The Constitution for Sports Fans, written on Superbowl Sunday 2017
I coach basketball for some junior high kids.
Basketball is a simple game, it’s fun to play, and has relatively few rules. The refs often explain to me that they’re going to cut the younger kids a little slack – not much, but a little since they are still learning quite a bit and they will be blowing the whistle the entire game otherwise.
They adjust to the capabilities of the teams that are playing – to try to keep it a fair competition, but also fun.
You see — we all are also involved in a game of sorts. The purpose of the rulebook in our ‘game’ is simple – our individual: “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, where it says that these rights belong to all mankind. With these inalienable rights secured, we can each strive to become better ‘players’ in this ‘game’ we all find ourselves immersed in.
Our government started with two principle crowds or philosophies – that belonging to a guy named Alexander Hamilton, who at the time may have been trying to mitigate the very real threat of English armies, and thus favored centralization. In contradistinction, there was Madison and Jefferson, who favored decentralized control. It has become a fight over centralization vs. decentralization, which has turned into a fight over collectivism vs. individualism and pits the people against one another.
This is the basic fight we have had ever since, in our politics. Lately each side just does the same thing the other side did in the previous administration, but under a different label. Many are now aghast about a pause in refugee movements, but were silent over children being bombed. Each side has their justifications — but Obama, but Trump.
Armchair quarterbacking, I know, but–
Neither side seems to notice that the guys who were supposed to be the refs are now playing in the game.
Many of you have been confronted with the administrative nightmares that beset us in business, schools, and elsewhere. Most of us have gotten used to having almost a third of a check taken away each month, and given to a Congress that has no ability to limit its spending and regulatory bodies that have as much constitutional basis as a basketball ref calling a foul for not shooting the ball while standing on one leg. Why should they limit themselves when they can just print or borrow more and we are not aligned on reeling them in?
If this were basketball, it would be the equivalent of a ref following everyone around making them sign forms before they shoot a basket, throwing them out of the game if they don’t sign the correct forms, and pushing the better players when they try to make a basket.
Excluding steroids and paid off refs, sports is one of the last places in this country, where people can say what they think. As a coach, I have become aware of the reality that each player has a range of attributes including raw talent, attitude, and willingness to play with the team.
My goal is to provide each player with an opportunity to develop. This does not mean each player must score the same amount of points – each one is unique and has a special niche on the team. One of my favorite things to watch is when we’re up by a few, and I will put in one or two of the weaker players. The better players will then try with their might to give the weaker players an opportunity to score. This only works out when they play as a team -when there is a level of balance in the team itself as well as the refereeing.
All we want is a friendly and fun competition so that every player can get better.
Back to our game —
The new judicial candidate says there are too many laws and over criminalization at the federal level. What he is saying is that the game has become unbalanced. Our whole government was designed with a careful balance and it is currently lopsided.
The progressives, to their credit, have done their job and have given an opportunity to play to those who were on the bench and in many cases stuck there by silly and arcane rules.
Removing restrictions is one thing, however, weighing down the better players on the team, with constant whistleblowing, in order to give the weaker players a shot, is guaranteeing that we will lose the game, and more importantly, that the weaker players will never develop. There has to be a balance.
If we want the feds to make a law about alcohol, drugs, undeclared wars abroad, immigration, entitlements, education, or other topics not spelled out, then there needs to be an amendment to the constitution, as we have done in the past. That is how the balance is maintained, otherwise the principles of limited government, on which our Constitution was designed, to mean that there will be a form to sign for virtually everything we do in our lives.
Does anyone honestly think we need even more laws, besides the corporations that can afford them or perhaps other folks who make money from the admin costs or crooked types that manipulate the legal system to get an advantage? Just remember that for every rule that gets passed, it could result in someone losing their life, liberty or their pursuit of happiness.
I hope everyone enjoys the game today, that the refereeing is fair and balanced, and that the refs don’t put weights on the quarterbacks legs.
Thanks for reading,
Falcons fan for today