Tuesday, March 21, 2023
March 21, 2023

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Press Talk: Pondering the future

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And where do we go from here?

As I pounded the above lead out for this column, surely I knew what I was going to write about. But I paused. I had two ideas that fit that above beginning sentence but I simply couldn’t decide. Maybe a few M&M’s could help me focus? Nah. They’re just a distraction. Then it hit me like a rare sunny day in November. Heck, why not explore both ideas? Almost like two columns for the price of one. I like it!

Let us begin.

Those Cougs

As Washington State University’s football team languishes in eighth place in the Pac-12, with a 1-4 record in the conference, the Cougar faithful have to — once again — buck up. Football is not this university’s strong point. Still, I love this joint even though I didn’t go there. But as I prepared to watch today’s game I had to come to grips with a little spoken reality. Football acumen is not the only item that needs shoring up at WSU. It’s always kinda been a second fiddle. The one mom didn’t love quite as much. The summer chinook.

Now before I go any further, kids get a dang good education there and some extremely bright alums exist. One of my favorites is Edward R. Murrow, one of the most influential news broadcasters of all time.

Still, in the Evergreen State, the University of Washington has always been the big dog.

U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the University of Washington 55th and Washington State 212th among U.S. universities. Oh my!

So can anything be done about this? I think so. The problem, in my humble opinion, is Washington State’s main campus, Pullman. Have you ever been there? Regardless of your answer, you know what I mean. It ain’t Seattle. And one cannot live by Cougar Gold alone.

Now if Washington State’s main campus was moved to (dramatic pause required here) Vancouver — where it already has a thriving campus — well, problem solved. In addition to everything Vancouver has to offer, it’s only minutes away from Portland. And all of that would be an amazing drawing card. Not only would football recruiting improve but academia would soar.

And where do we go from here? I know this wouldn’t be easy, but if those in charge want to see upward movement, say, 50 years from now, the transition discussion would have to begin now. And where we go from here — as noted earlier — is Vancouver.

By the way, the Cougars are playing an equally inept Stanford today. We should come out on top by 11 points.

Political blame

The other idea I had for a column today had to do with — you guessed it — politics. If you didn’t think politics couldn’t get any wackier after the former Chief Chooch Donald Trump was elected president, you haven’t been paying attention. Even though he lost two years ago, like most canker sores, Trump always finds his way back. And he just keeps telling lies.

As Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels supposedly said, if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth.

Now look, most all politicians lie. That’s simply a given. But voters need to be able to distinguish between a small lie and a big lie. In other words there’s an element of stain attached to politicians’ DNA, but there’s a difference between being dusted with it and covered in it.

Trump is covered in it and by extension so are most of his devotees. I’ve often wondered why political hopefuls haven’t kicked Trump to the curb but the answer is really pretty simple: his campaign tactics work.

Joe Kent, a chooch worshipper who is running for the 3rd Congressional District, knows this. Kent is no dummy. But he knows Goebbels’ tactic — as adopted by Trump — works.

But here’s the thing, I’m drifting away from blaming the Kents of the world. Why? Well, politicians will be politicians. I rarely expect high standards from them.

So what’s the answer? And where do we go from here?

Voters still are our only hope. The longer-term solution is for us to appreciate we’ve done a pretty miserable job of electing good people. Me included. We simply often get it wrong and worse, after we get it wrong, we keep making the mistake over and over again.

So to protect ourselves from ourselves we need to get serious about term limits. And please stop with the “We have term limits already and it’s called elections,” garbage. Yes, term limits will result in us throwing some good people out of office. But clearly it’s been proven we’re better off throwing good people out then retaining bad people.

The shorter-term solution is simply to reject the big liars. Think of it this way, whomever you vote for make sure you’d want to have them over for dinner table talking with you and your relatives.

• • •

OK, I’m exhausted. What channel is that football game on? Go Cougs!