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Monday, May 27th, 2019Last Update: Tuesday, May 7th, 2019 11:03:32 AM

Bedlam: How a Classic Rivalry Explains Never-Trump,and Never-Hillary.

By: Andrew K. Boyle

When one is both color blind and a foreign transplant, it is easy to fall backwards into the politics of bedlam. A simple orange golf shirt, void of any logos, once broadcast a message that I had taken the negative position in a golfing foursome in which the other three members donned, head to toe, crimson and cream coordinating items. Being both colorblind and alien to the street gorilla war that is the OU-OSU rivalry, I was not prepared for what was to come.

After moving to the state, the war, the participants and tactics quickly became clear. In this war everyone had chosen a side. Much like our politics today, each side supported their team no matter what. And, just like our politics today, a disagreement with your own side will always give way to the "never" feelings you have for the other.

The "Never Trump" movement, one which I am most respectful of, is nothing more than being angry at a head coach. Immediately upon receiving my Oklahoma drivers license back in "08, the Sooners lost the red-river game. I had never seen such a reaction in my life. After winning out the year, only to lose in the National Championship, I became involuntarily immersed in a football culture the was bent on firing a coach who just went 12-2. Whereas most colleges would cast statues for any coach that went 12-2 most years, OU fans wanted the bum fired. The "fire-Stoops" movement would ultimately end up much like the "Never-Trump;" much to do about nothing. Over the years OU fans have simply gotten used to winning, and Stoops is, in the words of Mr. Trump "a h-h-h-uge winner."

You see, Donald Trump's sales pitch is nothing more than promising national championships, his speeches even bear a striking resemblance to pre-game football speeches. I'm never quite sure what people say in those huddles, but it fires you up like no other. Reading a transcript of a Trump speech is as confusing as reading a transcript of a defensive tackle fire up his teammates -- makes no sense unless you hear it screamed by a large scary man. Trump knows that in the end, Republicans, like Sooner fans, will always go all out for their team regardless of and "Fire-Stoops" sentiments which exist in the off season. The "Never Hillary" most closely resembles wearing orange to bedlam, most just can't do it.

I'm a guy who gave up on the GOP long ago. I would love to see a libertarian moment emerge out of the clown-show that is the RNC and DNC. In this year where both sides put up horrible and completely dishonest candidates, both of whom extreme stereotypes of what each sides wishes the other was, it should be now that a third party becomes viable. But, alas, rooting for such has as much chance as convincing the state of Oklahoma to watch Wisconson-Purdue game in place of Bedlam. OU-OSU just wins, without regard to how those programs are doing in a given year, the entire state has chosen a side. Tribes matter.

Politics today feels a lot like Bedlam did the first time I watched the game from inside Oklahoma. I chose a side, but it was quite obvious that these weren't my teams when you compared me with everyone else watching. I enjoy the game of football much like I enjoy politics; I like the animating spirit of the game even when watching someone else's team play. Oklahoma football was never my thing, I grew up on the east coast. We had Penn State and the Eagles, different football culture.

I'm an American, thusly I am expected to pick a team: Democrats or Republican. When I was an Oklahoman I was expected to pick a team: OU or OSU. Being a Penn State guy in Oklahoma was much like being a Libertarian today; respectable, but not relevant to Bedlam. Choosing someone other than Trump or Hillary in this election has as much hope as my Nittany Lions winning Bedlam next year -- as they are not even playing.

Unfortunately self government carries more weight than Bedlam. I wish national politics were more like football games, emotional but limited to simply recording wins and losses in the end. I wish the Democrats winning just left me deflated like OU fans feel after OSU takes them out of the national championship hunt. From these pages to God's ear, but it is not to be.

I don't know how to root in a political game of national Bedlam. I can like OU because I think Bob Stoops is a really good football coach, and has very Republican hair. Likewise, I can choose the Republican side and watch for the sport of it -- but I don't know how to fundamentally change it.

In the midst of my political wondering, I find myself in the position that I would probably vote the aforementioned Bob Stoops for President. He has the hair, (insert Trump hair joke of your choosing) and just like Trump I know nothing of his political philosophy. Bob Stoops may be wildly liberal in every way deeper than his hair, just like Trump -- but I would still vote Stoops over either candidate currently running. He's been successful in a way that is much more respectable than Trump or Hillary. Bob has been successful without a political rigging of the game, he just coaches football. Clinton makes her money by selling political influence, Trump has been successful by buying political influence. I'd vote for the football coach.

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