A Plea For Reason
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.
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.