I wrote a while back about my inability to comprehend sports fanaticism.
“I can’t remotely fathom the value of rooting for, aligning myself with, buying promotional paraphernalia for, or wearing clothing with logos of any sports team whatsoever. I mean, these people are playing a GAME, for Pete’s sake. … How does it make one iota of difference in reality whether they win or lose a game or a season?”Politics is different. The outcomes of political contests can actually make substantive differences in our lives. It is for that reason that politics needs to be regarded far more seriously — and objectively — than sports.
I have watched all of the political factions and all of the political parties for years. None of them is always right. None of them has a plan that, if followed, would result in the kind of society we’d all prefer to live in.
Still, there are those that turn politics into a win-lose game. There is no possibility of win-win for these people. Their side is right, no matter what it says or does. Any opposing thoughts are to be crushed with convincing passion. They MUST WIN, at all costs.
Nowhere is this ridiculous and childish attitude more prevalent than in the blogosphere. There are many that learn nothing of value from reading viewpoints that differ from their own. Their prime directive is to dump arrogant, narrow-minded comments wherever possible.
They click the post button and sit back smugly satisfied at having demonstrated their sheer brilliance, completely blind to any other possibilities. They go on the offensive, apparently fearful that opening their minds a smidgen might erode their faith in their own political views.
The blogosphere allows ideologues from different factions to snipe back and forth at each other, generating much heat but little light. These snipers cherish the thrill of the fight, much like sports fanatics love the action of the game, behaving like deranged toddlers in response to events on the field.
While this kind of glop is titillating for like-minded people and for opposing debaters, it is incredibly boorish to everyone else. Many political bloggers consider themselves highly enlightened, when they are actually just being jerks.
I’m not completely clean in this matter. But I hope I’m learning.
By the way, nobody ever did step up to my challenge “to effectively explain in an objective manner why our academic institutions should sponsor semi-pro sports teams ... [and] why even one cent of taxpayer money should fund this type of entertainment.” That invitation is still open.
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