American politics: mindless bodies smashing mindless bodies, while mindless masses cheer

Kathlene M. writes:

The fact that professional sports, meaning teams of battling thugs, have taken over the American mind (“How professional sports help turn the American people into a mindless, easily manipulated mass”) explains a lot about the current state of our political dysfunction. Politics has become a nihilistic competition between two teams in which ultimate goal is to crush the other side and do a touchdown dance over the vanquished foe.

Consider the “fiscal cliff” negotiations: it’s so obvious that the Democrats don’t want to negotiate at all with the Republicans. They simply want to dominate and discredit the opposition, then thump their chests in their pyrrhic victory while the nation falls apart. It’s all about victory now, not governing or solving problems. They just want to win and retain power.

Politics today is about scoring points, winning, and mercilessly crushing the other team while dumbed-down Uh-muhr-icans cheer or wail for their respective team. This same mentality existed during the Bush years when Republicans thumped their chests over every Bush decision, however awful those decisions were. I cringe whenever I see Sean Hannity throwing his football in Fox television show—it exemplifies this whole “politics equals sports” mentality.

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December 6

Paul Henri writes:

Professional athletes are not mindless battling thugs. A thug engages in lawless behavior. Professional athletics is not lawless. We are talking about American football here. The rule book is 112 pages, and roughly forty pages concern penalties for conduct.

Mindless denotes unthinking, but professional football players are thinking intensely. It is a complex game requiring years of study. Stupid players are weeded out long before.

It is violence directed at others, but we are all violent by nature. Broadly, violence is intense physical activity with or directed at another person. We express violence in various ways such as in sports, in dancing, in capitalism, and in chess. To win at chess, one must be intensely aggressive; one must want to crush one’s opponent albeit metaphorically. The so-called mindless instinct is embedded even though the chess player is a poor athlete.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 05, 2012 12:54 PM | Send

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