Politics is not a team sport.
We all have teams we root for. These are real, uniform wearing, game playing, roster filled, teams. There is one keyword in the previous sentence. I’ll let you try to guess it.
It is a game. There is a winner. A loser. A result. The game ends. The fans go home. The team goes home. You get the point.
Politics is not a game. It is not a team sport.
We, as Americans create fictional teams that we root for. These are our communities, States, religious affiliations, and political parties. These fictional teams can result in good.
Let me elaborate. Members of a community collectively love where they live. They root for their community. They keep it clean and safe. They come together to expand the economic success and sustainability of their community. This is good. This is a group of people, working together, attempting to make a higher standard or at least keep up the one set by earlier generations or residents.
The same thing can happen in larger examples. Residents of a State can carry out the same on a larger scale. Religious groups do this. Political party’s are even innocent of advancing the lives of others!
… I know that sounds hard to believe in this era of consistent negative news coverage.
Now, let’s discuss the bad.
A group of people in their community may resist change. They don’t want new residents that have different standards or values. The new residents may not want to adopt their customs and beliefs. They reject them. The existing residents develop animosity towards the new ones. The team fragments. Old and new. Discussions are held. Fights ensue. The fictional team falls into an unfriendly competition.
I will say, this isn’t always bad. The old community may have had bad ideas. They may have been lazy. They may have been reluctant to evolve. The new team, while appearing hostile to the old team, may actually be nothing more than a team that wants to help and make things better. A dilemma occurs when someone tries to advance the common good, but members of the team do not see it as such.
What’s this all have to do with politics? Politics is not a team sport. We do not need to pledge allegiance to a political ideology. This restricts our thoughts. It naturally boxes us in. Our thoughts have now become constricted. We will feel like we are breaking from the cult if we see it differently. We will become enslaved to group think. We need to not make politics a team sport.
We shouldn’t make anything a team sport. Keep your allegiances to all teams at a safe distance. Take part in the ideas that you truly believe will help you, and others. Question the parts that you believe could hurt others. Always remember to look at the parts you originally believed in at first. Examine them regularly. Is the team still advancing those causes? Are they still helping what you originally signed up for? Are you still passionate for the things the things that caused you to sign up for in the first place?
Teams can advance great things. Collectively coming together can advance great causes. Collectively coming together can also cause great harm and alienation. Many moments in history document this claim. Don’t sit back and blindly allow yourself to pledge an allegiance to a group that isn’t representing who you are or what you want. Have the courage to speak out. Have the strength to break free. Have the ability to voice why you are leaving the group for a temporary period of time. This helps further evolve ideas and keep leaders of organizations on their toes.
We need to always keep these people on their toes. We can’t let them become reckless in their power. They become reckless when we lessen our vigilance and allow it. We created their power. We can take it from them. Always be monitoring. Always be questioning. Always be evolving. Always make sure you are representing what you want and never make it about a team. A team requires loyalty and allegiance. Do not be bound to that.