A Voter’s Got a Right to … Vote

(Monte Dutton sketch)

Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, May 25, 2018, 10:47 a.m.

By Monte Dutton

Today’s world is one of absolutes. Most people don’t seem to believe in the right of anyone else’s opinion. They want to limit everything.

This week the NASCAR Hall of Fame announced that Davey Allison, Jeff Gordon, Alan Kulwicki, Roger Penske and Jack Roush are going in next year.

Fine by me. I don’t have a vote. As such, I’ve barely thought about it. I might have voted for the same five, but it’s moot, and hence will be mute. A process exists. A system. A group of distinguished voters gets together and fills out ballots. Each person who has a vote can vote for anyone (on the list of nominees) he or she wants. Those are the rules.

Roger Penske (right) with Rusty Wallace. (Getty Images/NASCAR)

Two weeks ago, I stumbled into a Facebook thread whose consensus view seemed to be that any old person who persisted in driving the speed limit in the left lane of an interstate deserved to be executed by the state. I wrote a short sentence to the effect that capital punishment might be a mite harsh, and the group turned on me.

Gordon was not a unanimous choice. A pity. No need, though, to decree that a voter be banished to Elba, St. Helena or Kentucky Speedway, even. Ninety-six percent voted for Gordon. It was virtually unanimous. Of all the people hot and bothered, I’d bet one wasn’t Gordon.

Davey Allison (Getty Images/NASCAR)

They give a guy a vote – not me, mind you, they’ve got more sense than that – and, then, if he doesn’t vote the same as everybody else, the guy should be banned!

How could this voter leave off Gordon? He must be a libtard (or a reberal?) or a moron, or on the take or on the lam, in somebody’s pocket or somebody else’s wheelhouse. Obviously such a voter has taken leave of his (or her) senses. He may have even gone off the reservation.

But how could anyone vote against Gordon? Do you know what this man has done?

Yes. He was doing what he did in No. 24 for the entire 20 seasons I followed the sport around.

I’m delighted he’s in. Gordon revolutionized the sport. He’s had my respect for decades. He is one of the few in NASCAR I’ve never caught in a lie. Gordon is tactful. He knows what not to say. What he says, though, is true. I expect this is still true, though I have left the troupe and flown the coop.

Jack Roush (Getty Images/NASCAR)

Remember. A person who has a vote has been “vetted” by the bigwigs who monitor such considerations. He (or she) might have wanted Buddy Baker in and known it was going to be tough, so he decided to vote Buddy with four others he didn’t expect to win.

The process can’t be free and limited. The ballot can’t be secret and public.

Alan Kulwicki (center) in victory lane at Phoenix International Raceway after winning his first NASCAR Cup race, the Checker 500. (Photo by ISC Images Archives via Getty Images)

I’m tired of looking at one collection after another of checks or crosses on a ballot, with a seismic signature. Here’s how I voted on the NASCAR Hall of Fame ballot because, as you can see, my selections were perfect in every way.

It’s a hall of fame. That means it’s a hall for people who are famous. Famous. It’s not a hall of winningests, or a hall of adept nice fellows, or a hall of those who are good on TV.

How is fame judged? Each voter gets to decide.

Ain’t that America?


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About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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