In pro sports, as in politics, our perceptions of how the game is being played usually reflect the sideline from which we are watching. Unlike sports, however, politics sometimes offers us the …
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In pro sports, as in politics, our perceptions of how the game is being played usually reflect the sideline from which we are watching. Unlike sports, however, politics sometimes offers us the occasion to participate. Nov. 6 just such an opportunity.
Chances are you’ve been following the Denver Broncos … as well as the gubernatorial debates. Maybe you’re enjoying the Nuggets or the Avalanche, but not so much the back and forth of negative political attack ads. Perhaps you took in the (unfortunately Rockies-less) World Series, along with the daily barrage of news.
In doing so, like me, you’ve probably been celebrating or lamenting the fortunes of whichever side you’ve chosen.
For instance, I know a lot about football. I mean, a lot. From the virtual sideline of my living room, I see the fouls on the field before the refs even throw their flags. So when a penalty is missed by a referee, or the spot of the ball is off by inches that cost us the first down, I am incensed. And when a replay provides inconclusive evidence about whether a receiver had control of the ball and made a football move, I usually continue to see what I want to see – because of the sideline from which I watch.
Similarly, most of us observe politics from viewpoints we want to believe are correct. As an example, although some of you wrote to me in support of my stance on freedom of the press, I was also called disingenuous and reprehensible … clearly, two different sidelines.
From what sideline do you watch as live bombs are sent to Democratic politicians, activists, and supporters? How about when a gunman targets Republican congressman at softball practice?
Where do you stand on racism and extremism when a self-proclaimed anti-Semitic gunman commits mass murder at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh? Or when two black people are gunned down in Kentucky after the shooter could not break into a black church, as self-admitted white supremacist Dylann Roof did when he murdered killed nine African-American worshippers in Charleston?
I could go on … and on and on with examples of hate-filled vitriolic threats, violence and murder, but it’s important to note that the bombs, the massacre in Pittsburgh and the murders in Kentucky all took place last week, heightening tensions around the upcoming midterm elections.
It’s worse than I have ever seen it (and I am not alone in this sentiment), and I have voted in a lot of elections.
In politics, as in pro sports, there are winners and losers, while supporters cheer in jubilation or jeer in frustration. Sometimes, we even turn against our own, but most often we are aggrieved by the actions of the other side.
As much as I would like to, I can’t change the outcome of a Bronco game. But I do have a chance to affect political outcomes on November 6.
So do you.
This is our opportunity to get off the sidelines of indifference, fear, complacency or rage. No matter which team you espouse, I urge you to vote on November 6. History has shown that just one vote can decide an election.
Will it be yours?
Andrea Doray is a writer who has participated in more than 30 years of elections, and proudly wears her “I Voted” sticker. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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