Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Fair

Fair is when everybody gets what  they need. I tend to attribute this ideal to a fifth grade teacher with whom I worked some years back. It was his way of dealing with his students whose sense of fairness is tweaked on a minute-by-minute basis. To be fair, the quote is really from author Rick Riordan. Working in an elementary school requires that I maintain as vigilant an eye as my young charges on when things gang agley.
Outside of school, however, things are often agley. A little over a week ago, the Denver Broncos won their football game on a spectacular last second block of a New Orleans Saints extra point and then ran it back for the winning score. I can say this because I am a Denver Broncos fan. I am sure that if I lived in Louisiana, I might feel that the officials missed that foot stepping out of bounds. Saints fans probably don't see that as very fair. History, we are told, is written by the victors. This is why I can savor a National Championship for the Colorado Buffaloes back in 1990. My alma mater's football team won all their regular season games and beat Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl to finish undefeated and at the top of the polls. Well, they won all their games with an asterisk. That asterisk coming against the University of Missouri Tigers. History will show that my Buffaloes needed an extra down to beat the Tigers in Columbia. I feel like that was completely fair because it ended up being a great story with my team winning. More than twenty years later, there are plenty of hurt feelings in the Show-Me-State. I feel bad, but I'm not giving that trophy back. Is that fair?
Well,  that's for the historians to figure out. Meanwhile, in a world that is not entirely focused on who get to line up first and who wins football games, we have the matter of more than a million votes. Two weeks after the election, the final results are beginning to trickle in: In terms of the number of popular votes cast, Hillary Clinton leads her opponent by one and half million.This little discrepancy is, for some, made up for by the arcane existence of the Electoral College. Does this seem fair?
I have been asked by a number of friends and family if I would be comfortable trading the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series for a Hillary Clinton presidency. I don't think I would. And I don't know if that would be fair.

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