John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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Seeking Dad’s Advice: Jumping On The Cubs Bandwagon

Posted on October 24, 2016
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These are the times when I wish my Dad was around.

Dad, who died slightly less than a year ago, was a huge White Sox fan and a somewhat loyal Republican.

These are the days the try to souls of both loyal White Sox fans and loyal Republicans.

Is it okay to somehow jump on the Cubs bandwagon?

We have a disagreement in my family. My brother, in order to make peace with his in-laws (who are overwhelmingly Cubs fans) has decided to root for the Cubs.

This is like a Member of the Orange Order in Northern Ireland who suddenly starts rooting for Pope Francis as he issues his latest Papal encyclical.

My Mother, who likes the White Sox but is hardly a zealot, thinks the whole thing is silly. Of course she will root for the Cubs.

But most of my cousins who still live on the South Side, abide by their typical hatred of everything Cubs. One posted on his Facebook page a website that invited Cubs fans to click. Once they did, they would be confronted by a Cubs Suck message.

It was beautiful for a Cubs hater.

I don’t live in Chicago anymore and I admit, that I have not been faithful to the White Sox. I am a season ticket holder for the Nationals, because I live 10 blocks away from Nats Park. And I love the Nats. Not going to kid you on that point.

But I think I can love two baseball teams at one time, as long as they are not in the same league and as long as they are not the Cubs and the Sox.

You can’t simultaneously love the White Sox and the Cubs. You just can’t.

And spare me this “I love all Chicago Teams” bullshit. If you are a real fan, you have to pick a team.

My father was a White Sox fan. His father was a White Sox fan. I assume his father was a White Sox fan. That’s how we roll on that side of the family.

Would Dad jump on the Cubs bandwagon? Of course, he wouldn’t. He had some integrity.

And I wish he were here to express that opinion to the rest of the family.

On Trump, my Dad was a loyal Republican but not as loyal as you might think.

He voted for Nixon in 1960 but against him in 1972 (he thought Nixon was a crook). He had a hard time voting for Ford in 1976 (because of Ford’s pardon of Nixon) and I think he would have had a hard time voting for Trump, given his track record of saying extremely stupid things.

My Dad was a common-sense conservative who became steadily more conservative the older he got.

I would talk to him about things political when I worked in the Congress and he always had insightful things to say about the candidates and about the issues.

One time when I told him about our plans to reform the Social Security program, he said in no uncertain terms to keep my fucking hands off of his Social Security.   Message received.

His father hated FDR and voted against him 4 times, which was unusual for an Irish Catholic from the South Side of Chicago. But Grandpa was a businessman and FDR was bad for business.

My Dad was a corporate communicator, and he wanted government policies that promoted economic growth and largely stayed out of the way of the business sector. He also had an innate distrust of politicians, which in Chicago made plenty of sense.  If you don’t distrust politicians in Chicago, you aren’t paying attention.

Dad had no love of the Clintons, especially Hillary Clinton. And he hated political correctness.

I think he would have also been offended by Trump’s basic inability to articulate any policy positions beyond the first 15 seconds.

But Dad loved to watch Pat Buchanan on shows like the McLaughlin Group and he would have been intrigued about Trump’s efforts to appeal to the white working class voters.

I honestly don’t know what his reaction to this election would be. I assume that he would vote for Trump, but I don’t say that with any great confidence.

Dad was a contrarian, so the fact that the media so greatly dislikes Trump would have been a check in his favor.

I will end up voting for Trump because I am a Republican and that’s the guy the party nominated.  I am not happy about it, but there you have it.

And I will be rooting for the Cleveland Indians because I hate the Cubs and I have hated the Cubs since before I was born.  I love Chicago though and so that decision is not all that easy for me.

Neither of these positions is particularly popular with the media elite, but that gives me great comfort. I think Dad would approve. But I am not sure. That’s why I wish he were here.