When the World Series came about, my colleague Dan Barton said he was rooting against the Chicago Cubs because if they could, implausibly, win after 108 futile years, so could Donald Trump. So I joined him in rooting for Cleveland, even though their nickname is the same as the dreaded one that Onteora High School just left back. Damned either way…
Then, in his on field interview right after getting a crucial hit in the amazing seventh game as the Cubbies snatched their historic victory, Ben Zobrist was asked by an incisive interviewer how it felt. The ebullient outfielder burbled, “this Trumps everything…”
OK, so I’m not bitter, even after all my endorsements — even the Family Court move we railed against — went awry, save for evergreen Kevin Cahill, who wasn’t in much of a fight.
But it’s not a game for keeping score. If it was about just picking winners, our drought might last longer than the Cubs’. It’s about what you believe, and how, win or lose, that doesn’t change.
It’s about taking stock of what’s been lost — and that could be a long litany, including Supreme Court seats that are likely to keep us on the short end of attempts to overturn Citizens United (the fruits of which seriously disrupted many elections, especially on the local and congressional levels) and could threaten Roe v. Wade; lost is an opportunity to smash the glass gender ceiling on the land’s highest office; we face the repeal of Obamacare, possibly jeopardizing those with pre-existing conditions, or throwing kids off parents’ insurance before they reach the age of 26; seriously degraded among our new leaders will be a passion for action to combat climate change, to push for renewable energy … and on and on.
But it’s also about seeing what’s to be gained — an awareness of who’s been ignored and what their viewpoints might be; an idea of how to campaign, how to reach people with truth and teach them to reject the easy insult; the notion to look down ballot at state legislatures, where congressional districts are drawn every decade; the knowledge that some uphill climbs require more fortitude than imaginable; that battles won put you only at the beginning, and battles lost can put you at that same place; and that hard-earned values come by honestly remain true regardless of the margin of the win or loss. Oh, yeah…and be careful what you write in emails.
So bring it on, Cubs, or Trump, or Breitbart, or whoever. You may not want to hear it at this moment, but there’s always another election.