Wolves, Shepherds and Sheep

Pitchers are careful with Toronto Blue Jays’ slugger Jose Bautista.  He ends up with a great many walks and is presently 4th in the major leagues in that category.  He walks more than he strikes out.

How does he achieve this desirable condition?

He swings at strikes and will graciously accept a free trip to first base should the pitcher be unwilling to deliver something hittable.  The results are persuasive.  Top ten in home runs and runs batted in.  High on base percentage. Among the league leaders in runs scored.

If he were willing to swing at anything near the plate, he would never, as in not ever, get a pitch he could hit easily.  Waiting for an opportunity pays.

Now suppose we look at how we elect politicians to office.

Some people vote for a party because they believe in some ethereal idea of what that party represents.  There are many committed followers in each of the parties.  They do not consider the logistics of how their chosen potential government will deliver on their ideals and certainly not at what cost.  They vote for the brand.  They are sheep.  They follow the carefully crafted illusion without discernment.

They are like the major league baseball players who are free swingers.  They don’t get much to hit because the pitchers need not give them much to hit.

Consider independent voters.  Their attitude is show me something I like and can deal with and I will swing.  Up until then I will pay attention but dismiss your efforts.

If voters behaved as Jose Bautista behaves, politicians would supply better options.

If politicians can safely ignore independent voters, the only voters politicians will care about are the sheep.

My friend Brian MacKenzie has summed up that outcome perfectly.

“Sheep do not attract shepherds.  They attract wolves.”

Is he wrong?

Current experience leads me to believe him.  Be a patient voter.  Wait for something that will work.

Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international public accounting firm and is now with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario.

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