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Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.- Alexis DeTocqueville

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Everyone Wins

Gene Royer

Gene Royer is a staunch conservative. He is a consultant to conservative boards of all kinds, and is particularly sought-after by school boards. Gene is the author of School Board Leadership 2000 - The Things Staff Didn't Tell You At Orientation

Gene Writes:
August 25th, 2001

When I was a youngster, I competed in the 100-yard dash at the annual track and field rally. My closest opponent was the most popular male student in school, and it was no surprise that he was the crowd favorite.

At the starting shot, I sprang from the blocks and beat him to the tape by no more than an inch. The crowd was stunned into silence, and the judges now had a problem--because this wasn't supposed to happen.

So, they decided to do the "right thing." In order to make everyone happy, the judges decided to name us co-winners and give us both a gold medal.because, "It was such a close finish." It just didn't seem fair, they said, that he should not also win because he had worked so hard and came so close.

Their charity was ill-conceived because it did not make either of us happy. We knew there was a winner and a loser. He was embarrassed by having been given the gold medal, and I was deeply hurt and resentful for not having the rightful winner's honor given to me.

In this issue, the Tocquevillian reports the cheerleader tryout debacle at Brazosport High School in Clute, Texas. In this incident, two judges admit bending to the wishes of the cheerleader-squad sponsor and rigging the voting so that certain candidates would win regardless of their performances.

Since this came to light, the School Superintendent has decided to do the "right thing". As a result of the judges' perfidy, all 60 girls who tried out for cheerleading will get a place on the squad. As in my own case years ago, the achievers are being punished and the nonachievers are being rewarded.

How so, you ask?

Well, in reality--regardless of the judges' findings--there are really only 10 or so girls who are qualified to be the best and be on the team. The other 50 do not belong there. The 10 girls know they are winners, and the others know in their hearts they are not. Yet, by decreeing that all will participate because of the debacle, insult is being added to injury because the losers are rewarded same as the winners. We must ask: In this scenario, where is the incentive for excellence?

Such ideology is at the heart of liberalism, and it is destructive and counterproductive to desire and achievement. If American students are going to become leaders of the future, they must learn the pride and reward that comes of producing excellence.There is no pride in being rewarded for less.

This observer says: Let the real winner win, and let the loser learn from his experience. Participation by the loser certainly deserves compliment, but not at the expense of achievement.

Some call it "tough love". I call it sensible conservatism.

The Brazosport School Superintendent is missing a marvelous opportunity to teach his students the value of excellence. --And to demonstrate that such a virtue cannot be subjugated to outside circumstances.

A young male student being interviewed on camera demonstrated wisdom far beyond his years: "Well, I think they should do the try-outs again and let the best ones win."

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"...the achievers are being punished and the nonachievers are being rewarded..."

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