I bumped into Colman McCarthy, the legendary pacifist and sometime-anarchist, this morning, as I do many summer mornings, at Turtle Park in my Washington neighborhood. Colman's son, John, runs the best baseball camp in the history of baseball camps at Turtle Park, and my son is one of his loyal players. Coach Mac's Home Run Baseball Camp is the only one in America that combines instruction in both creative non-violence and power hitting. He begins each session with a morning meeting during which he quizzes his assistant coaches about their summer reading lists. Robert Caro's The Power Broker was on one coach's list today. Today, as well, one of the coaches made an impassioned plea for something he called "love-based baseball" in which keeping score would be banned. "Challenging idea," Mac told me later. Colman seemed more supportive.
Colman and I argue most days (I am, after all, a veteran of a certain Middle Eastern army, and Colman is opposed to armies, as well as to most everything else) but I enjoy his company, as do my children: At Halloween, he hands out vegetables to trick-or-treaters, and for some perverse reason, my kids look forward to his house most of all.
Today, the subject was Obama and public campaign financing. Colman said he wasn't overly versed on the issue, but he did have strong feelings about Obama's future, specifically as it relates to the unreasonableness of liberal expectations. "Liberals are going to turn on him, you know," he said. "He can't possibly fulfill all their wild hopes. It can't be sustained."
I don't agree with Colman on much, but I think we agree that placing too much faith in politics, or on a single politician -- any politician -- leads only to disillusion.
I myself place my faith in love-based baseball.
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