A Plea For Reason

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Be aware that for the first time (and probably the last time), I do make a quasi-political statement here. I really sat down to write about some of the latest developments in the IndyCar silly season, and only give a casual mention of the election. But once I started typing, I realized there was a lot I wanted to get off of my chest. If you’ve had enough of everyone’s opinion on the election, come back Monday. I promise I’ll have a more pertinent discussion about IndyCar, other than a couple of gratuitous mentions.

I’m not defending either candidate, but appealing to people in the IndyCar community to remember that we all have our love of motorsports in common. A few weeks ago, I made a plea for us all to stop the baseless name-calling when it comes to the campaign that just ended. I was afraid that when the next racing season came along, it might be tough to forget the things said about each other just a few months earlier. It didn’t work.

As we all know, the US elected our forty-fifth president Tuesday – much to the dismay of many, including many within the IndyCar community. There has been a mix of either jubilation or downright fear. Both sides need to take a deep breath and tap the brakes.

To the Trump voters, a dose of humility could go a long way with many of you. The gloating by some of you is a bit much. I’m a firm believer in the Electoral College, but a deficit in the popular vote does not exactly give Trump a mandate. Things will not come as easily or quickly as some of you think they will. Your candidate is hated by many and will face opposition every step of the way – especially until he does something to prove himself and disprove his doubters with actions and not words.

For the Clinton supporters, cheer up – things will not be near as bleak as some of you have been led to believe. Donald Trump is not the hate-monger and bogey-man that he has been made out to be. He will not round up various groups and have them extinguished. No matter the make-up of both Houses of Congress; nothing remotely close to that could ever be allowed to happen, not even if Trump wanted to – which he most-assuredly does not.

Does Donald Trump have an ego? It’s huge. Is Trump practically a caricature of himself? At times. Is Trump an idiot? Don’t believe it for a second. Is Trump a bigot or racist? I don’t believe him to be, but a lot of statements he’s made have been interpreted by some to suggest he is – but my interpretation says he’s not. Is Donald Trump evil? I don’t think so, but many do. These positions on each sides are opinions, not facts. We’re all entitled to them. I’ve heard the statements. You won’t change my opinions. I won’t change yours. I can live with that.

My suggestion is to give Donald Trump a chance. Whether or not you voted for him, he is our new president – like it or not. And you really have no choice. Don’t buy into the rhetoric of those chanting “Not my president!”. Hillary Clinton has said to get behind him and so has our current president. I would think the Clinton supporters would be willing to give Trump a chance, seeing as how they tout themselves as the party of tolerance and open-mindedness.

The one constant in the 240 year history of our country is the peaceful transition of power. Granted, the Wednesday night protests that occurred were mostly peaceful but there was some sporadic violence. But if peaceful protests turn violent where property is destroyed and people are injured or killed – that’s a major problem. Wednesday night, some college-age protesters unhappy with the election were quoted as saying “someone needs to die”. Seriously?

My hope was that the venom spewing on social media would go away after the election. Instead, it’s gotten worse – far worse. The day after the election; one person in the IndyCar community, whom I respected, announced that they were removing all Trump voters from their life permanently. This person systematically took on anyone and everyone who disagreed with their stance and one by one, deleted them from their Facebook account. How sad that someone alienates anyone that doesn’t completely agree with them.

I would be bored to death (and probably very lonely) if I only associated with people who thought like me. My One Take Only cohort, John McLallen, is about as far from my political views as he could possibly get. We get into fairly animated discussions at times, but are somehow able to remain the best of friends. Why? Because we both know that other than voting, there is not a whole lot we can change and that our friendship means a lot more than our political views

If Donald Trump’s presidency is a disaster, vote him out in four years. But to stain his transition into office with daily unrest is not only unfair to him – it’s unfair to the country. This was my eleventh presidential election to vote in. My candidate has won six of the eleven. Five times, I found myself extremely disappointed the day after the election – the first of which, when I was an 18 year-old freshman in college. As disappointed as I was in those defeats, I never once thought of protesting or refusing to accept the results of an election. Instead, I fell in line and supported whomever was president for two reasons. First, I really had no choice. Secondly, if the president fails – is that really good for anyone? No.

For those that have read this far, I appreciate your indulgence. My parting message is to give a Donald Trump presidency a try. I realize that for some people, no matter what he does in office – it won’t be enough. There are those that will always be ready to pounce and blame anything bad in this world on Donald Trump, whether or not he had anything to do with it. But for those that voted for anyone else and you are truly open-minded, give him a chance to see what he does. If he fails like many are predicting, vote him out in four years and the incumbents in Congress out in two. But if he exceeds your expectations and actually does a good job – be big enough to give him some credit.

