Just Shut Up and Play the Game

Learning to CompeteI remember as a kid we were constantly outside playing.  Sometimes we dressed up in our Dad’s old army fatigues and played war.  Sometimes it was kickball in the cal-du-sac.  We even made up games, “Scorpian Circle,” a game where the participants try to knock each other off their BMX bikes, with no helmets, I might add.

The point is that we were always playing something.

And there was always one kid who messed it all up.

You know the kid I’m talking about.  The one who argued about every tag-out at first base; argued relentlessly about the “rules” surrounding Ghost in the Graveyard; the one who always chimed in about rules, but never seemed to follow them himself.

The government is filled with these little punks.

This is the problem with the state of national politics.  (Local too, but that’s another post.)  Our federal government is filled with little jack-ass punks, who do nothing but try to make rules, argue about which ones everybody should follow and who never, under any circumstance, follow them personally.

I wish they would just shut the hell up and play the game.

The game is life in the USA, our beloved constitutional republic.

When you play the game, sometimes you win.  Sometimes you lose.  Sometimes you set new records.  Sometimes you self-impose the “slaughter rule,” where your team is getting hammered so bad, you throw in the proverbial white towel and walk away.

The game is always changing and it’s always a challenge.

But it is the fact that we have a game to play at all, that makes the United States exceptional.

I recently watched a preschool class have their Spring Program, where the little kids get up and perform finger plays and sing songs for the adoring parents.  Part of the Program was a play-acted game show, where the 4-5 year olds were split up into teams.  Each team had to collectively answer science questions to get points.

At the end the score was tied, by design.

Every kid got a medal.

These kids are already learning how to rig the game, or at least to expect someone else to rig it for them.

I remember my Mom taking me aside at a swim meet when I was about 8 years old.  She told me, “…always win with grace, and also lose with grace.”

I’ll never forget it.

The lesson was not that I should like losing, but that losing was inevitably going to happen.  And when it does, you should handle it.

Learn from it.

Move on.

Next time, swim faster.  Play better.  Next time, win with grace.

When we have the punks in government constantly making rules to govern our every move, they are conditioning us to never lose.  The thinking, I suppose, is that if the rules make it hard to lose we can never get hurt.  At least not badly.

We’re being conditioned for a life of mediocrity.

Our kids never learn how to lose with grace.

The glory of a win is nothing special, because it is just a construct of the rules.  Winning has become a foregone conclusion.

Except what we’ve been conditioned to view as a “win” is no such thing at all.

Collecting unemployment for 150 weeks is not winning the game.  There was a time in this country when if you were on the dole for 3 years, you weren’t unemployed; you were a bum.

You’re not capable of feeding your child properly, so a bureaucrat has to force private restaurants to offer carrots on the kids menu.

You can’t cut down a tree on your own property because a plant trumps private property rights.  And a bureaucrat makes the rules.

We’ve forfeited the game in the first inning.  We don’t stand a chance.

If the bureaucrats were perfect, or even better than average, we might have a shot at the title.  But they’re not, and we don’t.

We have scumbags like Anthony Weiner creating the rules of the game.  This guy sends obscene pictures of himself across the Internet, lies about it, and then asserts that he’ll not resign.  After all, he’s done nothing to warrant a resignation.

I wonder…just what would warrant a resignation in Weiner’s mind?

Conservatives just want to play the game.  We know we might lose.  But we also know we might hit one out of the park.

This is a chance we’re willing to take.

I wish our elected representatives would just shut up and let us play the game.

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