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Ole Miss Is Waiting

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I was born and raised in Mississippi. Prior to the state becoming Gambling-on-the-River headquarters, it was known for cotton and soybean fields as far as the eye can see. My folks had a saying for everything under the sun. The laid-back attitudes and the no need to rush life society come to mind often.

Now living in Tennessee, a person from the Magnolia State is an instant “lifelong” friend and I revert back to my lingo that only a Mississippian would know or appreciate. “Whose your people” (could we be related)? “Schooling” (educated by life or university)? “She is living in Whitfield now” (trip to the state psychiatric hospital). “Went to Parchment Sunday” (visited a relative at the state prison). “She is spending time with a cuzzin” (waiting until the baby is born). Simple, sweet, and to the point.

Pollies (politicians) in Mississippi know their politics. And no one out-pollied my granddaddy. My granddaddy, “Daddy,” campaigned all over the state and knew the lay of the land, every nook and cranny. Repubs and Demos loved each before and after an election. He called everyone Mr. or Mrs. because he respected everyone. He did what said he was going to do—rain, sleet, or shine. He was called “Mr. Joe” by all, and every election was important no matter who was on the ticket. In spite of what our history books tell us about the Magnolia State, the people are solid and strong, including the University of Mississippi.

Ole Miss should not be held hostage because of the “situation on Wall street,” a situation that 90 percent of the country does not understand or even trust. The financial mess we are in did not happen overnight and it will not be solved overnight. Anyone remember the other quick fix called Iraq? We rushed in, declared mission accomplished, and yet, we are still there.

Ole Miss, in good faith, accepted the incredible responsibility to hold the first debate in this election. The young people there have been preparing all summer for this event. The school has spent enormous amounts of money (that could have been spent on scholarships) to pull this off. To not go through with this election debate is a disservice to University staff and students, and a major disruption to the road to the White House. Delaying the debates tells our young people that they can hold others hostage at a moment’s notice without much thought to the outcome. That is not the message we want to send to our future leaders of America or to the world that is watching.

This election has become more and more theatrical with each passing day. The call by my friend John to cancel the debate is another day at the theater. With all the talk about $700 billion dollar bailout, town hall meetings that were oh so important a week ago, and let us ditch the debates madness. Hopefully, we get free popcorn with this never-ending comedy show.


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