A Defense of Tanking
The sole reason why the Sixers have so much (negative) attention is due to our open willingness to lose as many games as possible. We “tank” our season in order to acquire a higher probability of earning the top draft picks for the upcoming season. We planned to build the team around these draft picks based on the hope that one or two of them will grow into full-fledged stars. We lost in order to win in the long-term.
A lot of people criticized it, but there were a bunch of locals who were willing to see what happened. After all, what’s the point of being a team that was only good enough to make it to the first round of the play-offs, only to then lose? Once or twice is fine. But each and every season??? Please! Being a perennial terrible-to-mediocre team is something that the city was used to, so we felt a refreshing jolt of energy from a shameless pursuit of decrepitude. This strategy had been done often, but never as intensely as we did… and we don’t know if it will work, but at least we were trying something different!
(NOTE: The Sixers’ tanking process is not “bad for basketball”. Kevin Durant on the Golden State Warriors is. It created an impossibly gifted basketball team that could only be countered by other teams hiring their own big guns. Thus the arms race began. It thereby created a huge gap between talented teams and bad teams. The Sixers’ “#tankmode” was a strategic long-term response to this short-term era of super teams.)
Is “tanking” an effective process? I’m not sure. After all, the Sixers haven’t won anything yet. They have three potential superstars but only one of them has played at all… and my Philly weariness and wariness is preventing me from making bold and confident claims. But it certainly seems like there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
The possible prosperity that the Sixers’ organization could have does shed light on the realistic potential for success of this strategy. While the rest of the competition is focused on winning short-term, long-term success based on strategic short-term losing changes the game. It’s all about attacking the loop-holes of the rules in order to get ahead. It is, therefore, possible to apply this strategy to other facets of life.
The Theory in Politics
So there’s no cute transitional sentence that I can think of to seamlessly segue into this next thought… so here we go:
Conservatives are tanking the government!
I know, this sounds partisan as hell. But think about the LOGIC:
- Conservatives hate Federal control over the states
- If THE PEOPLE distrust the federal government, they will be motivated to wrestle power back to the states
- THE PEOPLE will distrust the Federal government if the Federal government fails
- The Federal government fails if it is either oppressive or incompetent
- To reduce the power of the Federal government, Conservatives in power need to be either incompetent or oppressive in order to ensure that it fails
This is cynical, Orwellian, and downright UNREALISTIC, right? Well, we doubted the likelihood of a Donald Trump presidency…
Considering how the Conservatives have operated and evolved over the past two decades, it IS possible that a complete kamikaze-esque operation is their over-arching strategy.
The legacy of “Reaganism” and trickle-down economics combined with a festering frustration over Federal intervention – to combat segregation – has created a strong hatred and distrust of big government by many Conservatives. Their view is: the less government interference in the daily lives of the people, the better.
Whatever. I’m not here to debate that theory. (In some instances, this theory can be beneficial.) But there has been a growing level of incompetence and buffoonery emanating from the “right” that has me asking, “this can’t be real can it?” Humanity, after all, can’t be so inept and ignorant!
Well, consider the machinations of the Republican Party. Their foundation of supporters lies within two different economic populations:
- Poor whites who feel like the Left is using big government to destroy institutions and jobs that supported their livelihood, in the name of “progress”
- Rich people who want to maintain and increase their wealth by preventing government interference in both regulating the cut-throat – and, sometimes downright unethical – free market and in implementing equitable tax policy to them
The former is the face of the party. The latter is the power of the party. The flooding of money into elections – by the wealthy few – has made puppets of so many politicians. These spineless lemmings will do whatever they have to in order to ensure that they are re-elected. This means fighting to reduce the power of the Federal government.
You still might be rolling your eyes at my theory. Totally fine! But let’s play out this hypothetical situation since, if you’re reading this still, we’ve come so far!
Say you were trying to get the people to distrust the government. You have three routes, that I can think of, to help you achieve your goal: propaganda, obstruction, and incompetence.
So I was a colonial printer in a different life… literally. I wrote often of the importance of the freedom of speech and the press. An advanced society is one that allows all voices to express opinions freely. Later, we would move on to create that. GREAT… but WHAT THE FOX is going on with present-day Conservative media?! Established as a response to the “unfair bias” of the “liberal media elite”, Conservative media outlets – specifically FOX News, talk-radio, and Breitbart – have distorted and manipulated facts and figures in order to ferment a distrust and disgust amongst the conservative population.
It is not news which they report. It is unapologetic and irresponsible bias. It is propaganda.
These conservative media outlets will lie. They will cheat. They will do whatever they need to in order to make liberals, Democrats, and the Federal Government appear to be evil. It is easy to lie and cheat when they’re an outsider shouting, “Conspiracy!”. If well-respected news outlets report on the propaganda that they push out, then they have proven that they are just “part of the liberal media conspiracy,” There is no respected institution with universal credibility that can call them out on their nonsense.
How do I know that it’s propaganda? Well, they made a huge deal about whether or not Santa Clause was white… They spent 8 years attacking President Barack Obama because he had a “Muslim name”. They argued that he wasn’t American. They somehow compared him to Hitler.
