Recently in my Humanities Core lecture, our professor addressed an interesting topic, the connection between war and sports. Despite the obvious similarities, I had never thought of football as a war, but rather only as a form of exercise and entertainment. In reality, both war and football involve two entities pitted against each other in a conflict regulated by rules usually resulting in either win or loss (Szalay). Upon making this connection, I began to think more about occurrences in our society that have become similar to waging war. I realized that references to war are everywhere in society, even in our favorite childhood games. My family has banned Monopoly from family gatherings due to the tension, conflicts and yelling fits that arise when we are pitted against each other, like in war. Politics and government elections also came to mind as representative of war, a very relevant topic considering it is an election year. I found it interesting how we even refer to the struggle for a nomination as a political campaign, a term also commonly used for military attacks.
Earlier this month, Donald Trump, the GOP frontrunner, canceled his scheduled appearance at a rally in Chicago due to violent protests occurring outside the venue. Trump supporters chanted, “Trump” while others chanted, “Bernie” in dissent (Madhani). I quickly noticed not just the merging of politics with war, but the merging of politics with sport. I began to see a connection between people’s cheers for their preferred candidate and fans cheering for a sports team. People chanted names, while at the same time pitting themselves against supporters of the opposing candidates (sometimes violently) as if they were two sides in a war. It seems to me politics has become more and more similar to total war. Nothing, not even information about the private lives of candidates, seem to be off limits as propaganda. I find it disquieting that Bill Clinton is running a subdued campaign for his wife, out of fear of putting her potential nomination in jeopardy (Fitzgerald).
Government elections have also become extravagant, extended, political events, requiring great amounts of money for candidates to stay in the race. As a result, many candidates take donations from companies whose interests ultimately drive their campaigns. Throughout my humanities course, we have learned about the corruption of the military industrial complex and the idea profit motivated war. To me, the connections between politics and capital and politics and war are worrisome, because it seems as though politics has its own military industrial complex in the works. I fear that money and interests other than those of the people are corrupting our politics.
Because elected officials control the policies that will be implemented in the future, I feel it is important for us to realize the connection between politics, war, and money to make an educated decision when voting. Furthermore, war seems to be ever present in our lives, even outside of wartime. In my opinion, this could pose problems because these constant references to war may desensitize us to the idea and consequences of it.
Broome, Gerry. Protesters are Removed from Donald Trump’s Campaign Rally. 2016. Chicago Tribune. Web. 18 March 2016.
Fitzgerald, Thomas. “A subdued Bill Clinton campaigns for Hillary.” Philly.com. 6 January 2016. Web. 17 March 2016.
Madhani, Aamer and Steph Solis. “Donald Trump cancels Chicago rally after protesters, supporters clash.” USA Today. 12 March 2016. Web. 17 March 2016.
Scrimmage. 2015. Colorado State University Center for the Arts, Fort Collins. Colorado State University. Web. 18 March 2016.
Szalay, Michael. “Sport.” University of California, Irvine, Humanities Instructional Building 100, Irvine, CA. 10 March 2016.