What is Team-Think? I’ll Tell You

Like any sport fan I love when my team wins. Not only wins, but completely obliterates another team. I like to see the demoralization on the other players’ faces. I like the fact that my team (the team I root for) has showed that they are just THAT MUCH better. But that’s also because it’s a sport in which nothing really matters. It’s a game, entertainment, and the following week I can shrug off the win or loss and get all up set all over again if my team plays poorly. Such is the nature of sport fans.

A thought struck me–it’s been striking for a while–that many people identify with a sports team because of their region, which in many ways dictates culture, or at least a part of it. And with culture comes the belief in certain ideals. And so when your team wins, it makes you feel like your ideals and your culture is better than whomever’s your team was playing against.

This is politics.

And Hillary has won the democratic nomination. And you may not like this. You may feel, like many others, that the system was rigged. That the media portrayed Bernie unfairly–didn’t give him enough air time.

Sure, I’m from Seattle (a city that showed overwhelming support for Bernie) and when the Seahawks lose, I say things like, “if the ref hadn’t called XXX” maybe we would have won. Is the game rigged? Were the refs paid off? Probably not–but maybe.

Is the political system unfair? Yes. It certainly is. And the fact we don’t have state funded campaigns is a huge problem. But there’s another problem. It’s the team mentality. It’s the identification of ones self, it’s the understanding of WHO YOU ARE, you identity, with a certain team or candidate that may be the biggest problem of all. Hillary, despite what conservative voices will say, is a great candidate. Is she part of the political system–yes–but when did experience in the system become a con on your resume? If she had no experience, surely, that would be more worrisome? But maybe not. This is the danger of Team-Think. The danger of feeling as though whoever beats your team must be bad or wrong could very well see a racist, bigoted, self serving businessman with zero experience in politics become president.

Emotions and identity of self play a big part in politics, but don’t, please don’t let emotions and a false sense of tethered identity to a single candidate or team, get in the way of making the right decision. Because, unlike the Seahawks, these people aren’t playing football–which, by and large just doesn’t matter. These people can have a lasting impact on our way of life and the world. Don’t vote like a sports fan with emotion. Vote like a scholar with your brain.


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