Even though Joe Biden is not from the Empire State, I bet he was rooting for the New York Yankees this week as they played the Boston Red Sox to see which team would make it into the Major League Baseball playoffs as a Wild Card this year. It’s not so much that the President bleeds Bronx Blue or anything, it’s more the idea of what the Yankees could have done to help unite the country.
If you’re a baseball fan, you probably already know where I’m headed with this. If you’re not, well, suffice it to say that while the Yankees are beloved by a whole lot of fans (and not just in New York), many, many fans of the national pastime frankly cannot stand them. As a matter of fact, that would probably be most fans of the sport.
Now, granted, some of that loathing is due to the fact that the Yanks have won way more World Series than any other team. They’ve taken home the trophy 27 times. (The St. Louis Cardinals are a distant second with a mere 11. Five teams have never won.) So, there is quite a jealousy factor involved (that is seldom mentioned by non-New York fans).
With that in mind, if the Yanks had won this week (Boston beat them 6-1 Tuesday night), their presence in the post-season would have probably done more to bring at least the baseball world together than virtually anything going on in Washington at present. Joining forces in opposition, fans of basically every other team in the country would have had a common enemy. Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and even Green Party members may well have put aside their plethora of differences just to root, root, root AGAINST the Yankees. And, at this point in time, I’m pretty sure Mr. Biden would have welcomed the accord. Because there’s precious little else bringing We the People together.
Some of that deep division, of course, is par for the course. Unanimous consent might as well be struck from the lexicon. Even a simple majority of support for anything is difficult enough to achieve. For a guy who sells himself as Mr. Unity, that has to be particularly troubling.
You have to wonder, if he could start from scratch again, how President Biden might have done things a little differently. You know, when you’re trying to sell something, it’s always best to get the audience on your side quickly. So, perhaps instead of starting off his presidency by saying something such as, oh, I don’t know, “Stop building the border wall,” he might have asked for a show of hands in answer to the question, “Who wants this Covid pandemic to go away?” I’m pretty sure he would have gotten a resounding and collective “Me, me me!” response to the latter instead of angering right around half the country with the former.
Things on the united front really haven’t gotten any better after the wall stoppage. Whether in agreement with the President or not, labeling new voter laws in some states as a return to “Jim Crow” might have needlessly ruffled more than a few feathers. Endorsing Critical Race Theory? Again, a more moderate response on the matter might have kept the Boo Birds at bay a bit. And I don’t think he did himself any favors by recently calling Republicans “hypocritical, dangerous, and disgraceful” out loud when talking about the debt limit battle. That’s probably not going to make them eager to jump on the bandwagon.
Perhaps the biggest anti-unity issue at present is the usual culprit: Money. As in, $5.5 trillion (give or take a few hundred billion). That seems to be the Administration’s current asking price for infrastructure and social programs. That’s a chunk of change. And if the hue and cry in opposition to spending that much money from not just fiscal conservatives but members of the President’s own band of believers is gaining momentum, that’s hardly an issue designed to deliver a Kumbaya moment for anyone, let alone everyone.
I’m telling you, short of a national catastrophe (heaven forfend), abject loathing of the Yankees would have been the perfect way to unify at least a good cross-section of the American public. Alas, the Bronx Bombers will be watching from home just as the rest of us. It’s possible a new foil will emerge. The store-bought Dodgers? The cheating Astros? Who knows? Oh, and while on the subject of baseball, here’s something else to think about. Remember how the MLB Commissioner yanked the All-Star game from Atlanta this year? If the Braves make it to the World Series, will the Fall Classic be played in Colorado too?
©MMXXI. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer