2017: Looking for a New Spirit of Competition

2017: Looking for a New Spirit of Competition

img_6361By Larry Oscar

Well we have entered another year.  Last year sure was an exciting one.

In January 2016 who would have predicted the Cubs would take the World Series? Especially after they were down three games to one. Who would have thought that Hillary Clinton would have missed her coronation as President of the United States? Especially to Donald Trump. I guess that just goes to show that nothing in this world is for certain.

It was the great New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra that once said “It ain’t over till it’s over.” I for one would not have imagined a more exciting outcome to either of these two events. Both embody the spirit of what this country stands for…competition. Competition is something that lies at the core of what it means to be an American.

It was what drove Commodore John Cox Stevens, a charter member of the fledgling New York Yacht Club, to form a six-person syndicate to build a yacht with the intention of taking her to England and making some money competing in yachting races. On August 22, 1851, his yacht America raced against 15 yachts of the Royal Yacht Squadron in the Club’s annual 53-nautical-mile regatta. They raced around the Isle of Wight.  America won, finishing 8 minutes ahead of the next yacht. Queen Victoria, who was watching America cross the finish line, was reported to have asked who was second, the famous answer being: “Ah, Your Majesty, there is no second.“

There you have it. Another high class ass hammering by a bunch of beer swilling Americans. This coming year will be the 35th defense of “The America’s Cup”.  And after Oracle Team USA came from behind 8:1 to defend their crown in 2013, it’s shaping up to be one of the main events of 2017. The race will be held in Bermuda this time around. I think the Aussies and the Limeys complained about all the San Francisco high priced hotels the last go around. If they think San Fran was expensive wait until they land in Bermuda. I’ll bet the countries that compete for the America’s cup won’t get a “pc participation“ trophy.

I hope that 2017 will bring a new spirit of competition in all aspects of our country’s institutions as well. Maybe the competition for the oldest sports trophy in history will inspire some of our leaders to institute competition in our schools. Maybe in 2017 we can have a choice in where and what the children of our new generations can study. And just maybe we can have the same spirit of
fair and honorable competition spread to our corporations when they compete against foreign corporations. No more stacking the deck to achieve some politically correct outcome.

There will be winners and losers in life’s struggles.  There is no disgrace in losing. There is only disgrace in failing to compete.  And there is disgrace in being a poor loser. Just look at the deplorable
behavior of the left wingers who lost the election. Many of our younger generation are afraid of competition. Why, if they lose then they could “feel bad”.  We are raising a bunch of wimps. The American spirit of competition is what drives capitalism. It is what has made this country the most powerful nation in the history of the world. There are no participation trophies in life. And there are no guarantees of success. But there is a guarantee of failure if you don’t compete.

For the past eight years the leadership of this country has taken us down a miserable road of political correctness and envy of other peoples success. This path has given us the
slowest economy in decades with only 1-2% growth per year. Our country is fully capable of doubling that growth rate. All we have to do is turn America’s businesses loose to freely compete without being taxed and regulated to death. Finally, we may have some wind in our sails.

(Larry Oscar is a graduate from the University of Tulsa and holds a degree in electrical engineering. He is retired and lives with his wife on a lake in Oklahoma where he brews his own beer, sails, and is a member of numerous clubs and organizations.)