The Houston Texans lost to the Indianapolis Colts Sunday afternoon. Of itself, that is hardly shocking; the Texans are still a young team, and even there they are rebuilding from the previous coach’s bad decisions, while the Colts are one the NFL’s strongest franchises, powerful every year. What disappointed me, however, was the way in which self-proclaimed fans in Houston immediately went on a temper tantrum after the game, demanding coaches be fired and players traded, out of some vague notion that these professionals were less competent to make the Texans a successful club than the emotionally unstable mob of malcontents who contend that rash and chaotic upheavels are the best way to reach the promised land of winning games, divisions, and eventually Super Bowls. Those who have actually studied those teams which reach and win the NFL’s title game, note that the actual path to greatness is something a bit more rational and far less profanity-laced. Yet the screaming weenies persist, and their numbers are never small when their chosen team is anything less than perfect in results. Small spirits always harass the greater ones, it seems.
The same thing happens in Politics as in Sports. We see the candidates starting in on one another in a fairly juvenile manner of debate, but even more we see foul behavior and bitterness in the ranks of partisan snipers. I thought about posting some of the comments made on websites like Daily Kos and Polipundit, just to name two of the most rancid antagonists on each side. Now granted, from my conservative point-of-view it sure looks like the Left is far worse about this than the Right is, but every so often Ann Coulter writes something utterly cruel and heartless and she gets applause for it, or Michael Savage makes a baseless disparagement of a class of people and his callers call him brilliant for it. As for the Left, just look at Al Gore, Michael Moore, or Harry Reid. They are not only evil in their intent and thoroughly dishonest in their arguments, but also have propogated a cadre of like-minded minions who shout down all reasonable debate and discourse in the belief that only their side has the right to speak.
That’s the thing, really. I have tried to have discussions on the most sensitive issues with people who disagree with me, both Conservatives and Liberals. More and more often, it is impossible to touch certain topics, even to find out the reasoning and evidence for why someone holds a certain position. Ask most Liberals what they would do about Al Qaeda, and you will get a sermon on the evils of President Bush, but never a serious, considered alternative to the War on Terror. When I tried to discuss the obstacles to resolving the Illegal Immigration crisis on the Polipundit site in 2006, the site owner began a series of tirades that led to him kicking off the other four writers, not for disagreeing with him but for not instantly agreeing to write only in support of his position and opinion. More and more, I realize that these are not outliers, but actually represent the present tone and mietre of the campaign. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are not allowed by their ‘base’ to promise military support for America’s allies, even where we have treaty obligations in place. Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani are not allowed by their ‘base’ to say that Roe v. Wade is not likely to ever directly be challenged in front of the U.S. Supreme Court during their lifetime, and so even if elected President they would never be in a position to “overturn Roe v. Wade”. The issues which matter most are swallowed into the gaping maws of popular expectancy. I would even dare to say that this, more than anything else, is what is killing excitement for the 2008 election. I said before that the GOP would miss Dubya, and the fact is that none of the present crowd of candidates rises to his level. Given that fact, if any of the present Republicans were to try to compare themselves to Reagan, the resulting laughter from the absurd attempt would drive them from the field. As for the Democrats, we are bereft of a substantive explanation of their planned policies from any of them – the Bush-hate demands that all speeches focus, indeed obsess, with the current President, even though he will be a private citizen after this next election.
The Blogosphere carries its share of the blame for this corrosive atmosphere, though most of it still rests with old-guard mandarins in the MSM who bitterly resent the fall of Soviet-style socialism and the Fairness Doctrine. But unlike the NYT, LAT, and their devolutionary progeny, the Blogosphere can also be a source of solutions for this problem. It’s a bit early for New Year’s Resolutions, maybe, but even so one cannot help but wonder what it would be like if the Blogosphere worked to calm tensions, not play on them, to suggest specific solutions and debate the pros and cons openly and honestly, rather than simply trashing the other side. What if Democrats could accept that George W. Bush did a pretty good job? What if Republicans could accept that the public saw something they liked in the Democrats in 2006? What if we argued the issues and the proposals to solve crisis, rather than created lists of remembered slights and offenses? What if we were less like The Sopranos, and more like real adults?
Hey, it’s Christmas Eve, and just maybe now is a good time for a spirit of renewed hope and optimism. What do you think?