Despite is all, the world hasn’t ended

I’m on the road again this week, headed to Indianapolis to talk about sports and higher education. Sitting here in San Angelo’s airport, I’m reminded again how nice it is traveling through small town airports. I’ll change my tune when we get on the small plane.

My mood is, partially bouyed by the new head phones doing their best to block out the noise around me. I have high hopes that I can remain cocconed in the safety of my own music until 5:00 when I land in Indy. Yes, those of you in a city–it’s a full day’s work just getting to most major cities outside Texas when you live with a regional airport. We make it easy to get on the plane but difficult to get back out of the airport.

I’m also a happier traveler today because the election is finally, mercifully, over. From a personal standpoint, I was pleased last night because 1) I predicted a relatively early decision (10:15 by Fox. I knew if Fox called it for Obama it would be true); 2) I like Obama; 3) America rejected a candidate who cynically refused to articulate a plan for America but was willing to offer outright lies about his opponent; and 4) we managed another successful election without bloodshed. I think we sometimes forget just how damn lucky we are. Last night, people cried, cussed, yelled, and yet today I sit in an airport ready to travel as if nothing happened last night. Wow. There aren’t many countries that can transfer power (or not) in such a peaceful manner.

Admittedly, I was also happy because Karl Rove, Dick Morris, and the other outliers who predicted a Romney blowout, sans all logic and polling data, looked like a bunch of doofuses last night. Nate Silver, beast that he is, called the election. He used something we like to call science. Call me crazy but it’s one approach the Republicans might consider in four years.

In fact, I wish they would. I tend to lean libertarian in many areas and I would like to see the Republicans stop nominating crazy people. Four years ago, John McCain sold his soul for the nomination. He doubled down on crazy by choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate. I would compare her to Dan Quayle, but I don’t want to insult him.

Romney had to sacrifice his ideals to the right-wing voices that have taken over the Republican party. The Romney that served as governor was probably a good guy, but his total abdication of principles in the name of the nomination ruled him out as a president. He choose a somewhat better VP but when Paul Ryan is the intellectual pillar of your party, something is wrong. Just because Ryan had a plan doesn’t make him the smart one. It just means he works hard. Hell, my teenage son has a budget plan. It’s totally disconnected from any reality but, hey, I guess effort is what matters.

Worse yet, and I apologize for offending, but could the Republicans have nominated to guys who were more white? Romney the north eastern, old money, and a VP who works out for the sake of working out? Ryan strikes me as the guy who builds muscle because someone told him he should. Sure, he looks good without a shirt on, but if you were working on your car and needed help, would you call Ryan or Biden? In other words, Ryan earned his muscles for show and I think that epitomizes these two guys. Any difficulties they have you kind of imagine they sought them out because their campaign managers said we need some angst on the resume.

Notice, I haven’t even discussed Obama because I don’t think the election was about Obama as much as it was a rejection of the Republican party. They had a sitting president with an awful economy and Romeny got his ass handed to him. (Don’t be fooled, like Fox news will try, to look at the map with all that red. The upper midwest and west might be red but there’s barely any one there. We don’t elect presidents based on acres.)

So I’m happy today not just because Obama won but because I have hope the Republicans will start turning their back on the crazy people and focus on nominating men and women of principle and intelligence. Someone show Karl Rove the door. Kick Dick Morris out of the house or stick him in the basement. Reject the intellectually weak and believe in science and education.

Let’s have a 2016 election where we have to make a difficult choice between two incredibly good candidates. I’m sure the campaigning will begin by the time I land.


About John Wegner
John Wegner is a Professor of English where he also serves as the Dean of the Freshman College. He and Lana, his wife, have been married over 25 years. They are the parents of two great sons who (so far) haven't ever needed bail money.

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