The Fallacy of Impossibility

Dices on white background, studio shot
Dices on white background, studio shot

On either side of the Atlantic, this is quickly becoming the year of achieving the impossible. In the race to secure the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, Bernie Sanders now has Hillary Clinton on the ropes having won seven of the last eight delegates battles.

Despite having the financial backing of organizations renowned for scrounging millions from the American electorate via legal tax dodging, Clinton now retains only a slender lead. It should be noted that Clinton is not responsible for what her financial backers do just as Sanders isn't responsible for what his backers - the people- do either. On the subject of campaign funding, one wonders if in the event Clinton does defeat Sanders, might it be worthwhile for the public to begin a crowd-funding campaign to encourage her to represent the people?

In the Premier League, the top tier of English soccer and the world's richest league, one of the smallest clubs in the division are now six matches away from becoming the champions of England. This is unprecedented in an era of multi-millions being thrown about left, right and centre within the game. Leicester City were 5,000 to one to win the Premier League at the beginning of the season quite simply it wasn't even an option. Only nobody seems to have told them that. Leicester City winning the Premier League will arguably go down as the single greatest achievement in the history of world team sport if they pull it off. Hollywood are said to be already preparing a movie about the life of top scorer 29-year-old Jamie Vardy who only made his Premier League debut last season.

Leicester City's Italian manager Claudio Ranieri said earlier this week that before one match, he told the team "come on boys, come on. I offer you a pizza if you get a clean sheet." The team duly achieved a clean sheet. Although personally I would usually advise getting a clean sheet after pizza and not the other way around.

What Bernie Sanders and Leicester City are showing people is that anything is possible as long as you don't give up. Indeed the possibility of the word impossible itself is one of the quirkiest occurrences in the English language. Impossible says I'm possible. In fact when we think of betting odds in relation to examples such as Sanders or Leicester, it is worth remembering that old mantra of investment companies - past performance is not an indicator of future results. And yet past performance is all that bookmakers have to go on.

Who cares if something unlikely has never been done before? Think of an unlikely achievement and the people who might have attempted it before. The difference between you and them is that you have the advantage of learning from their mistakes. And the more times you try, the more you narrow the odds. If you are capable of imagining that something is impossible then you must also acknowledge that it was you who created the 'impossible' in your mind in the first place. And for those who say something is impossible - for them it is. Only them.

In high-level soccer most of the players are guided by their wallets which means Leicester's star players will likely leave in the near future for clubs that are much richer. Regardless of whether or not Leicester win the Premier League this season, the chances are they won't even be challenging for it next season. On the political front, many Brits would give their right arm or at least some obscure island to have a politician like Bernie Sanders within touching distance of Downing Street. And no I'm not referring to the Falklands Mr Corbyn.

To be honest, you can be inspired by either even if you oppose everything they stand for. The inspiration comes not from what they are representing but from their determination to overcome the unlikeliness of their respective aims against all the odds. The reality for an American socialist and Leicester City is that it's now or never.

Or is it?