Opinion

Whoever thinks there is no divine sense of humor may want to reconsider — especially after the latest occurrence of “the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November.”

In other words, Election Day 2021 or, as it will forever be known in Atlanta, “World Champions Day.”

With an ethereal sense of timing, politics and the national pastime again collided. And in this instance, the “Home of the Braves” prevailed.

The inaugural iteration of this column chronicled a rhetorical baseball “beaning” of the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia, which left both seeing stars — but not all-stars. 

Opening Day brought a verbal brickbat, delivered by the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue via ESPN, which apparently now stands for Expect Sports Politicized Nonstop. 

Sure enough, Joe Biden — though old, slow and confused — apparently possessed enough verbal and muscle memory to use a “woke weapon.” During his ESPN interview, Joe attacked Georgia’s election reform law, calling it an “atrocity” and “Jim Crow on steroids.” He ignored the fact that the new statute expands early voting to 17 days statewide and gives counties the option to add two Sundays of voting for a total of 19 days of casting early ballots.

Never mind that Biden’s home state of Delaware provides no days for early balloting — the fictitious flames, fanned by ESPN, other outlets within the partisan press and, of course, the White House, soon stoked a “woke fire.” Ol’ Joe then chimed in with his “remedy” of preference: Major League Baseball (MLB) should move the All-Star Game out of the Peach State.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred — no “Mighty Manfred,” he — morphed into “Rollover Rob” and hastily did Biden’s bidding, with the specious claim that moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver was the “best way to demonstrate our values as a sport.” If so, it was a curious way to demonstrate a commitment to racial justice.

When the All-Star Game exited Atlanta, a city with a population that’s 51% Black and historically known as a center of Black commerce, the economic loss was estimated at $100 million.

While MLB placed a higher value on virtue signaling than genuine support of a “majority minority city,” it’s worth noting that “corporate COVID” also infected Atlanta-based businesses. Both Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines succumbed to the virtue virus, denounced the Georgia election reforms, and were apparently fine with the loss of the All-Star Game.

But an interesting thing happened in Atlanta. The Braves discovered a vaccine for virtue signaling: victory.

Proving that the late, great catcher-turned-author-turned-broadcaster Joe Garagiola was right when he titled his book “Baseball is a Funny Game,” the Braves had the last laugh.

Defying the odds, and their own win-loss record, the Braves finally moved above .500 for good on Aug. 6, then finished the regular season with 88 wins and 73 defeats.

In the post-season, Atlanta outmuscled Milwaukee, leaving the Brewers crying in their beer. They found unlikely star power to defeat the Dodgers and brought the Astros back to earth, winning the World Series four games to two.

The series finale in Houston was especially impressive, as the Braves shut out the Astros, 7-0.

“Shut out” also accurately describes the policy triumphs of the Biden administration in its first year. Simply stated, there are none. An illegal invasion. A shameful abandonment of Americans in Afghanistan. Runaway inflation. Crippled supply lines. Radical school boards and leftist politicians denying parental authority, replacing education with indoctrination.

That last disturbing development prompted a political upset as unlikely as the Braves’ World Championship — and it occurred the same night.

Deep-blue Virginia, dependably Democrat, elected a Republican governor. Glenn Youngkin, who went from underdog to governor-elect, described his victory as a triumph of everyday Virginians, based on fundamental principles — and a rejection of radicalism.

With the congressional midterms and more gubernatorial elections slated for November 2022, Republican hopefuls are shouting, “Wait ’til next year!”

Political aspirants, whatever their partisan label, would do well to remember that electioneering is not a game.

But it is a competition, and with America poised to awaken from its “wokeness,” voters may be inspired by a spark of the “divine.”

As in “The Divine Comedy.”