Super Bowl Politics : Hyperpartisanism
In today's political outrage, one of the things I hear more and more each day is the comment "HOW can you STILL support Trump?!" Well, I think I get it... Imagine. It's super bowl Sunday. Youve been following your team all season. You've seen them come back from a losing streak. The referee just made a call for your team. You cheer, wildly. WHAT A GOOD REFEREE! But ... the call was wrong. You know it was. But you don't care, as long as it benefits your team. Sound familiar? Have you ever been to a really heated football game? Basketball? Soccer? Most of us have. When it's the end game of the season the emotions run really high. People come out in droves. They wear their team's colors, they read up on stats and watch news on it. It's all some people can talk about. During the game, esepcially the Super Bowl, each side roots for their own team with fervor. Even when it comes to calls made by the referee, we side with our team no matter what. If the ref called it for our team, it was a good call. If the ref called it for the other team, it was a bad call. It's that simple. It doesn't matter if the call made was in fact right or wrong, we stand behind the call that will benefit the team we want. People get in to fist fights over it, friendships are formed and broken. These are unique behaviors that I've never seen in any other modern cultural phenomenon other than competitive sports .... until now. Until the advent of hyperpartisanism in government. I can't count how many times I've seen people yelling in frustration to the opponents of their political camp "You can't honestly support THIS can you?!" Particularly in the case of Trump, his erratic and unreliable promises and his blatant lies would give anyone pause, and say "hey that's not a part of the deal". Yet many refuse to have a conversation of facts. Instead they staunchly support their home team, berrating their opponent with chants and jeers, all whilst wearing regalia to prove their loyalty. What I see is the same clan mentality as exhibited within competitive sports. It's US VS THEM. Right now Trump is throwing Hail Marys and the people in his camp are watching with baited breath in anticipation of their team "winning". In Trump's own words they want to "win so much they are going to get tired of winning". The question is, what does that actually mean? And at what cost? I've found myself in a few debates now, where facts are on my side. I use them and they are thrown off to the side (out of bounds to follow the analogy, cuz why not) by my counterpart because they are inconvenient. Much like a good call is booed because it benefits the other side, my fact based opinions have been met with disdain and contempt. US Census information? No! Wrong! YOUTUBE instead. Scientific studies? Biased! Wrong! Sad! Listen to Trump. He's got all the good words. Believe me. And I find myself staunchly backing myself in to a hyperpartisan corner also. It's become almost impossible to have a conversation of ideas and ideals among those with whom I disagree. My comments above are indicative of that fact. We are driving a spear deeper in to the divide of our vastly diverse country. Both sides. Both teams. I'm not sure there is a way to resolve it. I hope there is. I just know the next time I see a bad call, no matter the "team", I'll call a foul and root for what is right.