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Blind Loyalty is for Children and Fools


 I like to go on about the silliness of party politics, where people vote for the flag or the jersey without ever examining the particular issues in paticular context. It’s pleasant to have such tribalism in sports. But government is real violence on a societal scale, not just stylized violence limited to the voluntary participant-athletes.

John Pepple at I Want a New Left shares my view:

The second piece of advice is to be consistent and fair. As many on the right have noted, to blame the shooting on inflammatory rhetoric from the right would mean that the left, together with their allies (reactionary Muslims), should be blamed for the Fort Hood shooter because of their constant, vitriolic, anti-American rhetoric. (In fact, they should be blamed for 9/11 also, by this sort of reasoning.) The left, of course, refuses to accept any blame for anything, but this is not exactly to their credit. No one on the left (or the right) is perfect, and it is hardly likely that they are free from all blame. If harsh political rhetoric from the right is supposed to be the cause of this sort of incident, then it stands to reason that the left’s own harsh political rhetoric is the cause of similar incidents. To pretend that one’s own side is always free from blame is childish. It’s like a sports fan who can never acknowledge that the referee has made a good call against their team.

Not just good calls, but good plays go unappreciated. Partisanship and rabid fandom trade the appreciation of excellence for the simple comfort of loyalty.

But the clarity and perspective necessary to appreciate excellence implies acknowledgment of mistakes, flaws and failings. The more we see, the richer our experience. And the better our choices.