Hey sports fans! You love supporting your favorite team, don’t you? High school, college, professional - you cheer and brag when they win and grumble or cry a little (or a lot) when they lose. You’re a true fan. Or maybe you’re not that interested in sports. You don’t have kids on a school team or watch professional teams and you don’t pay much attention since it has no real impact on your day-to-day life.
So it is with our politics: some people pay close attention most of the time; others pay attention only during “playoffs”; or, perhaps, some of us don’t participate at all.
In elementary and high school sports, one element of playing the game is learning good sportsmanship. We are taught to show respect whether our team wins or loses. We shake hands and congratulate the winner and vow to play a better game next time. We learn from these experiences.
What does it say to our youth when, as adults, we don’t display the same good sportsmanship in our elections? Our public servants have a difficult job. They are elected by a majority of the people, but they answer to everyone. If they are doing a good job, they are communicating with and listening to their constituents no matter which “team” they are on. We can show our support by respecting the work that they do, calling them when we think they aren’t representing our best interests, and voting them in or out depending on how we view their job performance.
At the end of the day, we can all improve the dialogue by showing good sportsmanship in our reactions and interactions based on election outcomes. We may not be happy, but we can still be respectful.
This column will strive to promote respectful dialogue and present perspectives that specifically relate to residents in Pierce County. We hope you will engage with us and participate actively in our democracy.