#578 – Dick Bernard: Election 2012 #23. Politics of Losing…and Winning

The weekend just past was hot, at least as for us in this area. The temperature was in the low 90s till Sunday night rainfall moderated it.
Some of our grandkids were involved in post-school year athletic activities.
Over at the local high school, first-grade Ben competed in several events, including successfully passing the baton in the second leg of the 4×100 race. That afternoon, 10 year old Parker was part of a team that played five baseball games in a tournament on Saturday and Sunday, and won third. We saw the third game. He’s a good competitor, Parker is. (see photos, click to enlarge) His team is a good one: they work well together; there’s a sense of co-ownership which you can “feel” as a spectator. They’re a team.

Ben passes the baton at the end of the second leg of the 4x100

Parker on first.

Sunday we missed another grandsons baseball game because of a competing event: another grandsons 12th birthday party. Ted’s cake was decorated with the symbol Pi (of 3.1416). His gig is numbers and math. His sister, Kelly, showed off some pottery she was making in some summer class.
And on it went. It was a good weekend.
I contrast this with what we witnessed again this weekend: the lose-lose talk of politics as war.
The Republicans are proclaimed to be riding high because of Walker’s win in Wisconsin; and a verbal gaffe – a single sentence – of President Obama was expertly snipped out and exploited by his enemies this weekend. Unfortunately, contemporary Politics is Civil War, and I think the piece I wrote a few days ago is worth reading and sitting with as you ponder the next few months of bloody battles.
Politics is a team activity. We are all in teams: a country, a state, a legislative district, a local community. We cannot survive as a bunch of individuals who choose to watch the game, or not, and then decide at the last minute whether or not we should even show up to mark a single ballot for some candidates on November 6. Politics as Civil War, which is what is has become, is not healthy to Team U.S.A., Team State of Minnesota, Team World….
This weekend there were two particularly impressive competitors I saw.

Fan at Parker's game going around showing us the score.

Finishing the race

The little girl, doubtless somebodies sister, wasn’t content to just sit on the sidelines, but felt a need to participate in some way in the game she was watching, and her way was to help announce the score to the rest of us.
But it is the boy in the last picture that wins my prize: he was dead last in his 440 heat, way dead last. But he had absolutely no intention of dropping out, of quitting.
I saw him afterwards, and he was still tired. But he wasn’t a defeated tired, and that’s a critical distinction.
He’d run the race, he’d finished, and of all the competitors I saw this weekend, he’s the one who won top prize in my book. He’s the winner.

There is a huge amount of stake in the 2012 election. Those little kids in the above pictures, and their cohort, everywhere on the planet, are the ones who will benefit, or be damaged, by our wisdom or stupidity; our short or long-term vision for our future.
At the very least, get on the court, and stay there till the finish line. Politics is not a spectator sport.

For other entries on my view of Politics this season, just enter Election 2012 in the search box.

2 replies
  1. Bruce Fisher
    Bruce Fisher says:

    I wonder when a non-vote is politically appropriate as a protest statement about the political system that hides under the veil of Democracy? I wondering is it appropriate to form a political action group and buy ads, hold meetings, and knock on doors getting out the “non-vote” message as a protest to the damaged political system and the candidates that the political system puts up for us to vote and than says get out and vote in this most important election as your civic duty?
    What if on election day every one participated but no one voted?
    Yes, the vote is precious, but under some circumstances its meaningless.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.