My cynicism started during the incredible 1998 home run race.
I, like much of the nation, was riveted watching Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa chase the single-season home run mark. Three years later, it was Barry Bonds who set the mark at 73.
But none of it counts because they all cheated.
McGwire was asked about steroid use in front of Congress. His now infamous response was, “Well, sir, I’m not here to talk about the past. I’m here to talk about the positive and not the negative about this issue.” Sosa tested positive for steroids in 2003. Bonds has been involved in a steroids scandal for years. As exciting as it was to watch, rampant steroid use has tainted the entire sport of baseball as much, if not more, than the 1994 strike.
It’s so bad that ESPN’s Skip Bayless recently wondered if New York Yankee Derek Jeter has been cheating. He’s having a great season. As of this writing, Jeter leads baseball in hits and has more than twice as many home runs than he did last year. He’s 38. Two other players who have had resurgent seasons have been suspended for using testosterone this year. Melky Cabrera led the National League in hits and Bartolo Colon, who missed the entire 2010 season, was pitching well at the age of 39 for the Oakland A’s.
Who is to say who cheats anymore? There’s enough of it to taint the entire sport. Now add to all this the world’s most famous cyclist, Lance Armstrong, stopped fighting the anti-doping agency that accused him of cheating, despite the fact the USADA still has no actual proof Armstrong doped. It doesn’t matter. Armstrong will always be labeled a cheater and the USADA is moving to take away his seven Tour de France titles, even if the witch hunt is questionable.
Sports is tainted. That’s not the worst thing that could happen because sports doesn’t actually matter. But politics does.
It just so happens politicians are going the same way as athletes. They cheat by bending the truth and by lying in order to secure votes. A former Capitol Hill reporter (who talked to politicians everyday) agrees.
“I feel like I am, as a reporter in the Capitol, lied to every day, all day,” said Andrea Seabrook. “There is so little genuine discussion going on with the reporters. To me, as a reporter, everything is spin.”
I’ll admit it. I hardly believe anything a politician says anymore. During the next two weeks, we’ll hear plenty of politicians speaking at their conventions. At best, they’ll only bend the truth. During the 2012 campaign, there have been lies about welfare, Medicare, abortion and taxes, just to name a few.
The only truth seems to be everything is a lie. It’s disappointing, but it won’t work on me. I’ll continue to search for the truth and vote based on it.
Do we even remember what the truth is?