“And when you lose control
You’ll reap the harvest you have sown.” — Roger Waters
Sometimes you can be surprised where you find good writing. Bill James is the preeminent baseball statistician from the last 50 years. However, what makes him unique is not necessarily how good his statistics are, but in how artfully he uses them to craft a narrative. I still remember his foreword in the first edition of the Fielding Bible.
He simply described watching video of Adam Everett and Derek Jeter play shortstop. He instinctively knew that he was watching the best and the worst defensive shortstops in the game. Without seeing the numbers he couldn’t tell you which one was which, but the eyeball test didn’t fail. They were polar opposites of each other.
The same thing is happening in Texas in the governor’s race. You can approach these things with snark, sarcasm, and all of the disdain you can muster. I imagine many people will. What I’m prepared to say beyond a shadow of a doubt is that one of these candidates is the kind of human being we should all aspire to be. The other is just not a very good person. I’m not sure of any other way to put it.
The juxtaposition can be seen most clearly in what is happening with a North Texas family. Greg Abbott has them under investigation because they have a transgender teen. Beto O’Rourke visited them on Mother’s Day and even cooked dinner for them.
To be perfectly fair, it is reasonable to ask whether O’Rourke would have visited them in a year when he wasn’t running for statewide office. I’m guessing he wouldn’t have. Would he have helped them cook dinner if the cameras weren’t there taking pictures? Again, I’m guessing the answer is no.
Then again, we could ask the same of Abbott. Would he be investigating a family for child abuse if this weren’t an election year? Would he threaten Texas families with charges and family separation if the movers and shakers in his party weren’t applying that pressure? My guess is also no.
So, here we are. We are left with the most vivid example of the difference between the two parties. One party wants to help make the world a better place and safer for all of its citizens. One party does not. One party wants to reach into homes and into people’s bodies to impose its will. One party does not. At this point it doesn’t make much sense to point out who is who and which is which. Everyone must answer that for themselves. What we can’t do is assert that they are all the same. Clearly they are not. One of these must win and one of these must be driven from polite society. I’ll leave the which is which up to you.