The most popular spectator sport in this country is not the NFL. It is not the NBA. It is not college football or even major league baseball. It is hatred.
It has more fans than any other sport. It is on t.v. more often. Everyone seems to have a team. There are no shortage of Michael Jordan’s. It’s season never ends and unlike so many sports who wins actually matters….rather we want it to our not.
I listened to the Republican debate last night but I listened for something I knew would probably not ever be talked about.
I listened to see how people I knew were likely to be treated.
What was going to happen to poor people?
What was going to happen to people who in some way did not fit in?
In a national debate was I going to hear something about mental health other than that the “mentally ill” were making it harder for ordinary people to pursue their constitutional right to own guns?
Was I going to hear about justice?
Was I going to hear about neighbors and caring and “unto the least of these….”
I heard we were going to get rid of the Hispanics. A wall all agreed was a national necessity. One million people will lose their food stamps in January because a Republican congress thinks it is wasteful to allow poor people to eat (hunger is another word I never heard) but a wall is a national necessity. We were assured the “good ones” would be allowed to come back in. (Have you ever realized how many times bigots justify their bigotry by assuring us they know “there are good ones?”)
I heard the Asians make too many babies they want us to care for until they are 75 or 80 or 85 years old.
I heard the war on drugs was good. Nobody seemed to really talk about how it destroyed black communities or generations lost to prison. I wonder if the people in Colorado are terrified this morning that Chris Christie will really be our next president.
I heard the people who had started 2 wars tell us they had made things safer for all of us and they were ready to start another war to make us safer yet.
I heard them talk about how their America can do anything it decides to do and thought about the guy I saw begging on a street corner today who said he was a vet and he was hungry and wondered when they were going to decide.
Perhaps I walked out of the room but I didn’t hear anything about the millions of people in this country without insurance. No one said in the greatest country in the world people die from lack of care in the midst of oceans of care available to others. No one really tried to explain in a way I could understand how keeping people from insurance was a civic virtue and a defense of freedom.
I heard that a county clerk in Kentucky was a victim of people expecting her to do the job she was elected to and that for some people there that her office was the shortest road to the White House.
I heard a party who says that personal accountability is the key to a great America and wondered why they took no accountability for anything going on in a country they legislatively control.
I heard governors whose had destroyed their own states and whose people hated them say we should trust them now with this country.
I heard Senators from a Congress that most Americans see as the biggest problem in this country tout their leadership.
I heard people say the Supreme Court was nothing to listen to when they said things they disagreed with. I heard no one mention a problem with Citizens United and the fact that it was now legal for billionaires to buy the country. And I heard people those billionaires had bought assure us no one owned them.
I heard people in a sadly divided country argue the answer was in greater division.
I heard people argue about the way others on stage looked and who was the most stupid. I heard people gushing about everything they had accomplished. And I heard someone say this was the A team and I thought God save us from the B team.
I wondered why so many people who no one wanted to be president talked like they knew they would be or why they even thought they should be. And I wondered why people who weren’t honest with themselves should ever expect me to believe they would be honest with me.
The government will shut down in two weeks. The people who can least afford it will be the ones affected and I wondered why the presidential candidates of the party doing it had nothing to say to those people.
I listened to people who said they would do more on their first day in office than Barack Obama did in 8 years and I wondered if we would survive to the second day.
Hate won the game again.
Wonder when the next game is.