Saturday, March 26, 2016

Legitimizing illegitimacy

For the sake of argument, I’m going to call this university I just founded Northeast Southwestern State University. All courses are taught on-line. We don’t have a physical campus. But because we have delusions of grandeur my university decides to field its own basketball team. Of course, we’re not part of any conference. Heck, we’re not even part of the NCAA or any other like-minded collegiate athletic association. But I want to make a name for my university. I want to attract as much attention (and, as a result, tuition paying enrollees) as I possibly can and I figure one way to do this is to start a basketball team.

But I need to do much more than that. I’ve got to find ways to attract national and perhaps even worldwide attention to my basketball team and thus my on-line only university. And I know the only way I’m ever going to do that is to try to find some way to engage a known basketball powerhouse — a Kansas, an Indiana, a Kentucky, a UCLA — to meet me on the court in a nationally televised basketball game.

I figure that basketball powerhouse will beat my team by at least 50-60 points, but it doesn’t matter. I have achieved my goal of attracting attention to my little, formerly completely unknown and ignored school, just by playing in that game. I also now have the propaganda tools to go seek out better basketball prospects and tell them, "Register at Northeast Southwestern State. You can not only attend all classes without ever leaving your bedroom, but you have a chance to be on national TV playing against the elite college basketball players and displaying your abilities to NBA scouts." That could be a strong recruiting message and that’s one of the reasons why the known basketball powerhouses wouldn’t go near a basketball arena where it would have to play Northeast Southwestern State. That’s why the NCAA or whatever would forbid such a contest. It would legitimize illegitimacy.

That’s why President Obama was correct in not interrupting his South American trip to rush to Brussels in the wake of last week’s terrorist bombings there. If he had, Isis wins. That’s all they want. They want to proclaim to the world that they have reached a status where they can control the actions of the leader of the free world. That’s a powerful recruiting tool. That will convince a lot of those fence-sitters to climb down on the side of Isis. That will make them so much stronger.

Isis isn’t out to defeat the United States on the battlefields of Iraq or Syria. It claims victory by simply forcing the U.S. to send battle-tested forces to those countries to fight against the terrorists. It just wants to engage. Just like Northeast Southwestern State that doesn’t even have a physical campus, Isis is not a country. You can’t invade Isis. Isis isn’t eligible to have a seat at the United Nations. But it wants to be regarded and treated as someone that does have all that because that way it recruits even more activists to their cause. "You, too, have the opportunity to play against the biggest power of all on world television."

That’s why President Obama didn’t go to Brussels. That’s the reason for the insistence of a coalition of countries aimed at defeating Isis. That’s the reason for not putting huge numbers of "boots on the ground."

It would legitimize illegitimacy.

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