It's been quite some time since I've posted here. I've thought about it several times, but then decided not to. So here go a few passing thoughts on the last year or so--random thoughts that may or may not be interesting to others as we get ready to close out 2015 and enter 2016.
- As a state senator with a year of experience under my belt, I sometimes wonder if running for office was the right thing to do for me. While I enjoy the work (most of the time), and relish the challenge of trying to figure out the best way to move my state toward a smaller government/more liberty approach, I'm really not sure that I've got the personality to be a "politician." I like people well enough, and enjoy talking with them, but ultimately, while I'm not really shy, I'm also not really outgoing, either. Case in point: today, while getting my hair cut, the stylist asked "so what do you do?" My answer: "I work for the state, at the Capitol." She accepted that, asked if I was taking a vacation day, and I said "yes."
- I'm really not trying to hide that I'm an elected official, but I'm not really trying to flaunt it, either. At a recent gathering of very extended family, one gentleman came up to me and said "you're the one who's the state senator, right?" I acknowledged that was indeed the case, but beyond a few words, didn't encourage an extended conversation about property taxes. I worried, later, that perhaps I seemed stand-offish, but I guess I'm still trying to figure out where the lines of demarcation are. Church? Funerals? Family events? At the grocery store? At kids' events? I guess I never really take the title off, but there are times when I'd like to be primarily "mom" or "daughter-in-law" or "wife." Perhaps that's not possible, and perhaps I wouldn't really want it if it was....
- On the presidential race front: I've managed (due largely to my job in the legislature) to stay largely out of presidential politics for the first time in several election cycles. 2008 and 2012 were big years for the Paul movement, and I was actively engaged in that. Before that, I was playing academic and trying to finish a dissertation ABOUT presidential politics (finished in 2005-started in 1998--yeah, it took a while, but I got two kids out of the wait!). Who's going to get the GOP nomination? I don't know. Reading through a synopsis I recently got of the new rules that the RNC and various state party organizations have adopted, I'd say that there's probably as good of a chance as any time in my lifetime that we could go into the convention without a clear victor. Either that, or Donald Trump will win early and often and everyone else will leave. I notice that Lindsey Graham and Mike Huckabee have both withdrawn from the race in the last two days--I think that puts the number at something like 12?
- Objectively, I think that Trump, Cruz, and Rubio could each win some states. Rand Paul--if the polls are to be believed--hasn't really caught fire. I've followed the RealClearPolitics presidential polls for a number of years. They're nice because they keep a running average of the most recent polls out there, so the results are smoothed a little bit in graph form--fewer big jumps or falls, and more of an ability to see trends. As a political scientist, I'd love to watch a REAL convention. The conventions we've had for most of the last 30 years have been coronations--if we're going to have conventions, then it ought to be something more than just a big party--there ought to be some real decisions made.
- Speaking of Conventions, Georg has posted about my efforts in Nebraska to pass LR35--Nebraska's application for an Article V Convention/Convention of States for the purpose of amending the U.S. Constitution. The goal there is really to reclaim control of the federal government. Read Article V of the U.S. Constitution--it provides for a convention of the states being held as a means of proposing amendments. There are a number of Article V efforts in the works right now. The one that my application is based on is the Convention of States Project. There's a ton of information on their website, if you're interested.
Two weeks from tomorrow, on January 6, the Nebraska Legislature starts back into session. This year is our "short" session (60 days in session, as opposed to 90). We'll be talking a lot about taxes, funding of education, and hopefully some of us will get a few words in on behalf of making our government smaller and our people freer!
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!