Ya, ya, I know it is called soccer here. For the life of me, I do not know why. A game where the ball meets the foot just for a brief moment and stays ninety nine percent of the time in the hands of players, is called football? Then why the game where the ball is kicked around all the time by feet is not called handball? I am digressing. Not here to discuss about the origins of football, soccer or handball.
This is the season of the mecca of American football, the Super Bowl 50. I am not going to talk about it. There is enough going around on all types of media about Super Bowl 50. What I want to talk about is the quadrennial US political game of presidential election and its corresponding nomination process. America is in a constant political rally mode, a never ending cycle of some or other elections going on at all times. Crown jewel of these political games is the presidential election. Like all games, this election game also needs some issues to be kicked around. and that leads to the analogy to football. Sorry US soccer or football fans, I am referring to the internationally recognized game of football here.
Every election, specially the presidential election, must have at least one, if not more, issue to be kicked around like the football. Majority of the time the football just gets kicked around everywhere on the playing field, except a few times when a goal is scored. My experience has shown that in the American political football game, the football only gets kicked around and never a goal is scored. It does not matter what party the candidate is from. If the candidates are challengers, kicking is more forceful. If the candidate is an incumbent, it’s more of a defensive mode of play. Incumbency has its privileges. If you can defend sufficiently well, you are home free, set for life. No need to worry about anything anymore. As a corollary, if an incumbent gets elected then every eight years the game becomes more entertaining as challengers from each party tries to kick the ball as hard as possible to try to show their supporters that they are serious about scoring a goal.
Let’s look at the ball. As in actual football games, every election is played with different balls. Unlike real football games, the shape and size do not stay same. Shape and size in political football games varies with the season. They also come in different hues. From the “trickle down economics” to lift everybody to the top that resulted in the top one percent controlling ninety percent plus of the finances and near obliteration of the middle class and poor becoming poorer, to “read my lips, no new taxes” or “it is the economy, stupid” to “Monicagate”, to “strategory / lock boxes” to “WMD” to “Obamacare”, there have never been a dearth of issues or balls in American political football game. Never mind the none of the issues have ever been resolved to everybody’s satisfaction. No one has scored a decisive goal yet, though everyone had claimed partial victories.
So which ball will be played in this year’s game of American political football between the donkeys and the elephants? Does it really matter based on the results of all the previous games? I have a theory that I will present shortly in another post today in the form of a poem titled “Of Donkeys and Elephants”. I wrote that poem about two years back just before another election cycle to humor my son who thought my earlier poems were too dark. That poem is one of the few poems I wrote that had seen the light of the printed words. Let me know what you think the ball in this cycle of the game will be or if you agree with what I say in the poem.