ATTENTION DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: THIS IS NOT YOUR NORMAL BASKETBALL GAME.
By Jay Arrington February 18, 2019
If there is one take away from the 2016 republican presidential primary for the current field of democratic presidential candidates, it’s this; you will not put forward the best candidate to beat Trump by fielding a normal basketball team. Especially if all the players have the same game, end goal notwithstanding. It’s not enough to want to win. At least one of the players must be willing to play dirty, against their opponents and their own teammates.
Think about the field of 2016 republican candidates. All sixteen (16) of them from Jeb Bush to Scott Walker. As expected, each candidate echoed the typical right-wing republican conservative talking points, 1) pro-lifer, 2) anti-big government, specifically, regulation, 3) pro-Israel, 4) religious freedoms (Christianity), 5) the flag/military and for at least fifth-teen of them 6) anti-Russia.
All but one republican presidential candidate was anti-Russia. And that man of course was Donald J. Trump. Trump’s position on Russia not only sanctified him (Trump) but it also signaled Trump’s affinity for not giving a damn about what his teammates thought of him. That along with his “they’re not sending us their best people” speech, signaled that Trump was willing to play dirty. What followed was a presidential campaign unlike any of us had ever witnessed in our lifetime. At least mine anyway.
You might remember, “Little Marco,” “Low Energy Jeb,” “Lying Ted,” and so on. Trump even went so far as to intimate that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the JFK assassination. Trump also disparaged the looks of Cruz’s wife. Trump committed enough flagrant fouls to disqualify him for life from any normal game. But that’s just it. Trump’s announcement speech, his weird endorsement of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his penchant for name calling signaled the end of normalcy.
Trump made abnormal the new norm by playing dirty. Political campaigns are expected to have a certain level of dirt, a normal amount if you will. But Trump’s dirty was an abnormal dirty. The kind of dirty that one would think would give his teammates pause about ever playing with him again much less allowing him to coach them. Yet, that is what has happened. Trump won and now he’s coaching the very teammates he tripped up, elbowed, and lied about on his way to the basket.
That’s not normal. And now Trump’s even got his former teammates playing dirty. Can you say Lindsey Graham? Last election Trump played dirty. His teammates played nice. Trump played dirty. Hillary played nice. Comey played dirty. Obama played nice. Trump won and the country lost. That’s not normal.
I look at the democrats who have announced their candidacy for president thus far and aside from their looks I don’t see much difference in their games. They all echo the typical progressive talking points. If there’s one take away from Trump’s election for the current field of democratic presidential candidates, it’s this; talk is cheap. Learn how to play dirty.