Dick Baynton: And The Winner Is . . .

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Dick Baynton

The University of Virginia!!!

Around midnight on Monday, April 15th following the many NCAA games in March Madness, the University of Virginia was acclaimed winner of the NCAA basketball champions of the nation. Did you notice the opposing players acknowledging each other at the end of the game gloating and calling each other ugly names? You didn’t notice this; well neither or anyone else because of course it didn’t happen. The players shook hands, touched each other, smiled and parted company. Team members of the Texas Tech team that lost were disappointed and the Cavaliers of University of Virginia were jubilant. This was the first time that UVA had won the NCAA national championship in basketball.  These opponents, after winning every game in the tournament until Monday night both struggled to win the championship but as in most campaigns and tournaments, there is one winner.

Take note that the universities are located in the United States and the players on all teams enjoyed the liberty and freedom this country offers whether or not any team member was or was not a U.S. citizen. The teams were all opponents; but not enemies. Each individual team member, regardless of race, height, weight or any other characteristic played hard to make points and secure victory in every game.  But as in all pursuits in life, there is usually one winner but others did not lose their dignity by coming in second or third or fourth. The teams that did not win the championship went home to their campuses and coaches will talk with the players about plans to win future games.

There has been nothing in any sports pages in any newspaper or on any TV or radio program about a losing coach or player saying or writing anything negative about winner UVA.  The reason is simple; one team won over the other 63 teams by not losing a single game during the tournament.  There is a reasonable probability that coaches of the 63 teams that did not win the tournament didn’t rebuke team members for losing but rather complimenting them for their efforts.

Now, let’s substitute the name player for politician and the name coach for ‘campaign manager.’ Both politicians and sports participants (players) have similar goals; win the game or the office being sought.  The office might be city council, governor or president while the players want to win to gain recognition by professional scouts; the politicians want to win office to serve constituents… And here is where the competition or opposition changes. The basketball or football player is constantly trying to improve him/herself while the politician often demeans the opposition. Politicians spend part of their time making promises and another portion of their time ridiculing their opponents. Frequently winning politicians turn their efforts into sophistry (subterfuge).

In their efforts to fend off their political opponents they launch insults, prevarication and deception. In some cases voters hear and read and interpret their false premises as truth. It is important to remember that athletes are not playing against enemies; they are playing against other athletes who have duplicate goals; winning. However, in today’s political contests, there has been a turn from opposition to hatred. At this time, Democrats and Republicans don’t agree on abortion, the ‘Green New Deal’, immigration, more government rules and regulations, voter ID, discarding the Electoral College, free college, add justices to the Supreme Court, minimum wages, socialism and other critical issues and policies. Carl Taylor, a professor of Sociology at Michigan State University has said this, “We don’t have to hate each other because we don’t agree on something.”

Right now in 2019, there are over 169 million U.S. citizens receiving government benefits; our total population currently stands at about 329 million. This means that more than 51% of our citizens are on the ‘government payroll.’ It is clear that people who vote for a living (169+ million) outnumber our national workforce of about 157 million who work for a living. Democratic candidates want more ‘free stuff’ but our military cemeteries throughout the world are mute testimony that ‘freedom is not free.’

Dick Baynton