Fred likes Team A. Team A professes to represent all of the things that Fred believes in.
Lucas likes Team B. Team B professes to represent all of the things that Lucas believe in.
From now until November, Fred and Lucas will show their team spirit, trumpeting their support of Team A and Team B on social media, at work, at dinner, and everywhere else they go. They’ll watch their teams compete on television. They might put signs in their front yard, sharing their enthusiasm with their neighbors. They may even wear shirts or hats emblazoned with the names of their favorite team players. They will root for their team, and ultimately support their team with money and the act of voting.
In November, Fred will vote for Team A and Lucas will vote for Team B. But who they’ll really be voting for is Team C. Team C isn’t on the ballot. Team C doesn’t need to be on the ballot. And no matter what the ideological differences between Team A and Team B are, it is the policies of Team C that ultimately get put into practice. If Team C decides that Fred and Lucas should be punched in the nuts, then Team A and Team B will punch Fred and Lucas in the nuts.
And four years from now, Fred and Lucas will vote for them to do it all over again.