This is never the most fun topic of discussion, as differences in political opinions can lead to friends fighting, couples divorcing with the wife taking not only the kids, but the jovial German Shepherd as well, and even complete strangers slashing each others’ tires and throwing raw fish on their windshields due to inflammatory bumper stickers. What is the big deal, anyway? Its not like what happens on Tuesday is going to have a tremendous effect on life for us and the other few billion people on the planet for the next four years.
Oh, wait, it is. The fact of the matter is that our coming of age in this world could not have happened at a more exciting time, and we should all feel honored to have a say in what is surely the most interesting presidential race of our lives thus far. We’ve arrived at an intersection of discontent, and we have the option to continue down the same path or hang a left for potentially greener pastures. I’m obviously not biased about this election, and I have nothing against McCain. I truly do appreciate old people with their silly forgetful ways, their cookie crafting abilities, and their audaciously generous $5 birthday envelopes. However, this country doesn’t need a kindly geriatric telling fun war stories at the State of the Union Address. It needs a president.
At this point you probably forgot that you were reading a surf column, and maybe I forgot that I was writing one, but such is the case. If you think about it though, surfing and being politically involved have always gone hand in hand. Our greatest concern, obviously, has been to preserve our oceans and the environment at large. For this, surfers are known to be politically involved, perhaps even to the point of zealotry. In the 1970’s in San Diego, there was a proposed plan to build a jetty that would go out into the surf and then form a hook, completely destroying the surf at Ocean Beach in order to make calmer waters for boats. It was surfers that snuck into the construction site at night and poured sand in the gas tanks of the heavy machinery. They did end up building the jetty, but because of the activism they were only able to build it to the shoreline, making it an utterly useless structure that has no effect on the surf whatsoever.
The toll road at Trestles is another example of the phenomenon of hyper-political surfers. The Transportation Corridor Agency has been trying to move forward in its plan to extend the 241 toll road through San Onofre State Beach with impressive resistance from the surfing community. At the California Coastal Commission hearing on the matter in February, thousands of irate surfers filled the audience and everyone voiced their outrage in what ended up being a 14-hour testimony against the toll road.
The best part is that even if the toll road gets approved, we are still just going to pour sand in gas tanks, tie ourselves to trees, or stage a resistance by whatever strange gnarilla tactics we can implement.
Now it would be ridiculous to claim that McCain would approve the toll road and sign the proposal with infants’ blood, while Obama would condemn it and light a joint with the burning proposal before grabbing his trusty 6’2 Thruster and shredding a Lowers glass-off session. Somehow that just seems so plausible with these candidates, and although something like a toll road proposition would likely never be on the president’s radar, you need to do your homework and vote in a way that you can brag about to your kids one day. I’m not going to try to influence your vote or tell you that one candidate is the next great hope and the other is an antique vampire, but as surfers we need to be concerned about the political climate, especially when it affects our beautiful blue playground.
Daily Nexus surf columnist Todd Prodanovich wouldn’t drink infant’s blood, but he’d shred it if it was double over.