World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), is correctly more well known for its posing and posturing entertainment rather than the their supposed core product–wrestling. Replete with stylized good guys and bad guys, overdressed, overacting and anything goes–not matter how ridiculous–to increase their notoriety, leverage with their fan base to increase the power and influence of the WWE–the entity that pays them and makes it all possible.
Now, let’s make some substitutions: Republicans and Democrats are more known for posing and posturing than their supposed core deliverable–making our country better. Replete with stylized good guys and bad guys, overacting and saying anything–no matter how ridiculous–to increase their notoriety and that of their party. (Note that I did leave out overdressed.)
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World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), is correctly more well known for its posing and posturing entertainment than the their supposed core product–wrestling. Replete with stylized good guys and bad guys, overdressed, overacting and willing to do or say anything–no matter how ridiculous–to increase their notoriety, leverage their power and influence with their fan base, and to increase the power and influence of the WWE–the entity that pays them and makes it all possible.
Now, let’s make some substitutions: Republicans and Democrats are more known for their posing and posturing than their supposed core deliverable–making our country better. Replete with stylized good guys and bad guys, overacting and willing to do or say anything–no matter how ridiculous–to increase their notoriety, leverage their power and influence with their fan base, and to increase the power and influence of their party–the entity that helps fund them and makes it all possible. (Note that I did leave out overdressed.)
What in God’s name happened? “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” John F. Kennedy, Democrat, 35th President of the USA.
On the other side of the aisle, on at least two occasions, Senator John McCain, the Republican candidate running against Barack Obama, was questioned at campaign rallies about his opponent, each time with the questioner at close range, the mic being handed back and forth between the questioner and Senator McCain. One time a man said that he was “scared” of Obama because of his ties to the radical left, including Bill Ayres, a known violent radical in the 60s. The Senator responded that no one needed to be scared because Mr. Obama was a decent man. The crowd booed. Another time, a lady said that Obama was an Arab; McCain’s response: “No, he is not an Arab. He is a good man with whom I have fundamental political and economic differences.” This was greeted with scattered applause.
Where are the John McCains and Jack Kennedys? Would you vote for one, or do you prefer bare knuckle brawlers on your side? Bill Clinton famously said, “Politics is a contact sport.” Apparently he is right. Do we need referees, penalties and instant replay in politics? Or should we, the voters, be our own referees and refuse to vote for WWE-type politicians. Most of us, I hope, don’t want WWE politicians. We want honest, articulate, and determined politicians; politicians we can trust and with whom we agree on policy. And there is no necessary connection between determined and WWE. More likely a disconnect. WWE wrestlers are not determined as much as they are paid showoffs. The hangup here might be that all too many of us see the “other guy” as the WWE politician. Our guy is, well a little bit like that, but is so much better than the other one. Are we being honest with ourselves, or are we simply making up excuses to vote for the person and party we have a going-in bias for regardless of how outrageous their style may be?
Pause for a check-in. Do you realize that some people are sure that I should be talking about Trump and the Republicans being the WWE politicians, and others are sure that WWE means the Democrats? Is everyone right?
In the world of actual contact sports, NFL games have seven officials calling the game. And instant instant replay. Yet players, coaches and fans get all riled up and loudly dispute calls on a regular basis. In the world of international rugby, there is one main referee, and two minor ones, all on a larger field with almost continuous ation for 80 minutes. Ruggers who respond to the ref with anything but a respectful “Sir”, no matter how egregious the call may seem to them, risk being immediately ejected.
Is there a lesson here? Don’t we all need to be more like the players who treat the refs with respect? And if we don’t treat refs and other officials, law enforcement, opponents and, well, everyone, with respect, who will? It is our choice, both as individual human beings and as voters; maintain respect in the face of even deep disagreement, or paint our faces and act the fool to support and defend our team, you know, the party we prefer.
Let’s apply the two Results With Reason main tenets to today’s issues. The two main tenets that we believe in at Results With Reason are:
- Personal Responsibility; practice it, teach it and
- Be Your Brother’s Keeper.
Today’s application is again straightforward:
- Personal Responsibility. Engage in the political conversation. Talk to people about what is important and why it is important. Show them love, respect and trust as you do.
- Be your Brother’s Keeper. Be patient with each other; some will understand what you saying immediately, others will not. Teach and encourage; don’t criticize and reject. Love and lead. Remember, we are all in this together.
Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. We need to act. And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.
Remember: Knowledge by itself is the booby prize.
Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
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