The Lesson of Disney’s Secretariat

The Lesson of Secretariat

What has the new Disney movie about the Triple Crown winning racehorse Secretariat got to do with the ideals of America and lessons that can be learnt from this great accomplishment? Much can be, now let me explain.

We are witnessing right in front of our eyes the melting down of our country, the huge debts we are incurring, and the irresponsibility of our leaders, the bailouts, the removal of our freedoms because of so called fairness and the obfuscation of personal and government responsibility.

America was born out of a dream, innovation and an ideal of freedom that was achieved through grit and determination, even when the chips were stacked against its leaders and people. Today the American dream and psyche is deeply wounded, the innovating spirit is handicapped by a generation of an entitlement mentality. The chips are down and we need to shake ourselves out of this stupor. On November 4, 2008 we chose as a nation to sell out on our fighting spirit as a winning nation, even the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi thinks that “food stamps is the biggest bang for the buck,” is this what our country has become?

The founders believed in freedom but they also believed in something else, just as important and that was winning. For over seven years the colonists fought hard and against tremendous odds to win their independence and freedom from tyranny. Most of the founding leaders were not experienced warriors; they were farmers, professionals and merchants but they were determined to be free. They were willing to follow their dream and willing to sacrifice and allow the chips to fall were they lay. They gave their lives and their fortunes for that freedom and they won despite the odds. Just imagine today declaring war on the greatest super power with an inexperienced army, little resources but just the courage and tenacity to prevail.

Why today do we as a country have such an entitlement mentality? Why is our faith in our own abilities to face challenges been reduced to corporate and personal handouts? We need to hang our heads in shame; this is not America I emigrated to 20 years ago.

The owner of Secretariat, Penny Tweedy Chenery ironically was crippled by a six million dollar inheritance tax after she and her brother were left the horse farm by their father. The inheritance also included the mare that fouled Secretariat. Ms Chenery wished to continue the legacy of her parents and her dream to train a winning horse yet was left with a huge tax bill and no money to pay the IRS. The IRS death tax in itself is a crime against the American people but that is for a different article another time. Ms Chanery used her determination and innovation to sell a syndicate on the breeding rights of the untested horse with a performance clause that would have lost the ownership of the horse and possibly the farm. This she did just to give her the opportunity to have Secretariat compete in the three great races that comprise the legendary and elusive Triple Crown. Penny Tweedy Chenery could have easily taken the easy root, sold the farm, paid the taxes and be left in
security for life.

Ms Chanery was a housewife with no experience in the horse racing business but she had a dream and wished to continue the great tradition of her family. For her it was not about a comfortable time with an easy bailout it was about fulfilling a dream, freedom and winning. If she could not win on her own terms then she would be satisfied where the chips lay. Her gritty determination gave her the shot at her dream. We all know now how everything turned out.

On Nov 2nd 2010 when we go to the polling stations we need to appreciate not just the freedoms that the founding fathers created for us but we need to return to becoming a proud and winning nation once again. When we cast that vote we also need to understand how each one of us can become winners or improve our performance in our chosen profession, we need to sacrifice with a goal to win. The way forward will be challenging but that makes the satisfaction of winning even greater.
Winning for oneself is also winning for our country and having self-interest provides others with jobs, a purpose and opportunities. Winning is creating conditions so we can all follow our dreams and having leaders who understand this ideal. Winning is allowing individuals to be able to make decisions for themselves and not be made for them by government bureaucrats. Winning is an American tradition, that is why America was great and that why it will be great again starting on midnight Nov 2nd when the winning American spirit will return from the folly of the phony slogan from the presidential campaign of 2008 of “Hope and Change.” Maybe a better slogan for this election is “American Freedom is for Winners.”

The American people are about to put us back on the right track. Thank you Disney for making the movie Secretariat, which showed me what the real ingredients needed to restore a once again great America.

Our National anthem says we are the land of the free and the home of the brave; on Nov 2nd let us restore who we are.

Keith Davies
Executive Director Walid Shoebat Fdn


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