Monday, October 08, 2007

Take Me Out To The Polling Place

If Only Elections Had Rally Caps

There is no crying in baseball, and, apparently, there are no terrible towels or human waves on the road to Election Day.

On any given Sunday -- or Saturday, for that matter -- you can tune in to your favorite sporting event to find the stadium brimming with entusiastic fans; cheering and up for the game when the team is out front; down in the dumps when the home team is behind.

The cheers, the boos, the inside-out caps, the $20 hot dogs. Wow. The way Americans -- and New Yorkers, in particular -- are into their sports teams, you would think that their entire future was riding on the game.

No one seems to be singing "...sign me some petitions and vote for Jack, I don't care if Kate never comes back."

We don't see all that much rooting for the home team on that real field of dreams -- the one that actually does matter -- our own communities. Few are flocking to the polls, wearing the jerseys of their favorite legislators. Not much call for scalping of voter registration cards.

We're packing them in at the ballparks, arenas (well, maybe not the Nassau Coliseum), and football stadiums (how about those Giants?), but at the places where we, not as mere spectators, but as actual players, have everything at stake? Community forums. Candidate nights. Town Board meetings. The voting booth. Not so much.

For "the big game," we don our team colors, pull down the tailgate, stock up on eats, lose our voices, and give our all in the name of that winning spirit.

In the end, its only a game. Win or lose, playoffs, World Series, or wait 'till next year, its only a game. Your bottom line, save that stupid bet you made with Tony, no better, no worse.

And the game of community, where just "showing up" seems to take too much effort for most, generating little enthusiasm, and neary a ripple, let alone a wave?

Well, believe it or not, this is one that does actually matter; a game to be won -- or lost -- for the taxpayer, the homeowner, the citizen on that home team we call, America.

Shame that, all too often, with so much on the line, we let the other team win by default!
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