“In a tree by the brook
There’s a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.” — Jimmy Page
There are few things in the world that can be known for sure. One of the teachers I work with tried to give examples of conspiracy theories and used the whole idea of the Earth being flat. Suddenly, several students stood up and starting arguing. So, let’s just acknowledge that there will never universal agreement and move on.
I usually don’t put art up here, but a picture paints a 1000 words as they say. Many critics would point out that I can be rather wordy, but we will let this stand for now. Saturday Night Live did a sketch years ago where they made fun of “undecided voters.” It was pretty direct, but maybe not quite as direct as the cartoon above.
The picture was purposefully vague because all of us have elections in our locales and states that are good examples of this. Obviously, this fits a particular narrative and a particular point of view, but the point is true in general. The choices in our races are very clear and to come away undecided is unfathomable.
In Texas, we have the gubernatorial debate between Beto O’Rourke and Greg Abbott. I usually pride myself in being measured and rational. However, there is no rational basis for coming into such a debate undecided. We know who Greg Abbott is at this point and given the fact that O’Rourke ran for president and senator, we should know who he is as well.
Notice I didn’t say that either was definitely right or wrong on any one issue, overall, or that either was good and the other bad. Remember the whole flat earth thing above? People here know who I’m voting for. That was true from the moment that the two challengers were announced. Hell, it was true the moment the last election ended.
That’s my failing. I often joke with friends and loved ones that if the Taliban were to come to Texas and form their own football team that I would have to think for a few minutes on who to root for if they decided to take on the University of Texas. Is that level of dislike rational? I suppose not. I suppose my level of animus for Abbott and Dan Patrick may not be completely rational or healthy.
While I cannot know with 100 percent certainty which party is right most of the time, I can say with absolute certainty that one of them is. They cannot be much more different these days. This doesn’t come down to a minute disagreement over the amount of farm subsidies we should doll out. We aren’t arguing whether the public library should be open until eight or nine. The days of small and seemingly insignificant disagreements are long gone.
In their wake are very definite and significant cracks in the foundation of our democracy. Are we still going to be a republic? Do we believe in personal freedom? What does that even look like in the modern age? That’s on the ballot. I respect people that think differently than me. I don’t have a monopoly on the truth. I have a hard time respecting those that don’t think at all. We better think quickly or we might not be able to anymore.