Nothing but net? Reflections on ‘leadership, and a willingness to be a team player’

I feel that I am in the majority of Americans who agree on two points. March Madness is a great time of the year and the negativity associated with politics continues to worsen. Even as an Oklahoma State University Cowboy fan, I am happy for the success of the University of Oklahma Sooners. I actually picked OU to win it all on my bracket because of the leadership of their coach and the incredible talent on their team.

This is one reason I am glad our founding fathers established frequent elections. We can see turnover in elective offices for poor leadership just like coaches with losing records.

I remember an old saying, “Do not confuse politics with government.” I am afraid far too many elected officials and candidates lose touch by representing party ideology or focusing on re-election instead of doing what they should their job: working as a whole towards the best interests of the people.

I mentioned I am an OSU fan.

I am also registered as a Democrat. I am a member of that party predominantly because of views to help blue-collar workers and provide opportunities for Americans to increase their potential. No, that is not socialism; to put it in basketball terms, it is simply an assist. I do not agree with all issues within my party and it is misleading for people to associate all candidates and party members based on blanket assumptions by registration.

I do not think people in other parties are bad or are going to Hell. When people say a person is evil because they are registered in another party (or support another basketball squad), I find that ridiculous. We simply disagree on the method to best help the nation, or which is the best team.

One of my favorite quotes is from Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe.

It goes “Governing successfully takes a big dose of two things: leadership, and a willingness to be a team player.” While we might not be on the same “political team” or agree on many policies, we both worked for more jobs for the “Oklahoma team” in the area we mutually represented. We opposed each other in elections because we felt the “team” could be better with a different person, but we worked together after we each won our respective races for the betterment of the state.

You do not often get to pick your teammates, but you need to work together as a team to win the important games.

I encourage people to view the “team” as all in the body politic working toward the good of the state. Each “party team” plays offense and defense, but the goal should be to win for all of us with sound policy. Officials who hurt the system by placing personal politics above achieving sound policies are the ones who hurt us all. Those are the ones who need to be pulled from the court in the next election. Please do your part and get in the game by voting!

NOTE: Joe Dorman gave up on a career in basketball after not growing taller than 5’7. He instead served House District 65 as a State Representative for 12 years and was the 2014 Democratic nominee for Governor of Oklahoma. In addition to writing occasional commentaries for CapitolBeatOK, The City Sentinel and other news organizations, currently he is the Community Outreach Director for True Wireless and a member of the Rush Springs Town Council.