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Weingarten: Politics of Cy-Hawk

The hunting ground for votes
Former+President+Donald+Trump+points+to+the+crowd+before+the+Iowa+Corn+Cy-Hawk+Series+football+game+on+Saturday%2C+Sept.+9%2C+2023%2C+at+Jack+Trice+Stadium+in+Ames%2C+Iowa.
Daniel Jacobi II
Former President Donald Trump points to the crowd before the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series football game on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

“The greatest evils in the world will not be carried out by men with guns, but by men in suits sitting behind desks.” – C.S. Lewis

 

As the excitement for the annual Cy-Hawk game built, so did the anticipation to see former U.S. President Donald Trump. Other candidates such as Ron DeSantis were in attendance; however, unless you saw them at the game or read about it online, their presence went relatively unnoticed. 

I was sitting roughly five or six rows up in the student section when the southwest corner of Jack Trice Stadium lit up with a mix of applause and booing. For us on the opposite side, confusion was the first reaction. People shot puzzling looks and began interrogating their friends for answers.

This continued for a few minutes when suddenly, a girl behind me shouted, “It’s Trump!”

People broke out in a frenzy, searching for the man they had heard so much about. In the same corner where the shouting initiated was Donald Trump. He was waving and giving thumbs up to the crowd before him. As he made his way to his suite, the national anthem began to play, and shortly after, a jet flyover ensued. The atmosphere for the game was electric, but no one could get their mind off Trump. 

I was perplexed to see most people applauding and supporting a man who faces 91 charges, many of which accuse the former president of fraudulent and deceptive activity. 

Moreover, his attendance took away from the spirit of the game. It was my first time attending the Cy-Hawk game, and the tension was unlike any collegiate event I have experienced. 

Instead of enjoying the event, crowds rushed to view Trump and stayed there for a great remainder of the game. 

This is not to say that he does not have the right to attend the game—but he couldn’t care less about it. Candidates used the game as an easy way to draw voters who might not be greatly interested in politics (this idea is weird in of itself). 

Politics in America is highly tense and unusual. It was noticeable on Saturday. The robotic draw of being within viewing distance of someone so popular, controversial and disputed is a phenomenon only politics could try and explain. Clusters of people physically reached their arms to him, while others shot less than appropriate gestures in his direction (due to the explicit nature of the photo, I cannot include it). 

Clearly, immutable political dedication to a candidate does not bring out the best of a person. From looking at the viral photos and videos and seeing the reactions from people around me, this is an accurate assessment.

The lesson is that we should not let politics ruin events like this. Many things have seemingly been infiltrated by hateful political rhetoric, and the Cy-Hawk game is one such event that could exist without this.

It is a game that brings our community together. To long-time fans and locals, it takes a spot on the calendar similar to an important holiday.

Why let a political criminal bring the worst out of us? (Whether you love or hate someone like Trump, there is no doubt one will be attracted to the spectacle). 

In sum, it is not fair to say we shouldn’t allow politicians into the games—nor would that ever happen— however, we can control how we respond. 

It becomes a fatal attraction when you fall in love with the men in the suits.

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    ed larson | Sep 13, 2023 at 10:47 am

    Caleb, well said. The Daily Staff always is thoughtful and spot on with opinions. Keep it up. even though I am a upper age grad of Iowa State, I continue to read the daily – great journalism.

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    David | Sep 13, 2023 at 8:13 am

    The link that says “Read more” takes you to a well thought out article I read yesterday. Great job Hannah.

    Reply