A football game is very straightforward. In football you try to prevent the ball from being kicked into your goal and you try to kick the ball into your opponent’s gaol. That is the main and only objective of a football game. In politics, however, it is not so straightforward. In politics, what you see is not what you get.
And this is what many newcomers to politics, those who have been politically active since 2007-2008, or quite recently since 2013, cannot seem to grasp. To these newcomers, it is all about kicking the ball into the opponent’s goal. So what is so complicated about that?
If politics were just like a football game then maybe this would be true. All you need to do is to score a goal. What is so hard about understanding this? But unlike in a football game, in politics your own team players are as much the enemy as those players from the opposing team. Sometimes, even, your own team players are even more an enemy than those players from the opposing team.
So sometimes you allow the ball into your own goal to ‘hurt’ certain players from your own side. Or you block players from your own team from scoring even if that results in a lost goal. Or you throw a game and allow the other side to win if that helps ‘hurt’ certain people such as your team captain, manager, patron, etc.
In politics it is not about scoring goals or about winning the football game. It is about what happens after the goal is scored or after the game is won. You do not just look at the game. You look beyond the game. So sometimes you make sure the game is lost so that what you want to see happen after the game does happen.