Lance, Trump and Big Lies
by Doyle Ranstrom on Nov 15, 2022
Over the years, I have put between 35,000 to 40,000 on my various bikes. I have biked in, thru or across multiple states and two other countries. Tours are not races, some bikers going fast, some slow and others in the middle. I did do one race, in the early 1990s and by my estimation I won. In my mind the winner was the person on the bike the longest. On a 60 mile route, I finished dead last, but only a few minutes behind the second to last group. Thought I never raced again, it did make me become a fan or professional races, especially the Tour de France and especially Lance Armstrong.
Years later, I was doing the RAGBRAI which goes west to east across Iowa and is the largest bike tour in the world with 10,000 official registrants and on a given day may have up to 20,000 riding. The year I did it it was shortly after Lance had retired from racing and he did a couple of days on the RAGBRAI as part of his drive to be an advocate and fund raiser for cancer. I was at a rest stop visiting with another biker and we started talking about Lance. He said he thought Lance was guilty about doping and lying that he had not. I said I was not sure because of all the good Lance had done for the cancer community and besides, all the other riders were also likely doping. He looked at me and said "you're a believer". And I was. I felt that all the good Lance had done for the cancer community meant that he did not lie about doping. As Lance later admitted, he did lie. I was wrong.
Trump has continually lied about winning the previous Presidential Election. Some of his supporters believe the "big lie". Others have decided it was in their best political interests to support the big lie.
Lance and Trump had some similarities. Both bullied anyone who said they lied.
- For Lance, starting with Greg Lamond, a former Tour de France winner and any member of the media who said was lying. He used high priced PR and law firms to perpetuate the lie and maintain his financial empire.
- Along with personal attacks, Trump also using high priced PR and law firms, vilified and tried to bully anyone who has pointed out his lies including members of his former Administrative Staff when they testified against him during the January 6th Commission hearings.
Lance and Trump had differences.
- The Livestrong Foundation founded by Lance Armstrong has made a difference in lives of millions of those struck by cancer. I know from multiple personal experiences he was a true inspiration for victims of cancer. Thousands of cancer survivors who had never experienced a bike tour or even been on a bike were inspired the story of his fight against cancer. In the past, I have watched cancer survivors crying tears of joy as they finish an event sponsored by the Livestrong Foundation.
- By comparison, it is hard for me to find anything Trump has done to make the US a better place. I am obviously not alone. In C-Spans latest ranking of the US's 44 Presidents, Trump finished 41st or 4th from the bottom. By the way, if you disagree with this, contact the Committee, include your academic credentials, and if they put you on the Committee I will listen to your arguments. Otherwise, not so much. For me, Trump increased the federal deficit every year while in office by borrowing money and cutting revenues. This is pretty much of the same as a household reducing their income, buying a bunch of stuff on credit cards and calling it a good year. Trump did not understand infrastructure needs, climate changes along with the increase in natural disasters, public health in general and pandemic in specific to name a few.
Long before Lance admitted to lying in 2013, I knew he had lied. The evidence against him was overwhelming. He said the main reason he came clean was he heard his young son defending him and then out of guilt, told his kids he had lied all those years. I also knew he had been a tremendous advocate for the cancer community. His lies for years do not delete the good he did, neither do they justify it.
It's time for Trump supporters to do some self work. If you believe he is not lying, based on what? There has been no evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 election and the January 6th Commission has testimony from a wide variety of Trump administrative staff confirming his efforts to overturn an election he knew he had lost.
It is time for the country to move on from Trump, especially his supporters. Fortunately, it seems like the country is doing this as many Trump supporting candidates lost in the recent Mid-Terms.
We as a country have lots challenges which we have the talent, knowledge and will power to address and solve. I simply do not see how Trump is part of the solution for any of these challenges.