This has most certainly already proven to be a quite historic presidential election cycle this year. We've seen the first serious female contender for the Democratic nomination, in Senator Hillary Clinton, the first partly African-American nominee-apparent, in Senator Barack Obama, and in Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee-to-be, we have the oldest candidate ever to seek the White House, at age 72.
And speaking of the Arizona senator, he made history of another kind this past week, at least as far as the biker community is concerned. Of all the places a candidate has ever spoken, McCain is the first one of all to show up and give a speech during the annual biker rally in Sturgis, South Dakota.
Well, why shouldn't he? The timing was perfect for a war hero, ex-POW patriot, and lover of America like McCain. It's custom-made for someone like him and he must have known that he'd find an enthusiastic audience there. Bikers, after all, are all about freedom. We love the freedom of the open road and the freedom to congregate in large numbers and party it up for 4-5 days. And we vote. McCain can speak the language that bikers like to hear and although I missed hearing his speech, he evidently wowed everyone there at the event, because it was reported that he had to pause so many times for the wild applause from the crowd that it took him twice as long to deliver it as he'd originally planned. All-in-all, it was a huge success, in a most unusual setting for a political campaign stopover.
Sturgis, of course, is not your typical biker rally, to be sure. Set amidst the natural beauty and grandeur of the Black Hills, less than an hour's ride away from Mount Rushmore, the rally is the oldest one in America and maybe the world, beginning in the 1930's, smack in the middle of the Great Depression. Few could afford to attend, in those lean economic years, but what few did had a good time and got the pressures and worries of that era off their minds for a few days. From there, over the years until today, Sturgis has grown into The Event for the motorcycling community, and now is the largest such event in the world, setting new attendance records almost every year. And it seems like somebody on a bike is headed there all year long, even when no rally is going on. Sturgis and the surrounding communities have become Motorcycle City, U.S.A., and it's the destination most bikers dream of getting to someday. Will this writer ever ride out there? I don't know, but I'd sure love to go someday, God willling. Talk about some fantastic entries!!!!
Would one of the Democratic contenders have wowed that crowd as well as McCain?? Very doubtful, at least this year, when that party's leadership in Congress is holding America's natural oil resources hostage. Doing so even in the face of a very angry public, the vast majority of whom want those resources opened up to domestic oil production, in order to bring and keep the price down to a reasonable level and end our dependence on imported oil for good. All because of their political indebtitude to several groups of environmental extremists. You reap what you sow, says the Bible, and we'll just have to see what effect that party's stubborness has at the polls on Nov. 4th.
Bikers are fed up, too, like everyone else. Sure, our tanks hold less than a car's tank, and we go considerably further on a gallon of gas (if you use a lighter hand on that right twist-grip), but most higher-powered bikes, like Miss Velvet, also have expensive tastes -- as in premium fuel. And on a longer run, like, say, Knoxville to Sturgis, you're gonna shell out some major shekels for the go-juice. That leaves that much less to spend at the rally, and you've gotta save enough money to get back home, to boot. So, it's expensive for everyone right now, not just cagers and truckers. And the Dems, seemingly, are so out of touch with the average American that they just don't get it at all.
McCain does get it, and I think he'll do everything in his power to do what needs to be done, should he make it to the White House. Does that give y'all any idea of whom this Dawg is gonna vote for?? Hmmm??