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Fossil Dad: Bridging the Political Divide on the Front Lines of the New Reality

It’s time to heal our polarized politics. COVID-19 brought both parties in Congress to open the country’s checkbook to help the distressed. Here's a simple suggestion to build on this bi-partisanship: A short soccer (football to some!) match between sporting Republicans and Democrats.
Taso Lagos is program director for Hellenic studies in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. Photo credit: Patrick Luhrs.

Mill Creek resident Taso Lagos blogs about what it’s like being a middle-aged new parent in Mill Creek.

Dear former Representative Harmswoth, current Representative Lovick, and Seattle Sounders General Manager Garth Lagerwey,  

It’s time to heal our polarized politics. COVID-19 brought both parties in Congress to open the country’s checkbook to help the distressed.

Here's a simple suggestion to build on this bi-partisanship: A short soccer match between Republicans and Democrats before the start of the first home game with fans of the Sounders when the team resumes playing.

The players could be public officials, employees in the State’s party offices, those who identify with one or the other party, or people who just love soccer and don't care which side they play since we are all Americans.

Why a Sounders’ game?  The last match before the lockdown was played at CenturyLink Field on March 7th against Columbus Crew. As the Seattle Times reported, how did other public events get cancelled but not this one? 

Despite some Sounders officials insisting the match “provided ’catharsis and community,’” community where folks spread disease we can do without.

The decision to play that match, despite rising concern among local health officials, does not shine a warm, fuzzy light on the Sounders. 

The team needs to atone for itself, particularly if anyone got ill or heaven forbid died from acquiring the disease during the match.

Healing. It’s not often easy, or even pretty, but in such times, critical.  Dems and GOPers have bitterly fought each other for two generations. Who needs enemies when we rip each other apart?

Abraham Lincoln long ago warned:  A house divided cannot stand.  Our divided house has come together because we stare death in the face in unison.  

In normal times, culture does its darndest to hide the ugly, including death. When did you last see a funeral in a commercial? 

Now death stalks our land; if you turn to, as I do, the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus site for the latest stats on the spread of the virus, it’s grim reading. 

The proposed healing match will not cure the disease, nor help people get back to work. It won’t bring back family and friends who died from it, nor wipe out the memories of society shutting down.

It will show we as Americans have a greater devotion than party politics – that we are all tied to this one nation, to our history, and to our future.

It won’t matter who wins. We all win just by holding this match. 

Better yet, perhaps the match can be used to raise money for charitable organizations in the area still finding the effects of COVID-19. How about special scarfs to commemorate the event?

I turn to you both as our formerly and currently elected state representatives, Republican and Democrat respectively, and as GM to the Sounders, to make this event possible. There’ll be others that can do the actual work. I’m happy to chip in.

Play ball!

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