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Two things happened yesterday that allow me to merge two of my greatest loves, Ron Paul and the San Antonio Spurs. The first was the Texas Primary, where Doctor Paul was trounced by Mitt Romney by a margin not even worth mentioning. The second was the NBA playoffs where the Spurs trounced the Oklahoma City Thunder by a margin of nine points in the Western Conference Finals (the series that determines who plays for the championship). The political outcast has more in common with the elite club in San Antonio than the state of Texas itself.
"Crooked as a politician" is an unfortunate idiom, isn't it? In an ideal world wouldn't the people who set the laws, policies and oversaw our finances have a reputation for honesty and forthrightness? Isn't that what we want, someone we can trust to do the right thing with the power we give them? I'm not saying Mitt Romney is evil, but based on the way he thinks we should treat other countries and people he's far from a good guy.
I can understand someone not necessarily agreeing with Ron Paul's policies -- even if I think they're the most sane and evenkeel'd approach to just about everything -- because at the end of the day we all can't agree on exactly the same thing. What kills me is character and competence generally seem to be the utmost important qualities to have in a leader of the free world. Yet, the gentleman who seemingly possesses the most of these two traits with a high degree of character and perhaps the most studious politician we will ever come across (who actually made this whole "obey the constitution" idea popular again) is not only ignored, but mocked.
The Spurs can relate. In an age of prima donas, where pundits moan over the uncoachable athletes who do inexcusable things in their personal lives or on the field of play, they yearn for athletes to "do things the right way", but prove that good behavior is not rewarded. Bad news sells, and apparently that extends to the sports arena. The Spurs are the winningest franchise in not just the NBA but in all of sports over the Tim Duncan era, yet they're mocked as "boring" and "unwatchable" by the lay fan. Not that any of them actually watch them play, but resorting to those pesky labels are far easier when others have agreed to the terms.
The Spurs win "the right way", they play together, unselfishly, with precision, intelligence, and physicality. They're gritty and excel in crunch time.
Ron Paul predicts market crashes, wars and abuses of power. He runs a tight congressional office, takes nothing from lobbyists -- not even a meeting, and has experience as a doctor & military veteran.
Where's the rub?
It's difficult to boil it down to just one thing, but outside of the bulk of the excuses of marketability, age and style, I think the reality comes down to something far simpler. People are liars. They lie to their friends and to themselves. Changing their stance requires not only taking the time to learn/watch/listen, but to accept the possibility of being mistaken. It requires humility. You know, that thing we want everyone else to possess.
The thing we want is right in front of us all too often. The good guys doing it the right way, but like abused housewives we're addicted to the drama. Hopefully, the good guys will be there when we're finished being battered.
You can have your corrupt politicians who win, and your spoiled superstar jerks who lose. I'll sleep just fine tonight. The Spurs' fight is almost over, the other fight has only begun.