Sunday, June 10, 2018

Take it from a sports writer

This is resistance. Sally Jenkins, who covers sports for the Washington Post, explains how to resist President Trump.

The Philadelphia Eagles beat President Trump. They slipped the punch, and he wound up swinging so hard at the air that he fell on his face. It’s a useful lesson, a timeless one even.

When you’re up against a crotch-kicker and an eye-gouger, what do you do? NFL owners confronted that question and decided the best strategy was to try to placate, and they got leg-whipped for it. It was entirely their own fault for deciding that a president who called their players sons of bitches somehow would play by their rules. The Eagles were smarter. They understood that an eye-gouger counts on an adversary who will come in close.

A crotch-kicker needs an opponent. Without one, what is he? Without a race to bait, without someone to accuse, without a target to lash out at, what can he do? When there is no one to scapegoat or to scream spittle at, then what? He has to stand there and try to look and be presidential. That’s what the Eagles understood when most decided not to go to the White House and shake his hand ...

... most people aren’t Steph[Curry] or LeBron [James] or [Muhammed] Ali. So when confronted with someone who practices startling, uncalled-for aggression, they don’t know what to do. When someone comes at you harder than they should, the critical thing is not to break the rules yourself because you will break the game. It’s among the most immortal and true principles of any contest: Overreacting will cost only yourself, and all will be lost.

True excellence is not just about the vicious deployment of force, but the control and parrying of it without losing yourself, your honor, your conception of what’s most important and who you want to be in this contest and this world. Don’t let someone else’s breaking of the rules break you down. Don’t let them turn something ugly that shouldn’t be and that you don’t want to be. Step out of the way. And wait.

[As Muhammad Ali demonstrated while fighting George Foreman,] ... the rope will take the strain.

The G-7 leaders might learn from this. If Trump wants to trash the system that brings them together, politely meet without him. He needs a time out. He won't like that.

Read and enjoy the entire Jenkins column.

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