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Not content with spreading the coronavirus at political conventions, Trump supporters have now co-opted the world’s most famous vintage car event

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You just can’t make this shit up. It seems like, like so many other otherwise harmless activities, we’ve finally found this perfect intersection of cars, COVID-19, and totally bonkers politics. Yes, true believers on both sides of the political equation, it’s time to put out your placards, your I hate / I love BLM masks, and in the grand tradition of the Vietnam War and the Occupy Wall Street protests, protest …

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a vintage car show.

Yes, the once pristine world of old cars and noisy exhausts is now right in the epicenter of controversial politics. And, for a brief explanation on how to turn the previously apolitical world of Meguiar’s ceramic wax and counterfeit rims into a MAGA rally for disgruntled motorheads, we’re going to the Oakland County Republican Party in Michigan. To witness it:

The Woodward Dream Cruise is the world’s largest one-day car rally. Since 1995, classic car owners have marched through the Detroit suburbs in what was simply supposed to be a fundraiser for a children’s soccer field. Originally slated to bring together perhaps 30,000 spectators, it now regularly draws a million spectators to admire the 40,000 assembled muscle cars, resto-mods and classics that crawl along a 16-mile stretch of the legendary Woodward Avenue in Michigan. Today, around 100 local charities are benefiting from the largesse of the reducers in attendance, generating a US $ 50 million increase in local business activity, which Detroit’s rambling economy could really use.

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All smooth and bright, right?

Sadly, in an overabundance of caution – however, with the pandemic raging in the United States, perhaps not so much a on -abundance – the organizers canceled this year’s dream cruise. Public gatherings don’t correspond well to the need for physical distancing, and it’s hard to imagine how a million people could all stay six feet away – no metric measurements are allowed because it’s “Merica – apart and see. actually cars. I think it all still makes sense so far, right?

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Speak up, the Oakland County Republican Party, which like all good GOP organizations backing Trump, couldn’t let an otherwise innocent public rally of car freaks go unpoliticized in support of charity.

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So it looks like there will be a dream cruise – if, of course, getting a lung infection, a runny nose and completely losing your sense of taste and smell is your idea of ​​a “dream” – this year. And it looks like the GOP event will follow the same route as the original, OCRP President Rocky Raczkowski saying “the event will take place directly on Woodward Avenue, the traditional cruisers route.” It will also be held on August 15, the same day the traditional Woodward Dream Cruise was scheduled.

Still not derailed, is it?

Except the official name of the new cruise is – wait – the MAGA Classic Car Cruise. Yes, folks, this will be the world’s first auto show that brings together vintage car owners who are – and I’ll quote the OCRP chairman again – “MAGA-loving Trump supporters who also support the police who are on us. protected”.

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Now, it’s bad enough that the participants are subjected to endless chants of “make America great again” and will no doubt have to pledge their allegiance to Donald and overly armed police forces. Even that, however, is nothing compared to the mere idea of ​​a political party – any political party – staging a car “rally”. Hell, if recent events are any indication, the GOP can’t even organize a political rally… indoors without 40,000 high-compression, mostly convertible, germ spreaders.

To provide an indication of why the original organizers canceled the cruise – officially, the WDC says “a lot of people will be walking the sidewalk and attending side events that take place” – let’s apply some basic math. . Let’s just say that the OCRP can, by some miracle, attract the million loyal Dream Cruisers. If those millions of car freaks are to maintain the aforementioned six-foot safe physical distance, that 16-mile cruise could accommodate a single row of 28,000 onlookers on either side of Woodward.

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If you’re not ready to wear a helmet to protect your precious noggin … you probably aren’t going to wear a mask against a namby-pamby germ that The Donald says is “completely harmless.”

Worse yet, imagine, just for the sake of argument, that the rows behind also want to maintain that six-foot social distancing with the rows behind. This would mean that the poor MAGA supporters in the “cheap seats” would be over 100 feet from each sidewalk. Aside from the obvious ridiculousness of this calculation, it’s no wonder that Michael Leary, president of Woodward Dream Cruise, said that “our goal was to try to reduce audiences and prevent the spread of the virus. “.

So, maybe you are now thinking, well, at least it can’t get worse in the world of car-type gatherings? In fact, yes it could. Not to be outdone, Kristi Noem, Republican governor of South Dakota is, according to to Fox News , “Proud to welcome [this year’s] annual Sturgis motorcycle rally.

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Now, for those of you who have never heard of Sturgis, this is pretty much the biggest gathering of motorcyclists in the world. Essentially, for about 10 days – August 7-16 this year – 250,000 die-hard bikers will descend in Sturgis, South Dakota. It should be noted that the annual population of Sturgis is less than 7,000. It is a small town.

More importantly, South Dakota is a state without helmet law – one of the reasons the rally is so popular with outlaws. In other words, this tiny little town is going to be overrun with 250,000 drunk bikers wearing no masks – hey, if you’re not ready to wear a helmet to protect your precious noggin from obvious dangers, you’re not going to. probably not wearing a mask against a namby-pamby germ which, according to The Donald, is “completely harmless.” And, unlike Woodward’s one-day event… er, MAGA, Sturgis lasts for 10 days of incubation. No wonder CNN is saying 60% of the city’s normally conservative residents would prefer this year’s rally to be called off.

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Here is the really tragic part, however. South Dakota has so far been fairly effective in the fight against the coronavirus, with the state recording just 165 COVID-19-related deaths so far, and Meade County, home to Sturgis, with only 78 infections. Nonetheless, the show must go on, says Noem, recounting Fox that everything revolves around the constitution: “This is exactly what is happening – we are allowing them to take over our country in a way that we have never seen before, so we need a few people to take over. get up, read our history, talk about the importance of our Constitution.

Artificial as it sounds, we’ll be leaving the last word on stupidity at the Detroit MAGA Rally: “Cars should only be filled with members of your immediate family to avoid the mask requirement. No carpooling on the other hand. Gas is cheap.

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