Monday, November 12, 2012

Strategy

The recent election results remind me of my experience playing Scrabble with an old friend.
Howie was really smart, but I was smart too, and had a much bigger vocabulary. Mr Charm claimed that Howie had a vocabulary of maybe eight words. So I should have won more often that not, right?
Wrong.
I thought Scrabble was a word game and enjoyed coming up with esoteric words, especially words employing the high point tiles. Howie, on the other hand, believed the objective of the game was to win. It was frustrating and maddening to have Howie use words like "ape" or "was" to block me and my terrific vocabulary.
I played Scrabble as a word game. Howie played to win.
Now a winning strategy is to play the game, any game, by denying your opponent any points. Figure out what he wants to do and prevent it from happening.
What does this have to do with the election which we so elegantly lost? We took the high road, the opposition played to win. We praised our candidate to the skies and proved that he was a fine fellow. Moreover, he had a nice family. Everyone showed up at his rallies and cheered him loudly. Then we stayed home from the polls in droves.
T
he Obama campaign, on the other hand, gave Romney the full Alinsky. They would not let Romney win a point. They made a boogieman out of him. They mocked his ideas and demonized the Tea Party as a bunch of right wing extremists. Meanwhile, none of our team refuted the slanders. Ah, the high road! Lonely as it is, it is a morally superior road to the top. Except when it doesn't lead anywhere.
Events tended to favor the president, of course. Hurricane Sandy ought to have been called Hurricane Obama. All he had to do was put on his little presidential suit and show up among the suffering. Alleviating their suffering was not needed.
I guess it's better to be lucky than smart.

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