“Well, I’m near the end and I just ain’t got the time
And I’m wasted and I can’t find my way home.” — Steve Winwood
Years ago, my wife and I went to the Eric Clapton/Steve Winwood concert at Toyata Center. It was ridiculously expensive, but well worth it. Clapton is a personal favorite of ours. We ran into my uncle. He is a big Steve Winwood fan and this song is his personal favorite. Admittedly, most of the time, the lyrics I post are carefully selected to weave a theme throughout the entire piece.
I’m not sure we can say that today, but they do reveal a more general theme or feeling. Most of us are exhausted. It has been an ongoing battle over the virus, over the presidential election, over the Georgia Senate races, and all of the shenanigans related to all of that.
Our campus and district is inviting back 200 students from virtual learning today. Inviting back is a euphemism for being compelled to return. We have a total of between 1400 and 1500 students. Approximately half were learning from home. So, you can do the math in terms of percentage increase.
Meanwhile, the city of Houston and Harris county prepare to scale back openings. So, you have one government entity doing one thing and another doing the opposite. It used to be that we generally agreed to put politics aside on issues of public health. For years, Democrats and Republicans successfully worked together locally during and following storms. Now, what you do and who you listen to depends on whether you are a donkey or an elephant.
Of course, today sees the intersection of final battle over whether Biden will be inaugurated and they continue to count the ballots in Georgia from last night’s runoff election. Biden’s inauguration is a foregone conclusion and in any other year his ascendance to the presidency would have been decided and done with two months ago.
As of this moment, the networks have called the election for Rapheal Warnock and Jon Ossoff has a slim lead with 98 percent of the precincts reporting. Experts say that the stereotypically Democratic areas are the last to report. So, their slim leads (around or less than a percentage point) could grow slightly to a whopping two points.
Both stories will collide with the same undertones in both. Opponents of the president elect will debate on the floors of Congress and allege fraud and illegal activity that doesn’t exist. Once the Georgia races are decided they will do the same. They are already making calls of losing to the “Socialists.” Apparently, a 50/50 Senate will somehow descend into the pits of the Bolshevik revolution.
Meanwhile, in the last week we saw four states eclipse 1000 deaths alone. One of those is Texas where I live. We have a national and state government that seems to just hope that people will magically be vaccinated. They don’t seem to understand that they have to actually do something to ramp up production, set up distribution networks, and make hard decisions in prioritizing who gets it and who doesn’t.
The exhaustion comes not from dealing with these issues. These issues are a part of everyday life. The exhaustion comes in watching an administration fail so miserably that it lost an election by the widest margin of any incumbent since Herbert Hoover in 1932. It’s watching the Democrats take control of the Senate even after overwhelming voter suppression. It’s seeing all of this only to watch them fight the results themselves.
Sports fans know defeat probably more than they know victory. Only one team can win the title every year, so by sheer definition most teams go away disappointed. Many fans leave the stadium or the arena feeling like they were cheated from victory. A referee or umpire blew a call. A manager/coach made a tactical mistake. A player choked. This is normal.
What isn’t normal is to be making these same pleas two months later. Eventually you have to accept the fact that your team wasn’t good enough to win. You go back to the locker room or clubhouse, regroup, and start planning for the next season or next game.
There will always be disagreements over how to move forward. There will be strategy changes and personnel changes along the way. Yet, there have to be changes and people have to move forward. Claiming victory when the scoreboard clearly says you lost is just pathetic and exasperating. The referees didn’t conspire against you. There was no fraud. You are wasted and it’s time to find your way home.