London recently hosted the 2012 Olympics. Some of it was extremely exciting, victory often decided by steps or inches. Young men and women from every ethnic group around the world competed. It was extremely interesting, to me anyway, that they all had one thing in common.
Last week, the Dallas Cowboys (my favorite football team) defeated the world champion New York Giants. They, too, had the one thing in common.
In fact, if you were to examine almost every arena – sports, business, entertainment – you would find they all have that same basic thing in common, be it CEO, coach, baseball club manager, pitcher, quarterback or jockey. In each of the arenas, from the amateur competing in the Olympics to the professionals in the Super Bowl, in every area save one they are measured and selected, or dismissed, for essentially the same reason.
Just like you, the applicant is judged by what he does. You enter the Olympics, sign with the Super Bowl champs or pitch the first game of the World Series based on your record. You are judged, your potential is evaluated and appraised and a contract is signed, or not, based on past performance.
In almost every other endeavor in life one’s future is influenced by what one does, but in politics the future is influenced by what one says.
How likely is the board of directors to rehire a CEO who leads a multi-million dollar corporation into bankruptcy and blames it on the man he replaced four years ago?
Can you imagine the owner of the Dallas Cowboys rehiring a coach who blames four consecutive losing seasons on the coach he replaced four years earlier? Or the sprinter trying for a berth on the Olympic team who hasn’t qualified because some other guy bumped him in the 100 yard dash four years ago? Or a losing jockey being signed to ride in the Kentucky Derby who keeps blaming a horse he rode four years ago? A coach, quarterback, jockey or sprinter with four consecutive losing seasons would be hard pressed to land a starting berth.
Why? The simple truth is they are judged on their record.
Question: If this is suitable for something as inconsequential as sports, why is it not as vital for something as important as serving the people as their elected representative – say, the presidency, for instance?
I noticed a fascinating dichotomy that occurred during the DNC. Like the RNC, there were soaring flights of rhetoric from keynote speakers, as well as several stories of rags-to-riches family histories. The mayor of San Antonio described how his immigrant grandmother worked at menial jobs and sacrificed so his mother and he and his brother could have a better life, the epitome of the American dream: Poverty-stricken grandmother comes to America and grandson becomes mayor of seventh largest city in the United States, and perhaps candidate for president in the not-too-distant future. There were almost limitless stories of entire families working and sacrificing to achieve.
However, if you followed their “American dream” stories into the message being put forth, in the final analysis, the essence of all the stories was, “While my family did it, your family cannot; you need help.” Blacks and Hispanics, and now many modern whites, are unable to achieve or duplicate successes. The storyline appears to read, “You are incapable, stupid and too lacking in intelligence and common sense to achieve without government assistance.” In other words, on your own you cannot duplicate their efforts or achieve their successes.
Back in slave days on the plantations there were “field” and “house” negroes. Field negroes were more independent, more likely to stray off the plantation and try to escape “up norf” and try it on their own. The “house” variety wondered, “Where we gonna find food, clothes, housing if we leave Massa?” Today’s whites, blacks and Hispanics are taught they must rush back to the plantation, back to “Massa’s big White House.”
According to those on stage, apparently you lack the will, dedication, commitment and intelligence to thrive on your own. Unless “the gov’ment” (formerly known as El Patron, Massa or Boss Charlie) makes a way for you, “… ain’t no hope for y’all. Where you gonna’ find …?”
The solution offered by the speakers? Elect folks who recognize your shortcomings, your lack of ability, and they will find ways to “compensate” for your weakness. They will take care of you, even if your children and “gran’chillin” are left with the bill. But hey, “No es mi problemo (ain’t my problem). Let them rich fat cats take some money out of those foreign banks and fork over some extra!”
Question: You know why they put their money in foreign banks? For the same reason working people cash their paychecks and put it in their pockets or bank accounts – they have this weird idea that it’s their money, that they earned it and are somehow entitled to it. But you know better ’cause that’s really your money, right? Isn’t that why government programs are called “entitlements”?
Observation: This one, though not coded racism, is addressed primarily to black people (demonstrably the most religious group in America: 87 percent claiming some religious affiliation). As I listened, I noticed some speakers trampled on several things you support, like school prayer and the right to choose a school (education vouchers). Almost every speaker came out squarely for at least one of the things that the God you say you serve (78 percent: “religion very important”) is very specifically against. Homosexual marriage. Hmmm, didn’t I read somewhere about how siding with certain positions is siding against God?
Oh, yeah, here it is, 2 John 1:11: “Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.” (NIV) “Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.“ (NLT) Doesn’t that mean you get to share in their reward? Oh, I guess that is only Sunday morning “Amen!” stuff. Real life is different.
Yeah, I guess real life is different. Unlike the rest of us, politicians don’t have to be held accountable for what they did (no matter what they said the first time); we are only supposed to pay attention to what they say they are going do this time!