American Political Parties In The Open Water
American Political Parties In The Open WaterCourtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
Politics is often contentious and turbulent – and always dynamic – very similar to how open water swims can be.
Tip O’Neill, the former long-time powerful Speaker of the House of the U.S. Congress once said, “All politics are local.” But the implications of tomorrow’s presidential election in the United States will not only have local and national implications, but also international implications for some time to come.
If the sport of open water swimming had its own political parties, we wondered out loud what the policies, positions and types of people would likely be attracted to these imaginary parties of the open water. All in jest, we came up with the following:
Open water swimmers in the Democratic Party would lobby for low(er) entry fees with some Democratic swimmers demanding free entry for certain groups. The mass starts among a Democratic field would be segregated with the slower swimmers going first and the fastest swimmers last. The winner may be the first person to cross the finish line, not necessarily the individual with the fastest time.
Although there would be a mass start, there would be many different divisions to accommodate everyone of different ages, backgrounds, religious beliefs and lifestyles. The post-race awards ceremony would be followed by either a potluck or barbeque with a variety of foods from around the world.
The Republican Party open water swimmers would start off the ceremonies with a prayer, a reverential saying of the Pledge of Allegiance and a playing of the national anthem. Many flags would be waving at the start and finish. The post-race ceremony would be a sit-down dinner in a nice restaurant overlooking the venue.
A U.S. Coast Guard boat would be the honorary lead boat and the start would be preceded with a prayer. The start would be indicate with a gun or canon .
The winners would be given a choice of cash or shares in a startup company. The start, lined with swimmers proudly outfitted in their national colors, would be carefully segmented based on qualifications that were clearly identified in the entry application. Of course, any cheating on the course would be harshly dealt with.
The Communist Party open water swimmers would wear red swimsuits and cap. Along with a mass start, all finishers would be given the same award. The course would be rigidly controlled by safety personnel positioned every 50 meters, although some of the escort boats might run out of fuel or be missing parts. The winners would be celebrated for their physical capabilities and loyalty to the sport.
The Green Party open water swimmers would demand no motorized boats on the course and would offer carbon offsets for those traveling from far away.
The post-race party would only include locally grown produce and food products and everything would be recycled. Aggressive physical contact in races would not be tolerated and equal prize money for both male and female winners would be a de facto standard. Fund-raising opportunities would abound as would event affiliations with ecological and environmental groups.
The Libertarian Party open water swimmers would emphasize a minimal amount of rules and would not require any registration from any national governing bodies for anyone who wishes to enter any race. The number of buoys on the course would be few and far between and no escort boats allowed. Anyone who showed up at the starting line would be allowed to do the race and, in major races, there would not be any drug testing – not because they do not want to make a level playing field, but because it is simply a matter of each individual to monitor their own performance.
Copyright © 2008 – 2020 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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