A.J. DiCintio
An election is not a game
By A.J. DiCintio
January 29, 2012

"It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you place the blame". . . . Oscar Wilde

A friend once told me he couldn't watch a sporting event without being fervently for or against one of the teams, even if he had to attribute his fierce partisanship to having noticed a player "pick his nose" (his exact words) during the national anthem.

All in good fun, it's fine to seize upon that story to joke about how irrationally men often react to sports. But in all seriousness, it lies in harmony with Wilde's insightful observation in illustrating a universal truth about winning and losing.

The truth is, then, that regardless of sex, humans are not just disposed to take sides on issues, whether the leanings have to do with politics, sports, autos, soft drinks, cosmetics, or fashion, but to do so with powerful feelings, their fighting in "battle," rejoicing in "victory," sulking and blaming in "defeat" regularly exhibiting excesses that deserve to be described as extreme.

This reality about human nature comes to mind these days because the Republican Party is currently taking its turn to host a primary season whose fractiousness carries with it the potential to create deadly schisms, a possibility that raises this question:

While the primary battles will inevitably engender feelings of angry combativeness, even vindictiveness, among supporters of the four remaining Republican candidates, what can conservative voters do to avoid behavior that dooms the eventual nominee to defeat in November?

One answer to that question is this:

While acknowledging our emotions as a fundamental aspect of human nature, we must summon up the courage to keep in the forefront of our minds the notion that an election is not a game but rather an activity so crucially important it may properly be termed a sublimation of war, about which Douglas MacArthur said this:

"In war, you win or lose, live or die, and the difference is just an eyelash."

To grasp just how apt the comparison is, especially in this election, we begin by thinking about the profound importance of the major themes emphasized by the four remaining Republican candidates:

. . . The need for policies that put Americans back to work earning good wages in private sector jobs.

. . . For policies that begin a wise and steady reduction in the size and power of the federal government, a task that ignored, as it has been by the current president, inevitably leads to disaster by debt and all the excruciatingly ugly economic and social pain that comes with it.

. . . For policies that lead to the greater good for the Constitution's We the People, not the one-tenth of one percent of the people rich and powerful enough to by off Washington's politicians.

. . . For policies that recognize the need for a moral reawakening as the only real solution to many of the nation's serious problems.

. . . For policies in accord with the reality that the nation's survival depends upon maintaining a strong, effective military and instituting a foreign policy based upon hard realities, not the illusions of megalomaniacal Pollyannas.

. . . For policies that reject the belief the nation can have all the restrictions of personal liberty it wants, all the nanny state programs it wants, all the printed money it wants, all the Federal Reserve Bank secrecy it wants, all the military welfare to foreign nations it wants, and all the undeclared and therefore unconstitutional wars it wants without destroying the America the Founders breathed into life with the Spirit of '76.

. . . For policies that mark the beginning of the end for the de facto judicial oligarchy that liberal activist judges have created with the insidious, power sucking stealth Thomas Jefferson warned us about.

Having thought about those critically important issues, we can complete the task of grasping the appropriateness of the election/war metaphor by considering these facts about Barack Obama:

. . . He has never proposed real, substantive cuts to the federal government but has continuously used the language of class division to propose expanding it, for instance, by adding 15,000 IRS agents to enforce his healthcare plan.

. . . He appointed a bipartisan debt commission only to summarily dismiss proposals offered by its bravest members, who accepted the job despite the often vile, perfectly stupid criticism they would receive.

. . . His 2012 budget contained a ten year plan proposing trillions in new taxes and an increase in debt from $14 trillion to $23 trillion or 65%.

. . . He was honest during his campaign to say that as president he would meet with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without preconditions but not so honest to inform us he would insult Israel's prime minister by walking out on him in the White House.

. . . He has appointed two liberal activists to the Supreme Court, devotees to the kind of judicial "empathy" that now has the right guaranteed by the Second Amendment hanging by one vote.

For conservatives, those two sets of facts serve as the best medicine for keeping emotions from getting in the way of pursuing principles.

There is, however, one more reality regarding the crucial seriousness of the current primary that conservatives cannot forget:

The principles they believe in have virtually no chance of being implemented if they fail to choose a candidate capable of winning; for the loser in November proposes no economic policies; submits no budgets; makes no appointments; nominates no judges; establishes no foreign policy; signs or vetoes no bills; and, as the nation's most important elected official, utters no words to a nation desperately in need of brave, honest leadership.

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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