They made poor whites think that all Muslims were terrorists. They made poor whites think that any sort of gun restriction meant that the government was trying to enslave them. The list continues…
One of the most egregious effects of the propaganda is the distortion of the definition for “elite”. They implied that the real “elites” were sophisticated intellectuals who wanted to destroy the country through the un-Christian policy of promoting diversity and equality. They blinded the poor white population to the fact that their biggest foe wasn’t these Progressive intellectuals, but rather the super-wealthy “elites” who were controlling the politicians…
They made being intellectual evil… and through their propaganda, they increased the distrust in the government.
They have the forum and platform. Whatever happened within the government, the propaganda machine is ready to target and attack. But what can be done within the government? Well, the Republican Party has been regarded for decades as being more disciplined and well-organized. And they have utilized their ranks to block government spending whenever they can.
Obstruction in itself is not egregious. It is simple politicking. Both political parties partake in this type of political obstructionism, especially when they are in the minority in Congress and have rival party member as President. I personally have no problem with obstruction coming into play in politics. I have no problem with politicians doing whatever they can to ensure that their constituents have the effective representation, which they are Constitutionally mandated to have. But Republicans have moved
However, there are several shocking examples of obstructionism that have taken Conservatives to a new degree of malice.
When Barack Obama became President, Mitch McConnell and the Republicans claimed, with open frankness, that their number one goal was to ensure the he was a one-term President. They did everything to make sure he was ineffective. They made him compromise often. They even prevented him from his Constitutional duty of selecting a new member of the Supreme Court. When there were issues, the Conservative politicians coordinated with the Conservative propaganda to shout-down how much of an incompetent and evil President he was.
Once again, I am not denying that petty political obstruction is played out on both sides of the aisle. Between the two parties, however, the obstructionism does more to positively impact the goals of the Conservatives. Through obstruction, a log-jam of ineffectual government has further alienated people from both political parties AND has increased the level of distrust of the Federal Government.
I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to identify the way that the Republican party has run the country over the last year as “incompetent”. After seven years of trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they finally had the majorities to do so. And they couldn’t do it. They wrote a pathetically un-comprehensive bill that no one liked. Even after last second negotiations – including an ironic promise to some that the bill would NEVER become a law… – they couldn’t pass it. They spent SEVEN years crying about how awful it was. They never thought to spend that time coming up with a viable alternative! How pathetic!
But this has become a part of the modus operandi of Conservatives. They are damn good at organizing themselves, but they are pretty terrible at running the government!
I find myself coming back to this idea that “elite” equals “sophisticated intellectual” in the eyes of Conservatives. I would often see the conservative media refer to President Obama, a Harvard Law School Graduate and Chicago University Law School Professor of Constitutional Law, as an intellectual elitist. They made it seem like it was bad to have a President with his resume.
The last few Republican presidential candidates have had to cater to the “folksiness” of their personalities in order to be electable to their political base. George W. Bush. Sarah Palin. Donald Trump. All of these figures had mass appeal to Conservatives because they didn’t speak with a high level of, for lack of a better word, intellect. They didn’t seem like they were superior to the Average Joe. To be honest, they weren’t. Bush and his “Bush-isms”. Sarah Palin and… well, everything.
Seriously, though. Can you imagine if Sarah Palin were in office? Actually don’t even bother with that exercise because we are witnessing the worst train-wreck of all, Donald Trump, day-in and day-out absolutely dismantling any and all forms of credibility and class that the United States once had.
“Donald Trump might be the single greatest accomplishment of the Conservative movement IF the single greatest priority was to cause mass incompetence and chaos into the Federal Government.”
He is their Frankenstein monster. He is THE EXAMPLE that Conservatives can point to when they want to prove how dangerous it is to have a strong central government. I mean, I’m a Federalist to the very end. I believe truly in a strong central government with a strong Presidential position… until I met Trump. In theory, the strong Presidential figure is fine, as long as the person is qualified. We have a vetting process, known as campaigns, that is supposed to weed out all of the rotten and incompetent candidates… and yet, Donald Trump…
If HE can become President, then maybe we need to reconsider trusting such massive power to the Federal government! Except, if we’re being honest, I’m still in my 12-step recovery plan after he was elected, and I’m reconsidering trusting such important power to the people as well.
Tangent on the Stigma of Intellectual Elites…
If WE, THE PEOPLE can’t even vote right, maybe we should rely on intellectual “elites” to run the country. Because I know I sure don’t want a “folksy” President or whatever the fuck Donald Trump is. I don’t want an inarticulate president. I don’t want I don’t want to sit down and play checkers with my candidate. He’ll be my candidate IF he only plays chess. Even more so, I don’t want him even to play me. I want to challenge my President and have him look me up and down and say, “Fine, but I already know how I’m going to beat you in 5 moves,” That’s my President.
I obviously know that these intellectuals would be corrupted, but DEAR GOD, ignorance is just the worst.
Is it really crazy to believe? I mean, anything is possible after seeing that Donald Trump election. There is such a strong fervor in this country right now. There are calls of “Resistance!” across the population, but it’s from people who are typically in favor of a strong government. When the Federalists are resisting the Government, then it feels like the foundations of the Republic are giving out. So maybe all of this is, in fact, the intention of the Conservative, little-government Tea Partiers.
Maybe I’m incorrect with this assessment. Maybe I’m biased against the illogical arguments steaming from the Tea Party wing. Maybe I’m mislabeling “incompetence” as “malevolence”. This could all be true. But if it is true and I’m wrong about the purposeful tanking of the government by Conservatives, then WHAT THE FLUFF IS GOING ON!?!?