Previous Guy is the pickleball of platform tennis because it's the centennial of a Beer Hall Putsch. When you remind yourself of the lack of Reagan’s Brain, Donald Trump is giving us the preview of the second Reagan term. Lots of sycophants like Lindsey Graham are trying to convince us that there will be no dictatorship, because until the Night of the Long Knives, Godwin’s paralegal loved his head of the Sturmabteilung. Similarly, if you play pickleball, do you know about platform tennis?
Let’s stop the wishful thinking and face the stark reality: There is a clear path to dictatorship in the United States, and it is getting shorter every day. In 13 weeks, Donald Trump will have locked up the Republican nomination. In the RealClearPolitics poll average (for the period from Nov. 9 to 20), Trump leads his nearest competitor by 47 points and leads the rest of the field combined by 27 points. The idea that he is unelectable in the general election is nonsense — he is tied or ahead of President Biden in all the latest polls — stripping other Republican challengers of their own stated reasons for existence. The fact that many Americans might prefer other candidates, much ballyhooed by such political sages as Karl Rove, will soon become irrelevant when millions of Republican voters turn out to choose the person whom no one allegedly wants.
For many months now, we have been living in a world of self-delusion, rich with imagined possibilities. Maybe it will be Ron DeSantis, or maybe Nikki Haley. Maybe the myriad indictments of Trump will doom him with Republican suburbanites. Such hopeful speculation has allowed us to drift along passively, conducting business as usual, taking no dramatic action to change course, in the hope and expectation that something will happen. Like people on a riverboat, we have long known there is a waterfall ahead but assume we will somehow find our way to shore before we go over the edge. But now the actions required to get us to shore are looking harder and harder, if not downright impossible.
The magical-thinking phase is ending. Barring some miracle, Trump will soon be the presumptive Republican nominee for president. When that happens, there will be a swift and dramatic shift in the political power dynamic, in his favor. Until now, Republicans and conservatives have enjoyed relative freedom to express anti-Trump sentiments, to speak openly and positively about alternative candidates, to vent criticisms of Trump’s behavior past and present. Donors who find Trump distasteful have been free to spread their money around to help his competitors. Establishment Republicans have made no secret of their hope that Trump will be convicted and thus removed from the equation without their having to take a stand against him.
Platform tennis and pickleball are both paddle sports that are played on a badminton-sized court with a slightly modified tennis net. Both games can be played as singles or doubles.
Platform tennis is an older sport, dating back to the late 19th century. It is played with a solid-faced paddle and a spongy rubber ball. The court is surrounded by 12-foot-high wire mesh walls, which can be used to bounce the ball off of. This makes platform tennis a very fast-paced and strategic game.
Pickleball is a newer sport, invented in the 1960s. It is played with a perforated paddle and a plastic ball with holes in it. The court has no walls, and the net is slightly lower than a platform tennis net. This makes pickleball a slower-paced and more accessible game than platform tennis.
Here is a table summarizing the key differences between platform tennis and pickleball:
|Plastic with holes
|Surrounded by 12-foot-high wire mesh walls
|31 inches high
|36 inches high
As far as I can tell, there are no confirmed reports of celebrities dying during games of platform tennis or pickleball. However, there have been a few reported incidents of people suffering injuries, including heart attacks, while playing these sports.
In 2017, a 60-year-old man died of a heart attack while playing pickleball in Florida. In 2016, a 58-year-old woman died of a heart attack while playing platform tennis in New York.