Send Politicians to Penalty Box

What does America's obsession with sports, Ross Perot's out-of-the-blue popularity to become a presidential candidate and Russia's domination of international chess all have in common with one another?

If you looked at the sports page "before" turning to this opinion page, then that is a perfectly natural sequence of actions in these times (explanation to follow). The question Mr. "Read My Lips" Bush, as well as Mr. And Mrs. Clinton, have to have on their minds right about now is how can such a sizable percent of the American electorate be excited about a man who has not yet clearly stated where he stands on the social, economic and foreign issues which are so hotly debated today in our country?

Let us first turn to the world of sports. In 1974, avowed atheist philosopher and author Ayn Rand (born a Russian) displayed a keen insight into the Russian's strong obsession with chess in "an open letter" to Boris Spassky, who was then the former Russian world chess champion.

In short, she pointed out why people living under political totalitarianism would be drawn to a game like chess where rules stayed the same for everybody, where individuals could freely act out their thoughts and be rewarded or punished based on objective laws that did not consider who was favored or not favored, rich or poor, etc. And, yes, chess is an escape from, or a substitute for, reality -- an antidote or a drug for the Russian people to get their minds off their corrupt political system.

But what is true about chess for the Russians is also true about sports for the Americans! Reread the above about Russian chess and "ditto" for American sports.

Before the chess nuts and the sports jocks jump me, let me say I love the game of chess and I find sports a refreshing antidote to the stuff the politicians have been spreading around recently.

More and more American people are looking for someone on the political playing court who is not just ideologically different form the Tweedledums and the Tweedledees. These Americans are looking for someone who is diametrically different. They see Mr. Perot talking about leadership and not about the issues. He is, in effect, saying there's plenty of time for him to listen to others on where he and the country should stand on the issues after he has been elected. Is H. Ross Perot the great leader America needs or an opportunistic demagogue -- or worse?

In November, we will decide what we think he is. That is, we the majority of the few remaining American voters who have not struck out from frustration or given up on the political process because the IRS has captured all our pieces and we are left feeling like pawns.

I conclude by warning you -- "the big politicians" of the two parties -- to wake up and smell the coffee before you are checkmated or slam-dunked by "we, the little voters." The people are saying they want the truth.

The politics-as-usual game is over, with no extra innings. Kick off with the facts and "play ball!" or we will be sending you all to the penalty box…which is out here in the real world with the rest of us. Out here, people will cheer for you every time you bounce checks like ping pong balls. Not!

---Kenneth J. Wolf #20 (06/13/92)

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