Save the fanaticism for the stadium
I hate the New York Yankees. Not just the Yankees, but their fans, too: those obnoxious, soulless cretins who can’t fathom baseball being about more than just money. As long as they can promote their anti-American agenda of win-at-all-costs – even if that cost is the destruction of the sport that our grandfathers died on the beaches of Normandy for – they’re happy.
Red Sox fans, on the other hand, know honest and pure baseball. We know that true strength and character come from adversity, not a bank account (Swiss or otherwise.) Our most cherished memories are of Boston losses and the fortitude they taught us. Before Aaron F. Boone was Bucky F. Dent, Yaz retired, Fisk went to Chicago – and of course, Game 6 against the Mets.
But being from New England has nothing to do with who my team is. Anyone who can think logically and objectively knows the Red Sox are the very definition of history, honor and pure love of the game. The Yanks are about putting sheeple into the seats and lobotomizing them.
If the Yankees win the pennant this year, America will become a wasteland of apish automatons scouring the landscape of all that is good, devouring the freedoms of hard-working people across this great land and letting terrorists freely cross our borders to destroy our way of life.
Did I say Yankees and the pennant? I meant Democrats – and the election.
The odd thing about political dialog is that if you take a passionate sports fan’s rant and substitute a political party for the team name, you have a diatribe that – while still nonsensical – is at least as coherent as the clichés and non sequiturs spewed by radio talk show callers.
But politics isn’t a sport. No fan has their life changed by the outcome of the big game. Political decisions, on the other hand, affect real people in life-altering ways.
Even knowing the gravity of politics, don’t we still root for our party as if it were the Wildcats, wanting a beat down of the other side? But shouldn’t we be carefully weighing the good and bad of an issue to find the solution that hurts the fewest people?
The Denver Broncos signed Peyton Manning in the offseason, hooray! I must admit to you, I used to hate his guts. I thought he was a cheater always looking for loopholes in the rulebook. But Peyton’s a Bronco now, so he’s our stalwart defender of football greatness, and I’ll crush anyone who says otherwise.
That very us versus them mentality pervades modern political discourse. Americans have always disagreed, but it was once based on our personal take on right and wrong. Now we argue for our team’s position just because it’s the team’s position.
Modern politics seem to come bundled: If you support one issue, you support them all. The party view is our view, even though our affiliation is largely based on where we were born or who our parents are. Had I come from the Bronx, you can be sure I’d be a Yankees fan and a Red Sox basher today.
And some of us support our party’s view even if we don’t really understand the issue. We need to stop being political fans and start thinking about what’s good for the game rather than just our team. A first step is to stop name-calling. Labeling a certain party “thugs” and sneering the word “liberal” are warning signs.
The real American way is to unbundle the pressing matters of the day from the party, and support or oppose a policy based on its merits, rather than the person or group who sponsors it. A lover of baseball can admire both Derek Jeter and Dustin Pedroia, though they play for different teams. A fan of democracy can believe in global warming and a gun in every pocket – or not. Those are separate issues.
Save your fanaticism for the stadium.