The sun has come up every morning since Donald Trump was elected. It will continue to do so. Let’s end this bickering once and for all. Let’s be adults and accept the results. Let’s not act like some protesters who have resembled infants not getting their way. For the Trump voters – tone down the gloating. For the Clinton supporters, stop spreading the hate. For everyone – let’s support our new president. This nation has been divided too long. That’s a bad place to be.

And to end on a lighter and happier note – I’ll include a photo of our pup Maley from earlier this past summer. Many of you remember when we got her in August of 2015. She’s now sixteen months old, weighs seventy-five pounds and has eaten practically every item in our house. But I wouldn’t trade her for anything, but I’m not so sure Susan would say the same thing – especially considering all of the earrings Maley has eaten.

Maley

I hope everyone has a great weekend and is ready to discuss the good things going on in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Thanks again for allowing me to express my non-racing views. If I haven’t alienated voters on both sides; I’ll be here Monday to discuss JR Hildebrand, Conor Daly and Ed Jones all finding fulltime rides for 2017.

George Phillips

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28 Responses to “A Plea For Reason”

  1. J in Wilmington Says:

    Well put!

  2. I had hoped-apparently in vain-that you would keep your support for Donald Trump to yourself and stick to racing subjects. My granddaughters, who are now old enough to know what was just elected president, are bewildered. Consider this a plea for you to stick to racing commentary.

    • Where in here did I say I voted for Donald Trump? But thanks for proving my point.

    • You have got to be kidding me Ron. If anyone is guilty of consistantly injecting politics into almost every comment on racing subjects here, it would be you. Anyone that reads here regularly, inadvertently knows which side of the fence you are on and that makes Georges point.

      Also, the “what” that won the election is a person.

      • Actually, when it comes to politics Dan, I am an independent voter. I did not vote for either of the two front runners. “Person” is a stretch. I would use another word beginning with per, but hey, you are entitled to your own opinion.

        I just got my Road American tickets. Are you coming up again?

  3. Well put, people need to stop believing every piece of propoganda on the internet also, except of course for Oilpressure!

  4. Thank You George. This was needed.

  5. George, as someone who is both an avid reader of your blog and a Hillary voter, I was apprehensive to read your post after the first paragraph. But having read it in it’s entirety, there is nothing in it that I disagree with. As President, LBJ would famously quote from Isaiah 1:18- ‘Come now, let us reason together’ before congressional meetings. Your post reminds me of that. Well said, George. There are probably three topics that shouldn’t be discussed publically – Religion, Politics, and the ‘Split’. 🙂 But having read your post, I am in agreement with you. And I think you handled this quite well and I found your writing today refreshing and hopeful. Now, let’s get to the real questions at hand – who is going to land the 4th Ganassi seat and will KVSH be on the grid?

  6. I would not take the “protesters” too seriously. They are organized by George Soros and one of his organizations, Moveon.org. Plus, they aren’t protesting Trump, they are protesting our political system. It worked. they are not alleging fraud, just that they don’t like who the people voted for. I just wish the press organizations would expose these protests for who they are. If you look at some of the pictures taken at the protest, you will have no doubt.

    I did not like either candidate, but it does occur to me that Trump has the opportunity to go down in history as one of the great presidents because he seems to be there at exactly the right moment in history. Others have had a similar opportunity and blown it. So we shall see.

  7. Bruce Waine Says:

    Would suggest an amended sentence.

    Instead of , “For Clinton supporters – Stop spreading the hate.” I would offer a non-partisan statement.

    – For non-Trump supporters – Stop spreading the hate.

    Said amended comment would then be all inclusive, giving credit where credit is due. A very positive feature of the United States in that people are allowed to express their freedom of speech (without the violence) without fear of recrimination, imprisonment, exile, death………….

    The outcome of this election brings to mind several sayings.

    One is “Put your money where your mouth is.” In this outcome, time will tell if the ‘winner’ is capable of fulfilling his promises.

    One might consider the outcome of the election as receiving what you wished for not realizing the consequences. For Donald Trump it may be figuratively as his being permanently in a straight jacket since he will lose his freedom to liberally enact his wishes but instead have to deal with the constraints of a United States two party legal system.

