This coming Sunday, televisions across America will be tuned in to the Super Bowl — the ultimate showdown of American sports. Two teams, the best of the best, will square off — and in a curious twist of fate, the coaches of the respective teams are brothers, not just in love of the sport … but in blood. But I digress.
A couple Saturdays ago, on my talk show at USF, I brought up the analogy of football to analyze a most amusing-if-it-weren’t-so-tragic tendency in American politics. The Godfather, Rush Limbaugh, has done so many times before, so I thought it’d be appropriate. Consider:
It’s halftime. Neither team is giving much ground. This is proving to be one of the most brutal games in the history of the NFL. Both teams have their fair share of injuries — there’ve been the occasional fumbles, even an interception or two.
Now, consider this: halftime — the teams are recovering from a brutal first half … and are preparing to go all out, for the second.
Now, suppose — just suppose — the coach for one of those teams … were to walk over to the other team, and start to give them advice on “how to win”.
Would the team on the receiving end — or their coach, for that matter — buy that for a minute? Would they take the advice of said opposing coach to heart — and even put it into practice?
Are you kidding me? Of course not! No self-respecting team (or coach) would in their right minds take advice from the other side — certainly not when both teams are trying to beat each other! Any advice given by an opposing coach, or team member, or whoever — would probably be given with the agenda of hurting the team on the receiving end. Indeed, it would be absurd for a coach to go over and do that in the first place — it’s a surefire way of saying, “I don’t respect you people at all — I think you’re so stupid, you’ll take my advice even though I’m obviously working to beat you!”
Now — if the scenario sounds absurd to you (and I sincerely hope it does) … well, then, ask yourself why on earth the idea should be valid in the field of politics?
Let’s be honest: how many times have we seen — on cable news, on the Internet, or wherever — a Leftist presuming to give Conservatives “advice” on how to “gain support among minorities/Independents/what-have-you”? Or if you like —Democrats giving such advice to Republicans?
We see it all the time — and yet, the press (even, bless their hearts, many of the hosts on Fox News) seemingly accepts it as a valid point of view, asking Democrat advisers/strategists “What do you think the Republicans should do to get more traction among such-and-such a constituency?” (Note: Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell don’t really count — they’re old time Clintonian Democrats who are increasingly disgusted with the Left-turn their party’s long since taken— and therefore, seem to be giving very serious thought to switching their letters, should the trend continue….)
Okay… now, we’ve fully established how ridiculous it is. Never — and I mean never — take advice from the other side with anything other than a lot of salt. Now, folks … what advice comes from the advice of these confidence men/women? (That’s “con men/women” in “formal speak”, by the way.)
It’s invariably something to the effect of “You gotta be more like us.” That is: “You gotta turn your back on Social Conservatives.” “You gotta work for amnesty for illegal immigrants.” “You gotta ease up on Tax Cuts For The Evil Rich.” “You gotta get rid of any Cruel And Heartless Cuts To Entitlements.” You get the idea.
Now, some reading this might say, “Um, I don’t get it — what’s wrong with that advice?”
Well… aside from the “other side” thing (and, as the great Marco Rubio has pointed out, maybe easing up on immigration — albeit in the right way — would be best) — let me ask you this: what is one of the greatest complaints among ordinary, often non-ideological voters, today— aside from the corruption issue? Something like “All those politicians are the same! Both parties stink — they’re not really that different!”
We’d do well not to prove them right. Give them an alternative — a choice … or we might as well not exist at all.