Saturday, October 22, 2005

Politics and Sports - Keep The Goal In Mind

2005 2005 2005

With the Houston Astros in the World Series at last, I have been thinking about sports a bit, and so found my way to to catch the buzz from fans. To my surprise, while I expected a shift away from politics into sports, I discovered that a number of fans cheering against the Astros were not doing so because they were White Sox fans, or because they were disgruntled Cardinals or Braves fans, but because George W. Bush is from Texas. That, and because Enron was headquartered in Houston, and once paid for the naming rights to the new baseball park where the Astros play, now named Minutemaid, or the JuiceBox. And because Houston is known for oil and high-technology companies, which are regularly associated with capitalism and other hated forces. Strange. I tried to discuss batting and pitching statistics with a couple of these guys, but no joy. I brought up how so many of the Astros have played only for that one team their whole careers, a loyalty difficult to find in professional sports, but again they just fixated on the politics. Here we were, on a site devoted to baseball, and these guys were making a sports choice based solely on politics.

I bring that up here, because it reminded me about something we Conservatives are going to have to remember, now that we are growing into a majority. There’s different flavors of Conservative, and there are all kinds of reasons why one person will vote Conservative, and we can’t presume that one reason will be sufficient for everyone. In the 2004 election, National Security was the obvious first choice, but millions of voters made their choice because of the Economy, because of Taxes, because of Social Security reform, and other reasons important to that individual. There was no monolithic control or one-dimensional message, and we should remember that.

Republicans own the majority of Congress, hold the White House, and could move the Supreme Court back into the sanity of Judicial Restraint. To do that, however, the factionist infighting must be set aside, and priorities must be remembered. Once the Liberals began to lose influence and power, they held control by uniting on the most important issues, and so lasted as an effective political threat to the end of the 20th Century, even as the ideals they held proved largely false and illusory. Conservatives must mark which battles matter most, and whenever a smaller issue threatens to undo gains, or even where a major issue threatens to match a key issue with high cost to the movement, we should consider a better approach and resolution. That is, everything can be had with work and perseverence, but always at a cost, and we must be careful not to win battles which cost more than they gain. While it may appear that the support for Conservatism is permanent, in fact any momentum can be lost, and any gains forfeited, if we appear to be no better than the ideal we replace.

I still visit, of course. They have a great site with a lot of baseball information, and there are a lot of great fans who know their sports. I have learned to just ignore the ones who can’t figure out their priorities.

No comments: