Have you ever witnessed a sporting event from the detached perspective of an uninvested observer? As an American, this may be hard to do, as most of us have some sort of affiliation with a home team that weighs on the back of our minds, dictating our desire for a particular outcome. Try looking at soccer through the scope of an American football fan.
The American fan would most likely have very little understanding when it pertains to the geographic location affiliated with a team, and that more than likely wouldn’t impact his opinion. Instead of thinking about cheering for the Seahawks because he might be from Seattle, the fan would be forced into making a decision based on the performance of the soccer team. He would more than likely enjoy the better team the most, because they exemplify more skill at the game.
Now, lets take a look at American politics. The same kind of geographical loyalty that a football fan might have for his home team, persist in the political field. Some states are assumed red or blue before the election even starts. States like Kentucky and California presumably will always go to the Republican and Democratic nominee respectively (at least since the 80s).
Election season is designed very much like football season. We experience months of being bludgeoned in the face by the notion that there is an enemy team whose ideologies threaten our own, and that we must defeat them.
This notion is further imprinted through the use of warring media networks, each one pushing the agenda for their home team. Fox News won’t say anything good about democrats, MSNBC won’t say anything good about republicans. Good guy vs. bad guy politics will never lead to true middle ground, and these competing ideologies help to lead individuals toward a football fan type mindset.
Folks adopt the notion that the way they and their hometown believe politically is the correct way, and anyone who disagrees is a fool or a threat. They align themselves with a party without holding the individuals within that party accountable for their untruths or their hyperboles. In sports, folks adopt the notion that their hometown team is clearly the best team to cheer for, regardless of the individual performance of the players on that team. “Tom Brady is the best quarterback for the job? Screw him, I’m from Pittsburg, so I say the best quarterback is Ben Roethlisberger!”
We have entered an era where facts and objective evidence take a back seat to the sports team style tribal rally cries of political parties. Republicans gladly shouted “Make America Great Again” ignoring the hateful and “alternative fact” based aspects of Trumps campaign. Democrats shouted, “I’m with her” ignoring the moral dilemma associated with Clintons historical flip-flopping, presumably caused by monetary influence.
Both sides say the other’s arguments hold no merit, and refuse to have a civil discussion. I confess that I am generalizing, but Our political leaders are in the pockets of big money interest, and it’s as if all we can do is watch helplessly until corruption fulfills it’s role as the cream of the political world, and rises to the top showing us who’s pockets are the dirtiest.
If we continue to go+ down the path of partisan politics, this country will never reach a true equilibrium. Instead of looking at politics the way the American football fan watches an NFL game, we need to adopt the mindset of the American football fan as he watches a game of soccer. We need to cheer for the team with the best players, not the team our hometown would have us cheer for. Perhaps we should even abandon cheering for teams all together, and respect individual performance. Maybe then, we will see a day when all Americans feel as though their team just won the superbowl.