Have you seen the forward being circulated via email listing some of Yogi Berra’s quotes? I don’t know about you, but through the years, I have been among those that not only found his malaprops to be funny, but quite often I gleaned ironic truths within them.
As a rule, I rarely pay attention to forwards, but I was in the mood for some nostalgiac chuckles, so I opened the forward. I found the famous, oft-repeated ones but also found several that I hadn’t heard before. In reading them, I started thinking that, perhaps, Yogi had an undiscovered talent for political commentary. My imagination envisioned the late, great Andy Rooney of “60 Minutes” ending one of his commentaries with a Yogi-ism or one of the late-night TV hosts slipping one into the monologue to start the show.
Every week, Washington shenanigans afford political commentators a glut of fodder upon which to write. Let’s take a look at a few recent occurrences and how Yogi would have explained.
Hillary Clinton released her book detailing her failed campaign for the presidency. Filled with her take on the whys and wherefores; Yogi suggested two simple explanations: “We made too many wrong mistakes.” Also, “You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.”
Congress keeps trying to pass a healthcare bill that the majority of the country simply doesn’t want and the Republican party can’t even agree upon. Yogi’s take might have been: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going because you might not get there.”
And then there are the Presidents’ tweets. Some suggest that his provocations in 140 characters are a strategy for diverting attention from his negative press or problems, which were self-inflicted. Perhaps President Trump should be quoting Yogi in some of his tweets responding to criticism.
On explaining why nothing “big” seems to be getting done by his administration: “I ain’t in no slump. I’m just not hitting!” Or, “I never blame myself when I’m not hitting. I just blame the bat. After all, if I know it’s not my fault, how can I be mad at myself?”
On being called out for lying: “I never said most of the things I said!” Or, how about, “I don’t make ‘em up. I don’t even know when I say it. They’re the truth and it is the truth I don’t know.”
It’s all well and good to find amusement in juxtaposing Yogi's quotes with situations in Washington today. But, a moment’s levity lessens not the gravity of so many current areas of concern within our nation and the world. There are really big problems to solve. I fear the kind of world we might be leaving for our children and their children. While there are no easy answers, I pray that true inroads can be made in alleviating some of those problems. If solutions can’t be found, I leave you with one more Yogi-ism:
“The future ain’t what it used to be.”