A Journey into the Red

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When creative writers (liberals by definition; Roger Simon is a changeling) run out of creative juice, they often turn to the old “go talk to rednecks and make them look funny” schtick. Hell, whole careers have been built on that. So I can’t really single out Jack Burditt for blame for taking his turn.

Some of my real liberal friends talk about NASCAR as the personification of evil. I take a more inquisitive approach to politics. That’s why last weekend I headed to Fontana, which I recently discovered is in California, to attend NASCAR’s Sony HD 500.

Upon arriving, I found 15,000 acres of tailgate parties. I was impressed how these people can take a patch of asphalt and transform it into a space much nicer than my home. Maybe they do deserve to decide all the elections after all.

I saw a family man working a barbecue, a NASCAR dad if I ever saw one. I think. He smiled. Obviously he didn’t sniff me out as a blue-state guy intruding on his red-state world. I asked him if he would describe himself as a NASCAR dad. He informed me he didn’t speak English. Weird, I thought, it didn’t seem very red state-esque.

Well, it’s not exactly bridge-building across the cultural chasm, but I’ll try to take it in the right spirit. By the end of it he even almost learns something. But even I, here on the East Coast, know there’s an awful lot of Hispanic-American and Vietnamese-American folks involved in the car culture in California these days.

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