Of Baseball and Bloodshed in Our Chaotic Age

The annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity is a bipartisan, bicameral contest between Republican and Democratic teams. Each side diligently practices for weeks, but it is far from toil (though the aging athlete’s aching muscles indicate otherwise). For the participants, it is an idyllic nostalgia trip that swaps the cut and thrust of the political arena for a bat and mitt on the field of dreams—one that today a gunman has turned into a scene of nightmarish violence.

Per initial reports, just past 7 a.m., as nearby a resident walked his dog, people exercised at the local YMCA and children headed for school, a man approached Eugene Simpson Stadium Park. He raised a rifle and fired “50 to 60 shots” at the assembled Republicans, wounding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a House staffer, and two police officers. The injuries are said to be “not life-threatening.” Thankfully, the Capitol Police prevented more grievous and extensive bloodshed by killing the gunman, James Hodgkinson, as he continued his rampage. His motive remains officially unknown.

What the courageous Capitol Police or anyone could not prevent was the rampant speculation as to the gunman’s motive or the ensuing promoting of various causes however vicariously related to the attack. Inveterately, all of these responses are viewed through the speculator’s subjective political prism. Given the victims are all involved in the political process, some may excuse such conjecture and exhortations. This attack is not novel in the politicized responses it has elicited.

Yet, the more political the statement, the less logical the statement. The less logical the discourse, the more disordered our souls. The more disordered our souls, the more chaotic the age. Thus does our blindness to the verity that politics is a part of life and not life itself anesthetize and blind us to the true suffering of our fellow human beings inherent in such hideous acts of violence; and, thereby, exacerbate and accelerate this Chaotic Age.

Having participated in the Congressional Baseball game in the years following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent heinous shooting of our colleague, the Hon. Gabrielle Giffords, it was my impression that the ballplayers knew such an attack could happen but thought it never would.

Cynics notwithstanding, elected officials’ illusory sense of security is not due to a belief they, unlike the citizens they serve, are above and beyond the insidious reach of such threats in this Chaotic Age. No, like millions of Americans, they were rapt in the unexpected chance to escape the numbing embrace of politics; play ball; and, if only for a moment, allow the national pastime to rekindle fond memories of their past lives, when the world was full of promise, possibility, purpose, and dreams.

And made sense.

In light of Wednesday’s attack and politicized responses, we as a free people feel society further slipping beyond reason and into escalating chaos. But nothing is fated for a free people. At any time, love, wisdom and compassion are within our reach, if we have the courage but to grasp. Uneasily and agonizingly slowly, we will.

Let it commence with the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity’s post-game gathering, during which elected officials and their staffs engage not as mutually reviled partisans, but as equally respected competitors celebrating a good deed done for their deserving fellow Americans. Especially as this year’s game was also being held to honor the victims of the Manchester and London terrorist attacks, nothing is more apt or urgent than that, out of baseball’s hope and bloodshed’s horror, we may all unite to reaffirm our shared, frail humanity; the sanctity and beauty of life; and the will to recapture the sanity required to tame this Chaotic Age.

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20 responses to “Of Baseball and Bloodshed in Our Chaotic Age”

  1. Considering that Hodgkinson was a known member of anti-Trump and anti-GOP groups, his motive is apparent – he wanted to kill as many GOP Congressmen as he could. In short, this is an attempted political assassination by a deranged Democrat.

  2. “At any time, love, wisdom and compassion are within our reach, if we have the courage but to grasp.”

    Well Mr. McCotter, you are dead wrong, and it’s probably a good thing that you’ve retired.

    Fact: Democrats have neither “wisdom” nor “compassion”.

    Just because you believe they do, doesn’t make it so, it just confirms your delusion.

  3. You cannot reason with radical liberals. They are mentally and emotionally compromised. In religious terms they are demon possessed. In psychiatric terms they suffer from mental illness. In political terms they are fascists and anarchists. In human terms they are just mean spirited a$$h0les. What we are witnessing is the death of radical liberalism. And like any trapped animal they will fight to the death.

    Yes,let California leave, but they have to take all the liberals, “refugees,” and illegals. However, they can have Hillary as their president if they want!Amazing that the Dem leadership either openly supports these radical/fanatical hate groups or refuses to disavow their actions then bemoans tragic results …AFTER THE FACT!
    This organized hate has become the face of the Democrat Party!

  4. Well written. I wonder if it will ever be possible for the USA to band together again, as the nation did after WWII. And for quite some time afterwards. Now we’ve lost our sense of pride, our purpose as a separate people, and apparently our humanity towards each other. I don’t understand how we got to this point, where the anarchists are winning, but it seems we are sinking ever deeper into the abyss.

    • As long as the U.S. remains a thoroughly balkanized cesspool crawling with 3rd world filth, it will never ever again be unified in anything at all.

      • We agree that the USA has become quite balkanized — and that it has happened by choice. As for “3rd world fifth”, I think you can be more precise. Not every Mexican illegal is a member of MS13. Regardless of who, though, the USA has the right, and I would argue the obligation, to protect its borders. The immature idealists who seem to be the majority of the college students in our demented university system are going to wake up some day to discover they no longer have a country — just a gated community with armed guards.

      • 1) I wrote “filth,” not “fifth.”

        2) I was perfectly precise. You’re the one lacking precision. Where in the bloody hell did I say that every Mehican illegal was a member of MS13? Seriously! Show me, if you would.

        My clear and succinct statement stands as is.

      • I made the implication from your reference to filth. Sorry for the typo. Hope it didn’t ruin your day.

      • Well, when you start lecturing someone on precision, you’d better be precise.

  5. The question is whether sentiment like this–which is unobjectionable and even sweet–can overcome the Left’s will, motivated as it is (and always has been) by violent hatred of its political opponents. My bet is that it can’t. The Right had better find a will, and had better find it quick. Mr. McCotter’s GOP has, unfortunately, proven time and again that we can expect no imposition of will from that quarter.

  6. The shooter is nothing less than the natural extension of Kathy Griffin, Ashley Judd, Liberals in general, and the current NY city production of Julius Caesar.

    There will be no national rally like the one they had for Giffords, nor will any U.S. warship be named for Scalise, again like they did for Giffords. I’ve already seen liberals blame this on Trump.

    I hate the Left twice as much as I did the day before, every single day.

  7. our great leader on the campaign trail referred to objecting to hillary’s judicial picks with 2nd amendment rights. the fat pile of garbage thought he was being funny

    he wasn’t

    • And this would have been after BHO suggested you bring a gun to a knife fight, right?

  8. Poetic.
    But the only poetry the Democrats or their attack dog media can embrace, is a warm gun with numerous wounded Republicans.
    And they have the audacity to call themselves “democratic”!
    In that sense, Hitler was the most democratic leader they can relate to.

  9. Call me mean and cynical, but this sort of thing is an utterly useless response. What every happened to men like Daniel Webster, representatives with both rhetoric and vision? Instead we have Thaddeus McCotter.

  10. equally respected competitors? are you fukking insane? god damn cuck.

  11. “Let it commence with the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity’s post-game gathering, during which elected officials and their staffs engage not as mutually reviled partisans, but as equally respected competitors celebrating a good deed done for their deserving fellow Americans.

  12. A rather odd piece to appear in American Greatness , most fitting for the Huffing Post . The Dems are not about to become reasonable or civil.