Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The Virginia Gentleman Interviews George Allen
VG: Thank you for taking the time to interview with me. You mentioned in your book that Ronald Reagan is your political hero. You have always been mine so I am honored to get a chance to interview you.
You mentioned the concept of merit and how it is important in sports, but why is it that government does not seem to understand the concept?
GA: Well, Government always like to mettle, and unlike competitive sports they want to determine outcomes. Government likes to determine who wins and loses. While sports provides a level playing field, government wants control. The other big thing is that in competitive sports there is a scoreboard, which provides a way to measure progress. With the government they primarily measure progress by dollars spent. Coming out ahead on the scoreboard is inherently based on merit. Government operates on political calculations, which have little to do with merit.
VG: One of your chapters has a curious title, “never punt on 1st down.” Explain what you mean by that.
GA: Washington has a way of putting off problems and instead waits until there is a crisis - Until it is 4th down and 10 yards to go. I believe it is better to deal with these challenges, now, on first down than wait. Washington policymakers have been punting on dealing with our energy challenges for decades. Many in Washington have been reluctant to tackle this challenge because the best alternatives to foreign oil have powerful political constituencies arrayed against them. The fact is that we are number 1 in the world when it comes to energy resources, but rather than looking at our blessings, Washington looks at this like a curse. We have great coal, natural gas, and oil resources right here is America. Instead of creating a winning game plan Washington has punted on energy and left it for another day. The other area where Washington has punted is the budget. Thanks to rampant spending, the annual federal deficit tripled in 2009. And total federal debt is projected to double in five years and triple in ten. Our government should be like a good sports team-soberly focused on specific responsibilities, not meddling in the peoples affairs and spending on someone else's credit card like a bloated drunken nanny.
VG: Another chapter is titled, “Nobody pays to watch officials officiate.” Explain what you mean by that?
GA: We need standards, and at times arbitration, but Washington seems needlessly officious. And in many cases government policies become counter productive. Government bureaucrats become like bad officials, convinced that the game is about them. Hey everybody watch me make a call. When in reality our economy works best when people are left alone. I do believe that government over-regulation hinders the flow of the free enterprise system.
VG: What are the main values that people can learn from sports?
GA: Well there are so many things to learn. The great thing about sports is it teaches us how to compete, and how to win. As I say in my book, what gets measured gets better, and in sports we learn to adapt and improve. Also, sportsmanship. I am always moved that at the end of every Army-Navy football game, both sides stand in a sign of respect while each others fight song is being played.
VG: As a life -long Redskins fan I have to ask, how will the Redskins do this season?
GA: I am an optimist. I think the pick up of Donovan McNabb is a big upgrade. McNabb is a proven winner, and will provide great leadership on and off the field. I think the offensive line has been improved with the Redskins first draft pick, and I feel the defense will be more aggressive with Haslitt as coordinator. In addition the Redskins will have much better coaching this year.
VG: Governor thanks for taking the time to speak with me.
GA: My Pleasure.