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Ted Lasso and Donald Trump

Reality need not be loved nor hated.

In a memorable scene from Ted Lasso, Dani Rojas, the team's positively happy newcomer, proclaims, "Football is life!" Earnest and committed, Dani's line becomes a rallying cry for an underdog club and its fans.

Politics is life

Very few statements disqualify someone from further participation in a good-spirited debate. "I don't care about politics" is one of them.[1] People need not "care" about politics to recognize how profoundly political forces shape the human experience.

But politics is ugly, and people avoid ugly. Most simply hope for more enlightened solutions to society's many public problems. Democrats are a case study. As Trump has run roughshod over the national psyche, Democrats have repeatedly sought non-political cures – in particular, the nation's legal system – to a deadly political virus. It has not and will not work.

The Economist describes the proper, not preferred, order of operations.

These Republicans are making the same mistake as many Democrats in hoping that the legal system will, in the end, stop Mr Trump. After the attack on the Capitol, Mitch McConnell, then as now the Senate Republican leader, held Mr Trump “practically and morally responsible”. But he voted to acquit Mr Trump on the impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection, saying the matter was better left to the justice system. That was a fateful choice. Outsourcing the problem of Donald Trump has simply exposed more American institutions to his corrosive power...

Mr Smith’s spare statement to the public on August 1st was a bracing reminder of all that was vulnerable on January 6th, and of the bravery of the law-enforcement officials who protected it. “They defended the very institutions and principles that define the United States,” he said. Now the rule of law is at stake, too, and it is up to politics to come to the rescue.

Love politics or hate it, just never ignore its central role in modern life.

  1. Statements dismissing or diminishing climate change are non-starters. ↩︎