- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 11, 2007

As America considers the exciting possibility of evolving into an egalitarian society — I am looking forward to using a co-pay card to buy several paper bags of groceries — many of our youth league sports leaders are embracing the concept of not keeping score in games.

This is a wonderful thing, considering how badly losing damages the self-esteem of our nation’s youth.

Studies show that most of the jerks in life come from losing youth league teams. The jerks spend the rest of their lives trying to prove they are winners when, in fact, they are still losers.

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Every neighborhood has the jerk who slips by your home under the cover of darkness and measures the height of your grass with a ruler, hoping against hope that you will be in violation of the lawn ordinance and a fine will be necessary.

To deal with the jerk effectively, I always have maintained that if the residents of the neighborhood merely chipped in and bought the person a trophy, he would stop scurrying about the streets and alleyways with a ruler in hand.

If eliminating winning and losing from youth league sports can save one person from becoming a jerk, then it all will have been worth it.

In a best-case scenario, this thought process will spread to local school districts, where winning and losing is overemphasized in the classroom and on the playing field.

As hard as it is on a teen’s psyche to lose a game on the playing field, it is equally hard on a teen to be given a D in a subject. It is just not fair that some students earn A’s while others earn C’s and D’s.

The grading system is antiquated and hardly a predictor of future success.

Look at Al Gore. He was a C student at Harvard and a dropout at Vanderbilt’s Divinity School and Law School.

Yet he invented the Internet. He and Tipper Gore also provided author Erich Segal with the inspiration to write “Love Story,” the definitive piece on relationships. Now Gore is one of the leading scientists on global warming.

Fortunately for the planet, Gore did not lose his inquisitive mind because of a ho-hum academic career. He is pressing ahead from his private jet to save the earth from carbon emissions and plastic grocery bags.

How many potential global warming scientists do we lose because of our obsession with winning and losing?

How many teens whose self-esteem is perhaps not as strong as Gore’s submit to this obsession and end up becoming day laborers?

It is a frightening to think that we are losing so much potential greatness because of a 1-0 outcome in soccer.

We are better than that.

Our future is dependent on the next generation and the illegal aliens who crossed the Rio Grande last night.

We have made certain strides.

We have eliminated dodge ball from the school curriculum, which merely was an exercise in putting red welts on the body of the class fat kid, who, of course, suffered extreme psychological fallout from this game.

Studies show the class fat kid was too fat to move out of the way of the red rubber ball, which elicited giggles from his classmates as the ball would go careening off his body.

But give the class fat kid this. He was the best there ever was in Red Rover, which is highly discriminatory against the weak and skinny.

America needs to stop keeping score, whether it is in high school or adulthood, when the quality of a person’s character is determined by the size of his bank account, automobile and home.

You just never see a plumber being invited to a Georgetown cocktail party, which runs counter to the egalitarian vision and the hope that one day we will have national car insurance and national home maintenance insurance.

I am looking forward to using a co-pay card with a plumber and illegal alien paint crew.

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