A game of politics

Alright, Obama won, let’s get him the trophy! Wait, what’s that you say? No trophy? But – oh yeah, that’s right, he won the presidency, not the Super Bowl.I guess it’s not surprising that parades – starting on Athletic Campus and flowing all the way downtown – were the first reaction to Obama’s historic win when you consider election night held pretty much all of the same characteristics of an NCAA Championship.There were chips and beer. People with “Obama” written on their chests. Crowds of supporters chanting and cheering every time CNN came out with the next electoral vote projection.We watched on the edge of our seats as Wolf Blitzer broke down the demographics of each state the same way ESPN’s Hank Williams breaks down pass completions and yardage.But it wasn’t just on Election Day. In the last few months leading up to Election Day, we impatiently pushed boring old policy and current events aside and shifted our focus to the exciting world of polls and demographics.Our perception of the election has changed. We have witnessed a dramatic decrease in meticulous analysis of the candidate and policies in lieu of obsessively checking polling Web sites and spitting statistics. We are more like crazed sports fans than informed voters.What’s next – senate trading cards? Fantasy campaigning?The media makes it worse. CNN is even more obsessed with their red state / blue state map than John Madden is with that on-screen pen. Aren’t they supposed to be asking the “tough questions?” They talk about endorsements as if they were points on a scoreboard, or a coveted draft pick. The political jargon in the media can no longer even be distinguished from sports lingo.According to news anchors, Obama has a “game plan” and some Senators are real “heavyweights.” One CNN report said, “Obama moved ahead and never trailed after that” – but he is a candidate with support for his policies, not a dog chasing a rabbit around a track.I think that these terms and sayings like “win a race” undermine the importance and reality of what is really happening. Politics is not sports; who wins and loses is bigger than the five-dollar bet you made on the Pats game. We should be wary of the growing similarities between sports and politics. The media is becoming more and more of a source of entertainment than a source of information, and presenting politics as though they were an athletic competition is only feeding that trend.