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Because I Still Care

Last night, I spent over an hour watching a YouTube video. Now mind you, I’m part of the MTV generation, so spending more than three minutes watching a video is normally a challenge for me, but this time it wasn’t, and if you can find the time (regardless of your political persuasion), I would strongly urge you to set aside an hour to watch Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture – Achieving Your Childhood Dreams:


I’ve always chased my dreams (and have caught quite a few of them), so his lecture resonated with me. It spoke to how I’ve always tried and continue to try to live my life. But more importantly, a lot of what he had to say seemed relevant to the political challenges we are facing today – on a national, state and lately, on the county level. To that last point, consider this excerpt about his youth football experience from approximately ten minutes into the lecture:

When it was all over one of the other assistant coaches came over and said, “Yeah, Coach Graham rode you pretty hard didn’t he?”

And I said, “Yeah.”

He said, “That’s a good thing. When you’re screwing up and no one is saying anything to you anymore that means they gave up.”

“That’s a lesson that stuck with me the whole life. When you see yourself doing something badly and no one is telling you anymore, that’s a very bad place to be. Your critics are your ones that tell you they still love you and care.”

With this in mind, I have a message to the dozen plus Executive Committee members of the Bernalillo County Republican Party that met yesterday and voted unanimously to give Chairman Fernando C’deBaca a vote of full faith and confidence

“You screwed up.”

And, you did it because you’re not looking at the bigger picture. Mr. C’deBaca said something racist and offensive to the majority of New Mexicans, and it reflects poorly on the Republican Party. There are plenty of reasons not to vote for Barack Obama for President, but the color of his skin in not one of those reasons. Mr. C’deBaca knows it and has apologized. Unfortunately, for us, actions speak louder than words. If he was truly apologetic, he would have stepped down instead of putting on this sideshow.

This nonsense that we have an election to win and that is the reason for remaining Chairman is just that – nonsense. You don’t need a title to volunteer your time. The same people, all of those in the room yesterday, could work just as hard to win the election whether Mr. C’deBaca had the title of Chairman or not.

And, as long as I’m criticizing my own party, I may as well go all out here…

With this bailout we’re proposing, we’re screwing up nationally as well. Again, we’re failing to look at the big picture. The 2008 election is important, but winning the election by selling out our values is just too high of a price to pay. There are at least 10 reasons we shouldn’t be doing this bailout, not the least of which is:

Fundamentally alters the nation’s free-market system in that it broadly socializes firm’s money-losing mortgage assets and places the U.S. on a slippery slope whereby profits will also be nationalized. Even if one accepts the idea that such a proposal could work, valid questions about whether such a cost is an acceptable trade-off for the market turmoil we are hoping to avoid must be raised.

We’re screwing up, and if I just went along to get along, I’d be making the same mistake the Bernalillo County executive committee made yesterday. But, you know what? I care too much to just remain silent.