The unmitigated disaster which was Monday Night’s NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks is a metaphor of where we are and where we are potentially heading in the current political environment. The problem is not merely that the outcome of the game was decided by an absurdly incorrect call by the replacement referees, but that what should be decided by universally accepted rules of engagement is now being determined by the personal opinion of the judge who decides what the rules should be.
When you review the video of the game-winning play, you can see that the Seattle quarterback threw a Hail Mary pass into a crowd–which included his intended receiver Golden Tate and Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings as well as at least 5 other players from both sides. When they all came to earth, Jennings had the ball, Tate had Jennings, and the refs didn’t have a clue. The refs decided, that since Tate could actually touch the ball, this was a “simultaneous catch” and ruled in Seattle’s favor. No one who saw the play, other than the refs and die hard Seahawk fans, bought it. The NFL leadership, rather than deal with the embarrassment of having incompetent referees, doubled down on this ridiculous call.
This is a perfect metaphor for what is going on in our election cycle. There are rabid fans for both teams. Both candidates are doing all they can to bring home a victory. But at the same time, you have a press corps which should be objective about what they see and report, who clearly pulling for the incumbent. It would be bad enough if they were merely wearing a cheerleader’s outfit and shaking their pompoms for Obama. But it becomes a fixed game when they are wearing stripes and holding the whistle. When the press decides what is a gaffe and who is having a good or a bad week, that is precisely what is going on. They are working as hard as they can to make the voters believe that Romney is failing and that Obama is still the Messiah. As Dan Jenkins wrote in Semi-Tough (and I paraphrase), “it doesn’t matter who has the best team; it’s who owns the zebras.”
We are at risk of having the game stolen because the press is not interested in calling what actually happens on the field. They know how they want this to turn out and do not appear to be restricted by any type of journalistic ethics to call a “fair and balanced” game. But there is an even greater threat to our Republic than the outcome of a single election: if we allow the legacy media to determine the winners and losers, we could lose our entire country. If the voters on both sides cannot rely on fair and honest elections, then they will use whatever tools they can to push their agenda. The reason why we have been the last, best hope for humanity is that we have been able to maintain the peaceful, dependable, predictable transition of power from one administration to another based on free and honest elections. If we lose that, we lose everything. Game over.