Sunday, May 21, 2006

Playing the hand you're dealt

The election is over. I'll leave it to another post and other commentators to take apart the victory of C. Ray Nagin as mayor, but I'm prepared to live with it.

The fact is, moving back home after a long absence and into postdiluvian Debrisville is a tremendous gamble and I have to play the cards I'm dealt. So far, the game has gone well. I've won important hands: dry house we can (just) afford found, daughter into NOCCA and Ben Franklin, son into Lusher, employer willing to let me continue my current job as a telecommuter.

I have to remind myself (and my wife) that on every truly important hand, we've had a turn of luck when we needed is most. And you can't win every hand. The mathematics of the game don't work that way. What's important is to play well and bet wisely, if you're going to beat the house.

So, while I may come back here later today and join the predictable deluge of comments on the details of the election, I will remind myself of all the good fortune I've had so far, remember that the voters also selected three new city council members to temper my disappointment in the mayor's race outcome.

Mr. Mayor, I've gambled everything on trying to come home, to join in the rebuilding of the city. I supported you against your critics all through the Fall, patiently (and then angrily) explained about the evacuation, the city emergency plan, the foibles of FEMA and the disinterest of the federal government, just as you have.

As time passed, things like your decision to pass on a car removal contract that would have paid rather than cost the taxpayers, your strange behavior over the Algiers trailer park, all of this turned me against you and toward an alternative. You seemed, like so many people in NOLA, to have been paralyzed and confused by the stress of the aftermath.

But a majority of the city's voters, both at home and displaced, choose you. I'm prepared to deal with that. If I wasn't steeled for a challenge, I wouldn't be coming. Just remember: you repeated told everyone to come home, to join in the rebirth of the city, to take the risk.

Here we are.

Don't let us down.

I just cut 18 paragraphs down to this:

It's going to be OK.

(I hope that's okay!)

Thanks, Markus.
Yes, that's what we have to keep reminding ourselves of. Every day, the earth just keeps revolving on its axis, no matter who is mayor of New Orleans.
I believe it's actually 4 new city council members.
Three new district council members, and a new at large member. Three of them defeated incumbents was the point I meant. