by Jim Hightower
You now what's wrong with America? I'll tell you what's wrong: Soccer.
Yes, soccer — or, as the rest of the world calls it, "football." But we know what real football is, and it's not soccer. What soccer is, is foreign. And, therefore, un-American.
No less of a cultural authority than Glenn Beck has seen this clearly and is leading the red-white-and-blue, "Real America" charge against this invasive sport. Fox TV's right-wing pontificator recently decried media coverage of soccer's world championship playoffs, now underway in South Africa: "It doesn't matter how you try to sell it to us," Beck barked, "We don't want the World Cup, we don't like the World Cup, we don't like soccer, we want nothing to do with it."
You see, Glenn and a host of other right-wing ideologues have determined that the intrusion of soccer into our county is a leftist plot to turn Americans into socialists. "The left is pushing it in schools across the country," wailed one of these chicken littles." "Soccer is designed as a poor man or poor woman's sport," warned another, declaring that it is a precursor to the "browning of America."
But, gosh guys, soccer's popularity has sprung from conservative, middle class suburbs, not from secret socialist cells at Harvard. Also, here's something that'll cause Glenn to grind his teeth — the biggest media pusher of soccer in the U.S. has been Beck's own boss and fellow right-winger, Rupert Murdoch. His Fox broadcast empire covers more of the games than any other network.
Glenn and his commentating cohorts have gone bull-goose goofy. Besides they're too late to stop the invasion. If soccer is socialist... well, then so is America! More American kids under 12 now play soccer than play baseball, football, and basketball combined. In fact, America already has more registered soccer players than any other country, and the World Cup is creating more fans every day.
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