I saw a meme on Facebook last week that showed a bunch of twentysomethings blocking a freeway with the caption “this is what happens when you give kids trophies for losing.”
And as much as I wanted not to agree with that sentiment – to chalk it up a political ideology that I don’t subscribe to – I couldn’t shake it.
It’s right. It’s completely correct despite me wanting more than anything for it to be wrong, and it completely explains the insane reaction that people are having to the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States.
This isn’t a political jab at him. It’s simply a fact that there are thousands – maybe tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands – of people that are protesting the idea that their candidate won the popular vote and lost the election.
“This is terrible,” people have cried. “This is criminal,” they bellowed.
They – college students who are supposed to be getting educated in order to become productive members of society – have turned to “therapy dogs” and coloring books and Play-Doh (yes, Play-Doh) to alleviate their “stress” that came from the system electing somebody they don’t agree with.
As much as I want to commiserate with them – I was crushed that he won – I’m quick to remind those who tell me how terrible it is that in my first Presidential election I went to bed thinking that Al Gore had won the Presidency and woke up in the morning to the nightmare that was George W. Bush.
My most measurable standards after the fact, Al Gore won Florida – he actually won not only the popular vote, but also the Electoral College. And because of politics, and the decision of people that Bush’s father appointed to a lifetime position, it was literally snatched from who I thought was the rightful winner.
Now that’s something to cry about.
It’s just frustrating a little bit sad that the reaction of many young people in urban and coastal centers after last Tuesday wasn’t to mobilize and do what they could to fight the good fight, but to loudly proclaim that they’ve been cheated and they don’t accept the outcome of what happened.
How about this? How about you actually go to the Rust Belt or the places where manufacturing has disappeared and jobs have become scarce and people have to worry about where they were going to get their next meal and ask them why they voted the way that they did. And I guarantee you those blue collar Democrats that traditionally backed their party will give you 100 reasons why they went with the visible change that has been lacking in their world for almost a decade.
America is many countries rolled into one, and unless you can understand the plight of your fellow man from another region, you’ll never get it.
But what can you expect from the “participation trophy” generation?
Isn’t this kind of like rooting for a plane to crash that we’re all sitting on?
Gone far too soon
I wrote a column earlier this week about David and Danny Craigg who were killed on Sunday when they crashed their motorcycles on Woodward Avenue.
While I knew them, and could describe the friendly, fun-loving attitude of the two unique young men who left this earth too soon, it doesn’t even scratch the surface of what people will likely hear on Saturday at 11 a.m. when people pack Calvary Community Church to say goodbye to two people who touched so many lives.
Some of the comments on Facebook – some of them on this paper’s own page – have been brutal since news of this story broke, and all I can say about this is: What if that was you? What if it was you who hammered down on a country road because your song came on the radio and nobody else was around? What if your tire blew or a cow broke through a fence and wandered into the road or you swerved to avoid something and lost control? What it would be like for your family to read those comments on social media? The two men who can answer for their actions aren’t here anymore – and that’s a tragedy, because both of them have young children who will grow up without their father.
A little bit of empathy goes a long way in a situation like this. Maybe we should all try it.
The picks of the prideful pack
So it’s rumored that Mark Condit and I will have a Punt, Pass and Kick competition on Thanksgiving morning – or at least it has been mentioned in our group text thread in passing.
So I figured I might as well substantiate the idea that after next week, there will officially be a winner of these shenanigans.
But lets face it folks – we’re all winners here because Chris Teicheira is so terrible at picking high school, college and even professional football games. The East Union Class of 1991 are the big winners here, but we’re all winners knowing that his green heart will harden just a little bit when he puts the cash down to benefit his sworn enemy and forever link his name with the Red and Blue.
This week the Manteca Buffaloes are the only local team left standing the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Playoffs – Division IV or otherwise, unless you count Oakdale in Division III or Central Catholic in Division II.
But if you think about that for a second, that means that three Valley Oak League teams could realistically (they’re all good enough) win a State Championship at different levels.
People have long talked about how the VOL is the toughest league around, and last year two of their teams took home trophies.
This year that could be three.
And that’s an amazing thing.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.