What Happened?: A Sports Analogy
by Vincent Truman
Since we in Chicago are still basking in the afterglow of the Cubs nailing the World Series in the tenth inning of the seventh game, it might be fortuitous and timely to correlate sports to what happened in the 2016 presidential election.
Picture this, if you will: two established football teams; let's call them the Reds and the Blues for ease, and to give you a hint where this is going. The Blue team... well, my goodness, the Blue team has been an absolute shit show for eighteen months; they've even made someone their quarterback that nobody seems to or wants to get behind. So they disagreed with the quarterback's methods and ideologies but, and this is absolutely key, they never really withdrew support. What losers, you may say! And you'd be right.
But we must look at the Red team with a similar, critical eye. On the Red team, there were two potential quarterbacks, each with their own strengths and abilities. However, when it came time to choose only one quarterback, the second-most-popular quarterback did not officially ever cede the point or withdraw from the running. His advocates clung onto the idea that the second quarterback might just be able to be “written in” as the favored quarterback. It hung over the months-long training and workouts like an burning yet unanswered question. Still, some members of the team even suggested a third or fourth quarterback, and that remained on the table until game time.
When the Red faced off against the Blue for the big title, we had a Blue team with one solid, yet volatile and undisciplined, quarterback. He hated the brown players and wanted them booted. He hated the female players and wanted them booted. And we had the Red team, which still hadn't fully decided who would be their quarterback. Would it be the one with the pantsuit who kept being accused and acquitted of roiding up? The one with the unruly hair? The one with the pot affiliation? The one with the anti-vaccination yolk around her neck?
Then news came along that 53% of the white female supporters for the game would unilaterally support the Blue team. Some cheerleaded, some simply wore the jerseys in the stands.
And now perhaps you see how a team with one quarterback could easily maneuver around a team with four.
The Red team, always known for its internal squabbling but never its unification (some players would even prefer to ostracize their fellow players instead of attack the Blue team), could not connect with a receiver to save its red little soul. All the Blue team had to do was not fully oppose their quarterback. Two hundred and seventy odd touchdowns later, the Blue team coasted into the new title. And the Red team stood, mystified over what had just happened. Some even protest. But those protests will die away.
And the Blue team holds the title for the next four years. Perhaps in 2020, when the contest comes around yet again, the Red team will learn the mistakes it made in 1980 and 2000, and even learn from the solidarity the Blue team puts out every single time.
But I wouldn't be too optimistic.