There's a lot of talk about "mavericks" at the convention. The term comes from the Texas pioneer family that refused to brand their cattle. Neighbors would call the unbranded cattle were "the Maverick's." Maury Maverick, Sr., was a long-time mayor of my home town, San Antonio.
I remember his son, MM Jr., with great fondness. He was a colorful plaintiff's attorney and erstwhile liberal Democratic politician with a big heart and a compelling turn of phrase. I got to know him when I first practiced law there. He used to call me "the kid" and was a friend of my father's. Now you know who the real Mavericks were!
Someone mentioned that Gerald Ford considered putting Anne Armstrong, then the Texas Republican Party committeewoman, on his ticket back in 1976. Anne was the matriarch of the Texas Republican party and died just a couple of months ago, aged 80. Back in the 1950's and 60's, she ran the Republican primaries in our precinct out of the garage apartment in her home. She would have been tickled to see a woman on the GOP ticket.
Thinking of Anne Armstrong made me think about my grandmother a staunch Republican from the Midwest. She remembered when women got the right to vote and always preached to me "if you don't vote, you can't complain." So we both voted and we both complained!
John McCain's P.O.W. story brought reflections of the legacy of the Vietnam era veterans like El Jefe's cousins, one of whom continues to suffer the effects of his wounds. The difference in attitude at both the party conventions towards our service men and women, despite disagreements about foreign policy, must be gratifying to Vietnam vets. At El Jefe's last high school reunion, the class staged a touching tribute to those who served in Viet Nam. I remember when they were shamefully treated by their fellow countrymen upon their return from service. This is indeed a change for the better.
Babs came home for dinner last night. She and her boyfriend, Portia and DK all watched Sarah Palin's speech together last night and they are very excited about her nomination. If she comes to Houston, they will so be there. If my grandmother was still with us, she'd hitch a ride with them! But Texas isn't one of the battleground states so I doubt we'll see either ticket campaigning down here.
Now the campaign begins in earnest. It would be nice if the candidates and their surrogates and supporters stuck to debating issues and policies. But history and an understanding of human nature tell us that hasn't happened and it won't happen. Vicious personal attacks and slanders have been a staple of national elections since the early days of the republic. All sides have been, are, and will be guilty. It's the ugly underbelly of democracy and the constitutional guarantee of free speech. But it's still the best system for the government of a free people devised by the mind of man.
Let Election 2008 begin!
Let Election 2008 begin!