Why Cars Transcend Political Strife
By Anthony “Mario” Crea
There’s been plenty of that in the good ‘ol U.S. of A lately, am I right? Or am I left?
Dammit! See that?
Even in an introductory sentence, there’s still a freaking political reference! It seems inescapable, but I’m here to help… All you need to do is go sit in your car with nothing on. Sorry, that came out the wrong way! Imagine explaining that one to your neighbors! “You see, Pete, this wise bearded man told me that it would help the country heal if I sat in my car butt naked… Umm, my eyes are up here, Pete.”
Anyway, while clothed, go sit in your car and do nothing. Don’t start it, don’t turn on the radio, don’t even open the windows (people that own Exocets or Formula cars, just pretend here, okay?) Just sit in as near silent an environment as you can and think of all the reasons why the car – and more specifically – being able to compete with it in some way, shape, or form is a reason to celebrate being an American. Why? As you’re probably aware, the escapism afforded by the automobile, especially those used for competition, is not something everyone gets to enjoy in many other parts of the world.
No doubt about it, the complex piles of metal, plastic, glass, and rubber sitting in our driveways or garages brings joy to our lives, but more importantly, so does the company we keep as a result of our hobby. In addition to seeing and interacting with hundreds of vastly different individuals each season, we are also transcending the political strife that has afflicted many parts of the nation and stressed us as a whole. The commonality of the car as a source of passion and enjoyment can act as the thread that can bind the nation’s wounds. Without caring about party affiliations, you’ll find Democrats helping Republicans and Republicans helping Democrats. Independents typically do their own thing, but we love them nonetheless. There is no racial divide. Indeed, an autocross typically looks like a Benetton ad from the 1980’s. Nor is there gender inequality or religious persecution because there have been plenty of women who have made atheists proclaim, “Jesus Christ!” thanks to an astounding run on course.
Perhaps every SCCA region across the country should invite members of the community to an autocross. Mandate that everyone bring their favorite dish and host a big cookout. Make it a community event. Let’s give rides to people. Let’s have DJ’s and face painting. We can do this because when people learn that the average autocross provides only about five minutes of seat time, they’ll call us losers and go home to watch curling… If there’s one thing we can’t afford as a nation, it’s to have people prefer curling to autocrossing.
With help from our wheeled wonders, let’s laugh again, smile again, and hug again…. Let’s Make America Great Again. (Sorry, that slogan was pretty divisive, but look, I’ve turned it into a harmless cliche!)