What liberals can learn from the Daytona 500

The last two Sundays featured major cultural happenings in America: the Oscars and the Daytona 500.

Each drew similar television audience numbers, about 23 million viewers, but the events themselves couldn't have been more different.

The Oscars celebrate America's filmmaking yet always toss in a good deal of moaning.  This year, viewers heard about the problems of too many white people, too many men, impeachment, and the discrimination against black hairstyles. 

We heard Joaquin Phoenix rail against inseminating cows and drinking milk and even got to hear a quote from Karl Marx.

Julia Reichert, who won best documentary for American Factory, produced by the Obamas' new production company, reminded us that "working people have it harder and harder these days — and we believe that things will get better when workers of the world unite." 

The Daytona 500, even with its rain delay, was a stark contrast and full-throated celebration of not auto racing, but America. 

A children's choir opened with "God Bless America."  The event featured an Air Force sergeant singing the National Anthem and an invocation where Pastor Ronnie Barton reminded us that "we live in freedom; we worship in peace."

Those two events appeal to two different kinds of Americans and politicians.  In Hollywood, Trump was disdained, while in Daytona, he was revered.

The president knows how to create political showmanship.  We saw it recently at the State of the Union address, when he bestowed the Medal of Freedom on Rush Limbaugh, gave a scholarship to a fourth-grader, and honored a Tuskegee airman.  Sunday's event was also vintage Trump.

He entered the raceway with a low-pass flyover in Air Force One, followed by a quick speech ending with the iconic "gentlemen, start your engines!," and then kicked off the race with a lap in his mammoth presidential limousine, nicknamed "the Beast."  He even jumped on an official's radio to give the racing drivers a quick pep talk.

The excitement in the voices of the announcers, the drivers, and the audience was clear.  Fox Sports played audio from driver Clint Bowyer, as he realized that President Donald Trump was in front, saying,  "Love it.  God, it's awesome." 

If Democrats want to win the next election, they need to learn some lessons from NASCAR.

It's good to criticize things that should be improved, but it's also wise to celebrate America, since, problems notwithstanding, America is pretty amazing.

I could write a thick, fact-filled book on why America leads the world in nearly every way you can measure success: economics, military, technology, culture, entertainment, and justice.  Ask the question, "How many countries are building a wall to prevent immigrants from overwhelming it?"  Not many.

Our upcoming election isn't an indictment of the president; people have already made up their minds on him.  It's a referendum on what America is and what it should be.

Americans are feeling better about the country and their own lives, with 60% saying they're better off now than they were three years ago.  About the same number credit Trump.

Despite that, the Democratic candidates, like their better-looking Oscar comrades, want you to ignore your lying eyes.  They focus so much on America's problems that they appear to have forgotten the country's beauty. 

I won't pretend to know how the upcoming election will turn out, but a disdain of all things American will not win.  I can assure you at least of that.

Ken LaCorte is the founder of LaCorte News.  You can follow him on Twitter at @kenlacorte.

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