of The Office for the 500th time.
Some, however, have picked a different way of passing time in between managing Zoom meetings and tending to their new home garden. They’ve become die hard fans of one of two of America’s newest favorite teams, declaring allegiance to the Democrats or the Republicans. Or more importantly, the extreme fringe of each of the two major political parties in the United States.
This current modern approach has been brewing since the early days of the Michael Jordan of Politics, the team of Hope and Change, the grassroots movement of the Left that elected President Barack Obama to office. Meanwhile on the flip side, the Right was creating their own counter movement in the Tea Party which brought rise to unlikely stars like former Vice Presidential candidate Governor Sarah Palin. While now basically defunct, it was arguably this initial reactionary display of Political ideology that morphed the Tea Party into what is now the Trump movement. Much further from the familiar approach of the traditional Republican platform that we’re used to. And the further it went from traditional politics, the more it resembles sport and not actual Government.
Those who follow their teams closely, analyzing the tweets, quoting bullet points from last night’s broadcast from MSNBC or Fox News, and not questioning anything that their team does because they have our best interests at heart. Our team rules, your team drools.
They wear the fan spirit wear proudly. Back in the Obama days, graphic tees created by street artist Shepard Fairey were all the rage. It was cool and hip just like Obama claimed to be. Since then, the Right has found their own team colors with Red hats dominating the crowds with MAGA sprawled across the front. As Trump gears up for the 2020 re-election, his fan base has expanded their collection to include large political flags with NO MORE BULLSHIT standing out in large letters, making sure your neighbors know who you’re cheering for. Before this we knew we were divided. Now it's painfully obvious that we are because we wear our colors to root for our squad every opportunity we have.
Politics is not a game though. Or at least it shouldn’t be. And when the theatrics of it overshadow real policy and progress, the only people that lose at the end of the game are the fans (or in this case, the voters). Much like professional sports, the teams and players get rich and the fans get screwed (sound familiar Lions fans?). Because we aren’t on two different teams. We are one Country with one President and instead of acting like we’re all on one team together, we’ve picked sides and we’ve prepared to ride it out with our team for better or worse. When we’re divided we lose.
Imagine that this is how you ran your company. Splitting lines down the middle and saying its us vs them. Do you think you’d be the strongest company you can be? Or would your competition be laughing at you? I think we all know the answer to that.
If this approach to politics continues, then we will truly have to become separated from One Nation to something that sounds much more terrifying. And the path to get there will not be pretty, in fact, we may already be seeing the beginning stages of it. As the experts...they don’t think that a Civil War is out of the question in our lifetimes. Because a house divided against itself cannot stand.