Legislature Might Look at Indy 500 Winner for Inspiration
I’ve let my feelings be known about how the 2023 legislative session went: poorly. A handful of bills that I favor passed, including one to keep men out of women’s sports. A long-discussed Interstate 70 expansion got the green light, albeit with a less-than-optimal funding approach. Beyond those items, the list of legislative failures is loooong, with no expanded school choice or transparency in education near the top.
But failure needn’t be permanent, as racecar driver Josef Newgarden showed this past weekend. While being a professional racer is an achievement in itself, Newgarden had been hounded by his inability to take the Indianapolis 500 checkered flag in his 11 attempts. But this year, on his 12th attempt, Newgarden found the winner’s circle. It was a relief compounded by years and years of frustration.
“It is mentally draining to be here for weeks and just to know that you really only have one opportunity, and it comes down to today, and that’s the day you’ve got to be perfect and great and everything has got to work out.
“So you spend all this time and effort, and it’s really just a mental grind to work through that. The more you’ve been here, the more it’s not worked out, the more that grind really starts to gnaw at you.
“I don’t necessarily subscribe to the fact that if you don’t win the 500 your career is a failure, but I think a lot of people really view this race and this championship with that lens, that the 500 stands alone – and that if you’re not able to capture one, then the career really is a failure in a lot of ways.
“I’ll be honest, it’s annoying. It’s been terrible,” said Newgarden, which also happens to describe the Missouri Legislature to a T. It has been terrible, despite the potential to do great things in the last couple years, getting close to the podium . . . but not quite to the winner’s circle.
In 2023, legislators crashed spectacularly and didn’t finish. Here’s to hoping their attempt in 2024 is, finally, victorious.