Another [bleep] Baseball Analogy, or, We are the Yankees
While most of us breath a sigh of relief at the defeat of the Major Leagues Hegemonic Power (I have family reasons to favor the Cardinals in the World Series; a Red Sox win, would however, end four score and six years of Bostonian groaning over structural deficits compounded by a statistical aberration, and that would be a great boon to all of us), let me offer a sobering thought: We are the Yankees. Americans, I mean. Still not getting it? Our pleasure at seeing the consistently dominant and very annoying Yankees defeated is a near-perfect parallel to the satisfaction so many in the world get when the United States is set back, hurt, humiliated.
We live in the biggest economy in the world, we suck talent and resources away from the rest of the world, and in head-to-head competition we beat everyone the vast majority of the time; worse, we do so with great pride, mocking their fallen and faulting our own only when we lose. We win, which makes us interesting, noteworthy, but not terribly attractive except as a teaching tool and testing bench. Our leaders strut and tinker, with great power but little moral authority, block reforms that would make the game more interesting because that would mean a dilution of our power.
Now, we've come on strong, delivered a series of devastating defeats to our enemies.... but the series isn't over yet and our power may not be a match for their endurance, their will, the accumulated humiliation and rage. This isn't a game; this isn't a fantastic analogy, either; but if we think the world loves us because they pay attention when we're on the field, then we are not paying attention to whom they are actually rooting for.
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