Let me start this with full disclosure. My deadline for this weekly yarn is midday Thursday. So, there’s an excellent likelihood that by the point you end your morning bagel on Sunday we could very properly have had full affirmation of a brand new president. For that matter, we would have been invaded by squadrons of little inexperienced folks from the planet Yetz, or sucked right into a sinkhole the dimensions of Brazil. One factor I really feel fairly sure about is that we’ll nonetheless be mired in consternation of some kind.
I bear in mind when elections have been comparatively uneventful issues. You merely chiseled the title of your required candidate right into a slate pill, signed it with a easy “X” and dropped it (rigorously) on the doorstep of your polling place, which, paradoxically, was an actual pole.
OK, I’m probably not that previous, however I do bear in mind exhibiting up at my polling place, often the native grammar college fitness center, which at all times smelled like a mixture of grandma’s attic and discarded sweat socks, and being confronted with a curtained voting sales space that was as welcoming as a gasoline chamber.
As soon as inside you have been confronted with roughly a 100,000 little levers, which corresponded with each title and proposition on the poll. I used to be by no means positive if I’d simply voted for my alternative as president or for Sister Growth Growth for supervisor (sure, there actually was a Sister Growth Growth). The propositions have been as persistently worded then as they’re now — whereby you had no concept if “sure” meant you have been in opposition to it and “no” meant perhaps.
But, ultimately, these large intimidating contraptions one way or the other managed to transmit their non-public info to a secret room someplace in America the place they have been tallied and authenticated (I imagine by a platoon of out-of-work bean counters, one of the best of which went on to hold the briefcase containing the Academy Award winners for that yr).
The knowledge was then magically transmitted to the three tv networks, the place Walter Cronkite and his friends would inform America who the following president was by the use of one thing as subtle as chalk and a blackboard.
Then, there can be the magnanimous acceptance speech of the winner who would thank each child he kissed on the marketing campaign path whereas his soon-to-be first girl stood beside him smiling and pondering, “A lot for bowling and margarita nights with the women.”
After which there’s the concession speech from the vanquished. Usually, this entails the smiling loser thanking his minions and congratulating the winner whereas inwardly gnashing their tonsils. It ends, inevitably, with a political Kumbaya.
Politics, just like the sports activities world I occur to dwell in, consists solely of successful and dropping. And ultimately, there is just one of every. I name a variety of boxing matches nowadays and I’ve seen fingers raised in victory that had no proper winding up that method, however did. And when that call is reached there’s an inevitable conclusion. The 2 combatants embrace. It occurs in each battle whatever the final result. The reason is that these two fighters know that no mere mortal of their proper thoughts would ever have interaction in that sort of mano-a-mano warfare. There’s a frequent respect, win, lose or draw.
I’ve seen fighters complain they have been robbed. I’ve seen them cry for a rematch. However I’ve but to witness a boxer say earlier than the battle, “If I lose, it’s mounted.” I’ve by no means seen a fighter demand the judges cease scoring within the tenth spherical. I’ve by no means seen litigation in opposition to a call. In a enterprise stuffed with thieves, there does appear to be some honor.
In contrast to politics.
Barry Tompkins is a longtime sports activities broadcaster who lives in Marin. Contact him at email@example.com