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It seems positive that negative is the prevailing force - Odessa American: Ken Brodnax

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It seems positive that negative is the prevailing force

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Posted: Sunday, April 4, 2010 12:00 am

How did we come to this point in our society where we’re rooting more for failure than for success?

After all, that’s what is driving our national politics these days. Our two major parties are more concerned with playing the gotcha game than they are formulating ways to make our nation better. You know that it is getting to the point that both Republicans and Democrats are sort of half hoping that they’ll end up as the minority party in D.C. because that makes it so much easier to blame all the troubles on the party in charge.

Take for example, the ongoing debate about a national health care plan. All anybody wants to talk about are the drawbacks of the various options. One side wants to alarm the public about all the hypotheticals that might happen if national health insurance is not created. Meanwhile, the loyal opposition prefers to conjure up all the scary scenarios that could arise if the Democratic version is implemented.

Say, guys, could we spend some of that energy from both camps into coming up with positive and maybe even agreeable alternatives to health care reform we all could embrace?

But that’s really not the American way. Not any more.

Politicians would much rather find something negative about opponents than coming up with reasons why they offer voters the best choice.

Yep, today it’s a lot easier to appeal to the anger of the masses than to find ways to make potential voters embrace your ideas. Heck, it’s a lot simpler to point fingers at others than to compile accomplishments that would speak for themselves.

It’s the same way in the sports world. Winners tend to get all the acclaim and credit. At the same time, finishing second in anything just isn’t acknowledged as an achievement, even it you vanquished a lot of worthy foes along the way.

But even winners aren’t guaranteed unabashed admiration once the war is won. Sure, millions of New York Yankees fans loved it when their team won yet another World Series last fall. But a large part of the baseball world will never be happy to see the men in pinstripes succeed. They’d much rather hate the damned Yankees than use that energy to support a favorite team.

In fact, there are plenty of sports fans who would much rather see athletes fail than triumph. They didn’t want to see Jack Nicklaus come along and take the spotlight from Arnold Palmer. But then they got older and angrier and darn sure didn’t want to see Tiger Woods assault the records that Nicklaus posted. And wasn’t it especially sweet to see Tiger’s moral lapses become public because that makes it so much easier to root against the guy? Gotcha, Tiger. Gotcha.

For sure, negativism is where it’s at these days. Maybe it’s because the underachievers among us find it more satisfying to bad mouth the movers and shakers than to find a way to do some of their own moving and shaking.

The bottom line is obvious. The complainers would hate not to have reasons to do what they do best — hate.

Odessa, TX

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