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Can Baseball Help Bridge the Political Divide?

For baseball fans, October is a great month. It’s the month when the best teams – after a grueling 162-game schedule – are fighting to get into the World Series, which begins October 27.

So, today we’re talking baseball with author William R. Douglas, who’s written a captivating book, “The Death and Resurrection of Baseball.” So, stay with us, because this episode will answer the question, can basebal help bridge the political divide in America?

"I think that as we move along in time and we've entered this very perilous time, it's really important for the people that are not on either end of the extreme to be the reasonable ones and to engage in reasonable dialogue," Douglas says in the interview, "To listen and to offer up constructive dialogue that tries to bring both extremes, back towards the center, which historically is where the country has always been anyway.

"Anytime in American history when the pendulum has gone way too far in one direction politically, the voters have showed up and brought the pendulum back towards the center. And I think we're at that moment again, where we need to figure out, as a people Now, where do we want to go in the future with all these things that are been so divisive what needs to be compromised, what, what needs to be scuttled altogether and how do we relearn the art of compromise and the art of agreeing to disagree and getting along with those that we don't agree with or may not agree with us.

"And we have to find our way back to that point. I think we can as personally as a person of faith. I think that's going to play a huge part in any such movement like that. But time will tell. Time will tell."

But baseball, he says, can provide hope, which is the underlying theme of his book.

"If you recall times when you or myself have been in a ballpark or even with a group of people watching a ball game and just enjoying the sport, just watching the magic of the game with someone that you know, or love, or even with a stranger," Douglas says. "On a political spectrum, you can be on total opposites, but you come together. peacefully and enjoy the game, share a beverage or a hot dog or a bowl of chili or whatever. And y'all get along for a time. And that's a powerful metaphor of how things used to be in this country, where we did know how to get along with one another.

"We voted and then if our person didn't win, we let bygones be bygones and you supported whoever was put in office. You went along and and you went about your business."

William R. Douglas is a first-time novelist. After obtaining a Journalism Degree in 1980, his career took a turn down the road of Information technology, working for numerous well-known companies, including The Boeing Company, where he still works.

However, throughout his career, Douglas enjoyed writing, no matter if it was technical documentation, websites, newsletters, or other material. He lives an hour northwest of Chicago in McHenry, Illinois, with his wife Laurie and cat Peaches.

Here are some questions we discussed to see how baseball can help bridge the political divide:

Q. You are a debut author who’s written a unique futuristic novel with a heavy dose of sports fiction and a sprinkling of Dystopian relevant to our current time. Tell us about your book.

Q. So, your book takes place in 2166 and baseball is a distant memory, lost to history following a devastating second American Civil War a century before. That would be 2066, 43 years from now. What prompted you to include that in the book?

Q. In some of the promo material I read about your book, it says “The Death and Resurrection of Baseball will take you back to the happy days of your youth and your coming of age. The story will thrill you, move you, and make you think long and hard about where The United States of America is currently, and where we could be headed.” Please elaborate on what you mean.

Q. That same material also says, “Baseball has always been a metaphor for America and has always brought Americans together. In The Death and Resurrection of Baseball, you will find its greatest strength, hope!” How does baseball provide hope?

Q. Today, in 2023, millions of baseball fans have hope as this year’s drive to the World Series continues. There are interesting story lines, including the juggernaut Atlanta Braves with their incredible pitching and power, the upstart Baltimore Orioles, winners of 101 regular season games compared to 110 losses two years ago, perennial playoff participants like the New York Yankees who are watching the playoffs on TV, and much more. What are your thoughts?

Q. How about the new rule changes with the pitch clock, the ghost runner, and larger bases. What do you think about that?

Q. As this World Series approaches, politics in the U.S. is in turmoil. Ex-president Donald Trump still holds a commanding lead among Republican candidates for the GOP nomination, but he also faces serious criminal charges stemming from his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. All of this has divided the country even more than in the past. Some have even said the January 6, 2021 invasion of the Capitol by Trump supporters could be the beginning of a second civil war. Your thoughts?

Q. Can baseball, really, help bring us together as a nation as described in your book?

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