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Friday, September 16, 2011

THEY'RE ON THE SAME TEAM

"Juuust a bit outside!"
-Bob Ueker, Major League

Cute Sports Fan
I'm not watching the debates or paying too terribly close attention to the presidential campaign yet. The first primary is about 5 months away and we're more than a year out from the election, its just too early and I get overloaded by July of any presidential election year anyway, why hurry that along?

That said, I can't read any political blog - or even non-political - without reading fights and claims and articles about various presidential candidates, declaring one shameful or another an idiot or a liar, and so on.

I get that people dislike some candidates and like others. I get that there are some that could be potentially damaging to the Republican chances of winning the presidency. And I get that some people are really scared that the nominee will be a person they consider unelectable and horrible because of one viewpoint or another. For example, I'll never vote for Ron Paul or Sarah Palin, for different reasons which I'm not going to get into here.

The problem is, people are acting like some of these candidates are the enemy, they're treating their disliked choice as the worst possible person who must be destroyed lest they infect the world with AIDS Cancer. However you feel about any given candidate, it seems odd to me that Republicans or even conservatives would respond this way.

Given how strongly most (if not all) such people feel about President Obama's policies and actions while president, you'd think they would use less energy in trying to destroy candidates with friendly fire.

It seems to me that the approach ought to be like most people have with sports. Most sports fans have favorite teams, usually the home team. Now, if I was a huge fan of the Washington Nationals, I wouldn't be screaming about how Stephen Strasbourg is a disgrace who needs to be ruined and continually post insulting attacks on him because he got hurt and hasn't pitched all year. I wouldn't pick some members of the team and just hammer them over and over, believing everything bad about them and rejecting or spinning everything good as somehow actually awful.

Shouldn't the Republicans and conservatives who post on the internet treat these potential GOP candidates as being on their team? I mean, I disagree with Ron Paul and think he's a lousy candidate with no chance, but that doesn't mean he has absolutely nothing good to say and is an insane crank who spews only nonsense. I think Newt Gingrich will never get my vote, but that doesn't mean he never has anything useful to offer.

I'm not saying people should be rabid, unquestioning, and uncritical. I think when some candidate says something stupid they ought to be called on it, like Bachmann's foolish "vaccines cause autism" comment. I think everyone should hold every politician's feet to the fire. I don't want people to be a mindless team player, I just think they should treat all the guys on the same team like they are on the same team.

This team concept seems like a useful analogy for pundits to follow. Treat them like they're on your team. Sure, you may hope that Bob Scmendric never gets the starting Quarterback job, and you hate how he keeps throwing interceptions when he gets play time, but that doesn't mean he's the enemy or is on your rival's team. He's still got good points and is one of the guys.

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