    Perhaps likened to a bit of purgatory for the individual that has been ‘elected’ by the Electoral College and who lost the popular vote. A consequence of Mr. Trump losing his personal business as usual freedom independence and as ‘President’ still expecting immediate results in his favor.

    i

  8. Happy Veterans Day!

    Even families are divided. Even my relatives here and in Colombia are divided.

    I have to applaud the Indy Car community, drivers and journalists, for not getting political. If they had expressed an opinion- no matter how obliquely- in support of a candidate, I would have lost respect for them.

    I hope the media and mainstream journalism (if it survives post-election), realizes incendiary rhetoric is not effective and only works to divide the country and the world and should NOT be used in the future.

    I’m hoping the coming policies that will be undertaken will refocus people and unite them. People care more about their country when they are participants in, rather than recipients of, its wealth.

    I hope for peace and prosperity for all and that in two years people will be fully focused on constructive things.

    Btw, I just got my Watkins Glen Int’l 2017 membership renewal in the mail yesterday and was looking at the schedule. What election? 😀

  9. We owe Donald Trump the exact same amount of loyalty and support that Republicans, the Tea Party, and Trump himself gave Obama the last eight years. Turnabout is fair play, after all.

  10. billytheskink Says:

    George, I’m extremely disappointed. I fully expected to read that you voted Dan Gurney for president.

  11. From a Indy Car fan and Indianapolis 500 fan standpoint, what year was it that our President-elect drove the Pace Car? Oh, that’s right he didn’t. His “personality” got him de-invited.

    • Thanks for the reminder Bob. At least the Indianapolis Motor Speedway had the good sense to fire him.

      • Hey Ron, who wrote this a few hours ago:

        “I could not care less who you voted for, but I come here for racing news, not political commentary. And, as you have suggested above, I hope it is the last time I see that here.”

        Yes, it was you! And yet here you are, dredging it up again hours later. Why don’t you “ha(ve) the good sense” to “stick to racing subjects,” as you said in your first post.

        And besides, now that we know “what” you voted for it gives your commentary much less gravitas….

        • Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Indy500. Pace Car. What is not race related about that? And actually you do not know what or who I voted for. Nor could you guess from any of my comments here.

  12. Lynn Weinberg Says:

    Thank you for saying all of the things I was unable to eloquently put into words over the last few days. Bear with me, hopefully, I’ll be able to concisely say what I want to stay here without it being misconstrued.

    My kids laugh at me when I refer to someone as “My Twitter Friend,” but I do consider people on Twitter (and Facebook) to be just that. Friends with whom I share a common interest of IndyCar racing. With Twitter, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know people all over the world. I joined Twitter in October, 2011. With relatively few followers, I grieved the death of Dan Wheldon, and really struggled with having witnessed it in person. I questioned whether I could continue to love this sport that can be so devastating at times. Fast forward to 2015, and the IndyCar family, once again pulled together to mourn another loss, that of Justin Wilson. I don’t live in Indianapolis, or any city where people know any other racing except NASCAR. So having people to talk to about these things was of great comfort to me.

    My dad used to travel all around taking photos of F1 and some IndyCar races. His friends had a group newsletter, it was typed on a typewriter and mailed to all the members with information about upcoming races, local newspaper clippings, lodging, etc. They shared info, bought each other pins from the races and traded them and met up for meals. It took weeks and sometimes a month for these letters to travel through the group! In the late 1970’s, he was doing the exact same thing we are doing here, except at a MUCH slower pace. He knew these people, but only one part of them, the racing fan. Those were his “Twitter Friends.”

    This IndyCar family….we are more different than we are alike. We are from different parts of the country, and other countries, we had different unbringings, different values, religious beliefs, and political beliefs. We are from different generations, and and we have different socio-economic backgrounds. However, we all share one thing, and that is the love of IndyCar racing. That’s what brought us together, and frankly, there aren’t enough of us left to be torn apart.

    • I think you have managed to be pretty darn eloquent here Lynn. Thank you. It must have been heart wrenching to be there when Dan died. Lord how I miss that rascal.

  13. EDGAR Emmitt Says:

    Man why all the hate.That is one thing about social media it’s all about me and what I think.

    Let’s get back to racing on this site.

  14. As a foreigner living abroad, it’s quite hard to understand for me how during an election, people allow social media to drive a rift between themselves and some of their real life friends.
    But then, my knowledge of Facebook is limited which comes from not having bothered with getting one because of their awful privacy policies. Here’s hoping the campaigns for next year’s election here in Germany will be more sensible but I kind of doubt it because a fairly new fairly radical party has thrown its hat in the ring this time, and from what I have heard, they are all about that kind of behavior on social media, too.

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