Here’s some news that ought to make any Arkansan proud – Lou Holtz might run for a seat in Congress.
You heard me right – he may run as a Republican and challenge central Florida incumbent U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, a Democrat.
For those of you unfamiliar with Holtz, he was the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks until he was run out of this state by a pack of morons in 1983. He went to a little college called Notre Dame in 1986 and led the Irish to a national championship in 1986.
I’m all for Holtz for at least a couple of reasons. For one thing, the man is a hoot. I have said – time and time again – that we ought to be electing better leaders to national offices. The American public doesn’t seem to interested in that as evidenced by the rotten candidates that have run for president since Ronald Reagan left office (yeah, the Democrats and Republicans have both scraped the bottom of the barrel for candidates since 1988).
Seriously, folks. The last presidential election featured a grumpy old man who didn’t seem to know what he really wanted to achieve and a fellow who stole his campaign slogan from Bob the Builder. We quit worrying about quality candidates and responsible government years ago.
Yes, you could expect Holtz to always be up to something wacky and popping off about this, that and the other. Holtz has a big mouth and it often gets him in trouble. If we can’t expect much from government, then we can at least be entertained, right?
My view of politics is – I realize – cynical as can be. I explain my point of view to people by relating a story from my days as a student. When I was a freshman at Hendrix College in scenic Conway, Ark., I was ironing a shirt in my dorm room (I have always hated ironing). I heard a knock at the door, yelled “come in!” and a fellow wearing a coat and tie entered.
“Hi!” he enthused as he handed me a pamphlet. “I’m blah-blah and I’m running for student council! I would really appreciate your vote.”
“You really want my vote?” I asked.
“Then get in here and iron my shirt.”
“I’m not going to iron your shirt!”
“Then I’m not going to vote for you.”
The poor slob looked like he wanted to say something but just couldn’t manage it. He wandered off in a huff, leaving me with my ironing and a great story that I’ve been telling for over 20 years now.
Here’s the point – if I would have gotten that guy to iron my shirt, I would have received more benefit from an elected official than most people receive in their lives.
If we can’t expect the government to do much, then there’s nothing wrong with voting for someone who could at least make political news interesting. Yes, I’d expect his speeches from the House floor to be littered with all sorts of sports analogies.
“It’s third and long, but we’re not giving up,” Holtz might say. “We’ve hit the two minute warning but I know we’re mounting a comeback that will be one for the books.”
Another reason I like Holtz is that he might actually get something done. The man is a loose cannon who says what he means and isn’t afraid to back down from a fight. Compared to that mealy-mouthed Vic Snyder who represents Arkansas’ Second District (my district, sadly) in the House, a hell-raising, straight shooter like Holtz would be a refreshing change of pace.
Snyder mumbles the party line through his mustache while Holtz tends to get angry and yell what’s on his mind. Of course, Holtz’s tendency to disregard the consequences of his words might be the thing that would cost him enough votes to keep him out of Congress. That would be a shame.
Now, I know a lot of people like to talk about experience when it comes to politics these days. The notion, of course, is that someone who hasn’t served in an elected office just isn’t as effective as someone who has.
That’s a bunch of crap. Look here – Holtz managed to lead the Razorbacks to a stunning victory over the Oklahoma Sooners in the 1978 Orange Bowl, has a national title under his belt and is in the College Football Hall of Fame. He’s achieved more than 95 percent of the careerists in the House or the Senate. That’s good enough for me.
I like this notion of Holtz running for office so much I might just make a contribution even though he’d be representing Florida rather than Arkansas. You want change? Just put Holtz in office and you’ll see some change.