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  • Do I need a twirly mustache?

       December 04, 2008

    I had lunch with a gallery owner from my neighborhood the other week. She was an interesting woman, but she said some things that really kind of ticked me off. The first was a remark that she had been hearing from friends around the world about how happy the rest of the world was with the election of Barack Obama.

    Here's the thing. To the rest of the world, America is the New York Yankees. Unless you're actively a fan of the Yankees, you don't like them. Why? Because they win. Even if the Yankees are "nice" (and really, Derek Jeter has always seemed like a good guy), people still hate them. There are two, and only two, ways for the Yankees to be liked by the rest of baseball. First, they can start to lose. People rarely hate someone that they beat. Second, someone worse can come along. Fewer people hate the Yankees now that the Red Sox have started winning. Is this really the scenario we want for America?

    We should be concerned, not pleased, when the rest of the world applauds our choice of leader. To go further with the sports analogies, how would I feel if the Chicago Cubs hired Ned Yost or if the Minnesota Vikings gave Matt Millen a job? I'd be thrilled. Would these moves be disasters for those franchises? Of course they would.

    Going back to my conversation with the gallery owner, the second thing that bothered me was that she made the comments in the first place. When did we stop following the rule about not discussing politics and religion in public? I know that she brought it up because she felt "safe" with me. She assumed I agreed with her. Of course, given that almost half of the country didn't vote for Obama, that's quite an assumption, so why did she make it? I think it all goes back to the fact that conservatives think liberals are stupid, while liberals think conservatives are evil. As evil people, one should be able to easily recognize conservatives by their twirly mustaches or the "666" carved in their foreheads. The fact that I have neither and that I look just like them means I must think like them, right? It's like it's unthinkable that reasonable, normal people can disagree with you. I think it's this idea that fuels so much of the anger and hysteria around politics these days - and it's why I hate politics. It's not a discussion anymore - it's just a screaming match.

    Posted by at December 4, 2008 12:47 PM

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    #  December 4th, 2008 7:14 PM      kris
    Wow, the parallels between America and Notre Dame could be scary.  
    #  December 10th, 2008 9:49 AM      JA
    Thatís certainly one way to look at it. Or maybe The Rest of The World knows how much influence we have, and how much what we do influences their lives. So maybe after the rotting dumpster fire of the past eight years, they think, ďHuh, itís possible, just possible this could be better,Ē and they actually feel happy. That may not mean they fundamentally like us any more than they did before, or that that will actually turn out to be the case, but itís again possible they might actually feel a sense of, gasp, hopefulness that whatís next could be better than what preceded it. [Spoken in a calm, even-handed tone. No yelling.]



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