Hateful Team Rivalries

OK, huddle up, and take a knee.

I want to talk about team rivalries, and brace yourselves, team:  This will not be pretty.

Many people have been taught to hate the Other Team at all costs.  They’ve been shown – wrongly – that making excuses for themselves, and denying the good plays made by the opposite team, that this is a good thing.  I’m here to tell you, it is not; it is divisive and self-destructive, and it harms our people more than any really bad call ever could.

I stay on top of current events as much as possible.  It’s just what I do.  Recently, I’ve watched so very much hate flow from people that, if they cared for their own good, ought to be happy that the opposition is doing things right.

A little while ago, our president gave one of his best speeches ever, right in front of congress.  It was so good it surprised a lot of people on every side.  This would normally be applauded by both Republicans and Democrats — normally.  It did get good marks from pundits and journalists.  Many have pointed to the best parts, all the way from the mild tone to the mostly positive outlook as a whole — a much different type of speech than in the past.

But what was the reception from the public?  What did they think?  Well, if they supported Trump, it’s a given they really loved it.  If they didn’t?  Well, some liked it, but most derided it and found all new reasons to continue to hate.

This hate has been steadily encouraged by the mainstream media, and frankly, they deserve the fallout they’re receiving now.  Take for instance CNN’s Van Jones, who stated that at the point Trump honored the Navy Seal killed in Yemen, “He became President of the United States in that moment. Period.”.  But what do you think his fans said?  “Trump used Ms. Owens as a prop.”  (One former Clinton staffer was fired over just such a remark.)  Another said, “Token honors for someone’s death he was responsible for do not make a president”.  Vile comments and full of hate and hypocrisy (even if true!), and not even the worst of what was said.

The thing is though, the media caused this, and they are just now feeling the downside.  They have been so negative, so doom and gloom, and so hateful themselves, they created a cult of mindless followers for the cause of hate.  Everyone has a right to their opinion — I get that, I really do — but opinions when they have no facts to back them up are just silly.

Trump just signed into law two solid bills for women’s rights, encouraging women in STEM jobs and industry.  Much needed bills in the grand scheme of things, but they were met with hate from his opposition as well.  I’ve said many times that Trump could legitimize all illegal immigrants, pay off the national debt, bring lasting peace to the world, and there will be some who still hate him.  This kind of hate thinking was taught by the media, reinforced by his opposition, and is now being seen in SuperBowl proportions.

I see you over there on the right snickering.  Don’t.  You aren’t getting away with a free pass here. You’ve been caught up in the hate dialogue as well.  Yours isn’t so prominent now, not quite so obvious, because your team is scoring the touchdowns.  Your hate for your rivals is more about hate for their ideas or policy proposals, no matter if they’re good or not.  “If it’s left, it must be bad” — you know where I’m going with this: “Socialist”, “Communist”, “Snowflake”, and many other derogatory terms.  Why?  The media taught you, just like they did the other side; its not hard to see that you’ve been caught up within the hate filled dialogue as well.  A ton of new headlines read “Snowflakes will freak out over this new executive order,” “Senator Socialist just launched his new attack on democracy.”  These things are constantly bombarding you, and you just eat it up. You justify it with But it’s our turn now!  That may be true, but you still look silly taking the low road.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  These words were uttered 249 years ago by Abraham Lincoln, and they are still true to this day.  Why should we allow this division to continue; why should we allow ourselves to be manipulated into hate and contempt?  We are better than this!  There is no shame in healthy competition, but when we cross the line to sore losers (or sore winners) we’ve fallen into the trap of hate.  We as a nation cannot continue to thrive if we remain as divided as this.  This is not the path we want, nor is it the path we should take.  It was handed to us, but we can reject it; we can ignore the hate, and if enough of us do eventually it will fail.

Now all of this huggy stuff usually just makes me sick, but in this one case I can actually see the benefit.  So go out there and EDUCATE others to your chosen views — be polite, and keep an open mind.  Even those you disagree strongly with may actually surprise you and do something great.  There is no shame in admitting that, none at all.

When I was a child, we played football against our rivals, the Bedrock Stone Cutters.  We lost; it’s not easy playing with a football made from rock.  The point is, though, even though we lost, they made some great plays, and we congratulated them for those plays.

So I say this:  If this salty old commentator can look for the good in things, maybe we all can.  Go out and challenge yourself to see the good, and if you find bad, speak up — but refuse to hate.

Before “Duke” Milhaus of the Sports Desk began writing columns for us, we had no clue about sportsball, neither its rules nor its use as a handy metaphor for politics.  Today, we still don’t understand sportsball, but now we can be ignorant in style. -Ed.

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