Sports has always united Americans. Of course we all love our teams; you’ll never get a Georgia Bulldog fan to shout “Roll Tide” or root for the Gators. You won’t likely get Astros fans to love the Nationals, either. But Americans have been united that, in general, sports is sports, and politics is on hold for it.
But now everything is political and there’s no room for pure anything unsullied by the stain of the political. When Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki wore a MAGA hat during a championship victory ceremony at the White House, we can see the division. Even Nationals fans in Washington now seethe with hatred for him.
This is not the only instance of the political smearing the pure lately. An entire sports media site, Deadspin, is fighting death, after its staff walked out because they were told not to write about politics. Every sports team in America that wins a championship now must face the gauntlet of whether to go to the White House and meet with the President–or not.
To say that’s not how it’s supposed to be is to make an enormous understatement. Sports is supposed to, if not rise above, at least push aside such banalities as politics. It’s the “hold my beer” moment in American life where two people of opposite political weave can agree on a great play, a great player, or a great team.
It would be easy to cast blame on liberals for this. After all, there are so many examples of how they’ve polluted corporate and fast-food realms, the whole NFL kneeling idiocy, and myriad other moments of shame (too many to list: go google them yourself).
But it’s not totally liberals’ fault. Do not forget that Trump’s Twitter mobs have threatened, berated, doxxed, and mocked good and decent people who criticized their idol even before he was POTUS. Don’t forget that folks like Erick Erickson had to hire private security after MAGA people started showing up at their homes. David French and Ben Shapiro coped with credible death threats. These did not (generally) come from the left; they were incited by Trump’s mobs.
Maybe you are one of the people who says “good!” Maybe you think it’s okay to fight fire with fire, since the left has never been fearful to go into mob mode. But look at things today–are things more or less divisive? Are there any areas of American life, even your neighbors and coworkers, that are totally immune from the political fires?
Look at all the ruined Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas mornings, Super Bowl parties, Fourth of July parades, concerts, movies, dinner dates and even marriages* that have nothing but politics to blame for their ruination.
(*Google “marriage ruined over trump.”)
Politics has inflated itself into every crevice of American life, and it’s not healthy. However, with the current political climate, and the adoption of religious significance of political causes (like climate change) by liberals, this is not going to get better. It’s probably going to get worse.
The best we can do is try to ignore the political and focus on what unites us. Remember, baseball is a wonderful sport, a game by and for Americans. Enjoying football (American-style) is more important than who that quarterback supports for president. Reading, writing, watching, and commenting on sports is not a political matter, and it shouldn’t be. Going to a movie or not should not depend on the actor’s politics.
If you find yourself making these kinds of entertainment, food, and product decisions based mostly on politics, I have some advice for you: Stop it. You’re contributing to the problem.
What unites us should unite us, not divide us. You’ll find your life is a lot happier if you let yourself forget about politics for a while. I guarantee it.