There were two races this week; the NYC Marathon and the election of our next President. Two unbelievable races. The emotions at the end of each were unexpected in both. The first was an experience I did not expect to love as much as I did. The second (and I’m not going down the road of who won) was so unexpected and so poorly predicated that all I am left to say is that the beliefs and values I was taught in journalism class seemed to have been forgotten when reporting during this election run.
Let’s talk about the marathon. Who won, who cares. This race is about the everyday runner and their everyday supporter. I am proud to say my son Anthony ran the grueling course of concrete streets and thundering bridges to finish the 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 22 minutes. These runners are not professional athletes but everyday people working to make a living and have this desire to push themselves outside the norm. In the final miles when their legs can barely carry them they struggle but get to the finish line. For Anthony, I saw the commitment in his face focused on meeting his personal goal. To Anthony and all the other runners, I am in awe of all of you.
But the experience was not just for the runners; it was for all the families and friends standing along the route checking the app that traced their movements, then, when they appeared, we all shouted encouragement to their runner and our’s to keep going just a little more. I see strong values in these marathoners whose name is not blared in bold type in the headlines or given 15 minutes of fame on a Entertainment Tonight segment. These ordinary people have values that are not measurable in money. I just hope it leads to their success whatever that may be. The good guy should win.
Having said that, the presidential election concluded this week. I’m so glad it is over, yet the results were like deer in headlights. I didn’t see it coming and I’m not the only one. Experts from The New York Times, The New Yorker, and late night comics including every opening monologue of Saturday Night Live leaned left and we believed them. I don’t blame the comedians. Their job is to make fun of anyone and everything. Who I blame for getting it wrong is the journalists who have forgotten their values; the morning shows that focused on foolish banter about the political race in order to get viewers attention, the newspapers that predictably supported whoever party they always supported, good, bad or indifferent. There’s no sense of value here that makes you believe there is any substance in their choice. Just shock journalism for the sake of a good read or story. It was not what I was taught when studying writing in college. My teachers insisted on reporting the news without a bias approach. It seems that philosophy has rotted into a Twitter feed of substance abuse.
Both races are now over. I look forward to Anthony’s next race which will be the Boston Marathon in 2017. I also look forward to the next four years in the hopes that the commitment made will be fulfilled. In the end, I believe that values and the good guys/gals will win. Mr. President, you owe the everyday person that much.