The Texas Legislature meets once every two years for five months, which means elected officials have a lot of work to do in a short time. The 85th Regular Session concludes today – and the past 140 days were filled with barbs, accusations and criticism volleyed back and forth between the Senate and the House – without much being accomplished.
That’s becoming more typical every biennial session… and a similar thing occurs in college football, which kicks off the 2017 season in less than 100 days. Alabama doesn’t like Auburn. Michigan can’t stand Ohio State. Army despises Navy.
In Texas, generations of Aggies and Longhorns – who often grow up and work side by side – are taught from the cradle about the greatness of each school. Although the teams haven’t met on the gridiron since 2011 when Texas A&M left the Big XII for the SEC, maroon traditions and burnt orange blood forever run deep. Aggies still proclaim ‘Goodbye to Texas University’ and Longhorns continue to say ‘It’s goodbye to A&M’.
Yesterday, our family attended the wedding of the son of longtime friends. Like his parents, the young man is a proud former student of Texas A&M – and there were dozens of their kindred spirit at the reception. Toward the end, the DJ played the Aggie War Hymn and the dance floor quickly filled with chanting of ‘Hullabaloo Caneck! Caneck!’
At which point, my friend’s brother – knowing our deep University of Texas roots – yelled at me, “Come join us, David.” So I did. Locking arms and swaying with them as everyone leaned left and right. I smiled while they sang ‘Saw Varsity’s Horns Off.’
It was a gesture in support of the groom and his family – and with best intentions for wishing the young couple prosperity and joy as they begin married life.
Perhaps our public servants – in Texas and Washington, too – would achieve better results by showing some humility for and understanding of peers on the other side… regardless of their ingrained beliefs, values and traditions.