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Political ping-pong anyone?

August 31, 2015

Or maybe it’s tennis.  Whatever you call it, the grandest U.S. spectator sport is starting to behave in predictable fashion.

It’s at this point that political spectators settle in to watch  the preliminary rounds. From now until the early caucuses or primaries, pollsters will poll, opinion journalists will pontificate, and candidates will rise and fall like the tides.

The news that Dr. Ben Carson is now tied with, or barely trailing Donald Trump in Iowa at least provides a distraction, in spite of the fact that the earliest contests don’t even begin until mid to late January, and some states haven’t even set specific dates yet.

The people (other than the candidates) who are paying the most attention are the PACs and the major uncommitted donors. Like professional roulette players, they are trying to see whether the wheel is weighted, just worn, or still spinning freely.

Of course, this isn’t a sport.  Oh, it shares some similarities; overpaid players behaving badly, over-the-hill players that didn’t know enough to quit at the top of their game, scandals aplenty, and enough mud-slinging to make even diehard mud boggers ecstatic. There’s even the element of the walk-on sensation.

Beyond that though, the trophy at the end of this series is the continuing survival of the United States.

Somehow, and certainly not without a lot of fits and starts, the world’s most successful surviving democracy to date always seems to stumble across the finish line.

Maybe that’s plain old dumb luck. Perhaps the country just hasn’t had to face a real threat to its existence since the 1800’s.

That’s probably not the case today.

After four decades or so, the people who want to establish another sort of political model are extremely competitive this time around.

True, they didn’t quite get it done over the past two major campaign seasons, but they have been building what they believe is a credible fan base.

The trouble with fans is that they are fickle, and at some point, the cheesy promotions to boost ticket sales stop working.  Real fans start to look for real talent.

People are starting to notice that the so-called “war-on-women” rhetoric doesn’t apply to including one of the faster rising stars in this contest, Carly Fiorina, in the next debate.

The so-called “terrorist”  and “racist” GOP is seriously considering another black candidate, not based on the color of his skin, but on the strength of his convictions and his ability to bring them to fruition. And worst of all, the “likely voters” seem to be thinking this time around. Yikes!

This could be one hell of a real-world playoff series. It might be worth your while to get a program and follow the stats.

From → op-ed

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