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Posted: August 30, 2012

Save the fanaticism for the stadium

It's crucial to unbundle the issues

David Sneed

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.

David Sneed is the owner of Alpine Fence Company,and the author of" Everyone Has A Boss– The Two Hour Guide to Being the Most Valuable Employee at Any Company." As a Marine, father, employee and boss, David has learned how to help others succeed. He teaches the benefits of a strong work ethic to entry and mid-level employees. Contact him at  David@EveryoneHasABoss.com

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Readers Respond

Bwahahahaha By Someone missed the point on 2012 08 30
Not again....PLEASE say it ain't so that we have to endure another purely political piece by Mr. Sneed. I'd have sworn I signed up for a daily email from coBIZmag.com, not coPOLmag.com. Can we PLEASE leave his political editorials to the pages of the local newspaper, political websites, etc. Btw, if he thinks that the Red Sox are some sort of bastion of baseball purity while the Yankees are just greedy, money hungry baseball imposters,He should take a close look at how it was the Red Sox finally got their world series championships...they bought them! Look at the Yankees and Red Sox payrolls compared to 90% of the other major league franchises. Mr. Sneed, you are right...letting one's allegiance to party (or baseball team) can distort reality, but please, if you're gonna promote political openness of thought, please choose an analogy that doesn't show your own clouded perspective. By Rick A on 2012 08 30
I agree completely. I wish politics, and politicians, would realize that Americans aren't as polarized as they seem to believe we are. We ;live in the middle on most issues, or have beliefs that cross the divide. I am fiscally conservative on many issues, but socially liberal - who's thinking about me, or talking to me right now? BTW - I'd like to buy you a beer - really enjoy your articles! Tony By Tony Grieder on 2012 08 30
I hear you Kevin, it's bad on both sides. Don't you think things would be smoother if we skip the "trigger" words though? I hear your argument because you DIDN"T use any. Otherwise you'd just sound like a zealot - and no one listens to a zealot. And unless I can actually hear what you say, I can't possibly understand and maybe modify my view with the new information. By Dave on 2012 08 30
Thank you for this. All of the issues facing the country are not settled by one vision, right or left. We agree things have to change. Let's settle on the common elements that we know are needed, and there are a lot of them, and move ahead. The lack of compromise and shared responsibility clouds every major issue. The budget boondoggle is just one of them, where we are committed to an across the board slash and burn because raising any revenue was anathema. Please look for what works and not what makes the party rabble rabid. By David Addor on 2012 08 30
That was an entertaining article, but unfortunately doesn't get close to reality of either politics or human nature. Quite honestly, I see/hear/recognize nothing in the body politic suggesting anyone genuinely cares about the "name calling" and "lack of civility" in politics (or sport). I heard no protests when Reid took up Senate time to call Romney a tax cheat, solely for the purpose of politicking an issue of which Reid could know nothing. When Romney was essentially called a murderer I heard mountains of rationalization and excuse making. Tea Party members (can you be a member?) are Tea Baggers…Protest signs calling for the “lynching” of Justice Thomas… Senator Lena Taylor comparing Wis. Governor Walker to Hitler…Overwhelming majority of this nonsense goes unaddressed, except by those to whom it’s directed. "Lack of civility" is the unfortunate reality. By Kevin on 2012 08 30
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