There are so many things in life that we know are inevitable, but we still go through the motions and play things out. You have a blind date and in the first minute, you know it’s not going to work out. Do you say, “Thanks, anyway” and walk away? Of course not. You waste three or four hours, and then walk away. Wouldn’t it be better if it were acceptable for people to acknowledge things like that ahead of time, instead of waiting for the end?
At least two candidates for the U.S. Senate are apparently proponents of this philosophy and don’t believe in waiting for the inevitable. In Nevada, Republican Sharron Angle and Democrat Harry Reid are neck and neck in the pre-election polls. So they are already working on their recount strategies.
Angle has taken the “why wait for the inevitable to happen” way of thinking a step further. She’s asked her supporters to donate $80,000 to her campaign to help with legal fees to protest next week’s election because of fraud and other illegal activities that haven’t happened yet. She said, “Harry Reid intends to steal this election if he can’t win it outright.” Like with the blind date, Angle evidently knows what’s going to happen before it happens.
This attitude is not as crazy as it sounds when it comes to politics. Certain things are completely predictable: Candidates will kiss babies, wrap themselves in the flag, and promise whatever they have to promise to get elected. They will say something stupid in the campaign, and then claim they were misquoted. They will accept campaign contributions from whoever wants to make them while decrying the idea of “buying” an election. And there will definitely be a guy in a beer-stained T-shirt at a campaign rally for them holding a sign that has a misspelled word on it — like “libirty.”
Politics isn’t the only arena where the inevitable is predictable. Sports is another one. You know that the Monday morning sports section will have more stories about athletes breaking the law than athletes breaking world records. A player fresh out of college who says, “I like the game so much, I’d play it for free” will hold out for millions of dollars. On the first day of the baseball season, we Cub fans know that the Cubs are not going to win the World Series. Why should we have to suffer through 162 games? Can’t we just call the season over on day one?
When you water your plants outside, why not just soak your shoes first, instead of waiting for it to happen? When you take a vacation with the whole family, you know there’s going to be at least one moment when everybody screams at each other. Why don’t you start the vacation yelling at your family, get it out of the way, and then go down to the pool? When you’re in a restaurant, don’t bother wasting everyone’s time by asking the waiter if the filleted fish really doesn’t have any bones. Of course it has bones, and at least one of them is going to get caught in your throat.
So it’s quite possible that Sharron Angle has tapped into something that resonates with all of us: when you know how something’s going to end, just cut to the chase. However, if this movement really catches on, all politicians should be warned of a very real possibility. Even before they’re elected, a Congressional committee will be formed to investigate the future illegal activities that they are going to engage in after the election. Why wait for the inevitable?
Lloyd Garver has written for many television shows, ranging from “Sesame Street” to “Family Ties” to “Home Improvement” to “Frasier.” He has also read many books, some of them in hardcover. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his website at lloydgarver.com and his podcasts on iTunes.