Racing has always been the most lucid teacher, revealing hard truths with each carving stride. The ways of God are more mysterious, as Ryan Hall has discovered since departing Coach Terrence Mahon and the Mammoth Track Club two years ago. Racing is a heartless examination. It is why the reality of one’s times are indisputable, inviolate and undeniable, as Republican Veep candidate Paul Ryan has learned after fibbing (by an hour!) about his one completed marathon in 1990. Finishing times don’t ask how, whether or if, they only reveal the full measure of the effort between Point A and Point B, unmoved by consequence, conditions or commerce. If only the rest of life were so stark, so pure, so honest.
Today, as we enter the final stretch of the Race for the White House, we are reminded once again that the game, as played in Washington D.C., is blood sport conducted by parties more interested in outcome than process, in demonizing rather than in engaging in honest debate.
In politics hard truths are rarely, if ever revealed, as candidates, small and large, play to the base instincts of envy, distrust and denial. Purposefully skewed truth is the currency of value, and the consequential cynicism of the populace is, evidently, an acceptable by-product as long is victory is achieved. Of course governing becomes a victim of the electoral process as opposition machinery is immediately tuned to the next election cycle. But that doesn’t seem to upset the movers and shakers whose goals are narrowly cast along the win-loss continuum.
In the 2012 campaign “You didn’t build that” has emerged as the signature catch-phrase that captured the fluid dynamic of truth and consequences. On July 13th, President Obama gave a speech at a fire station in Roanoke, Virginia, making his case for increasing marginal tax rates on the wealthiest Americans, framing his argument in terms of shared responsibility. (more…)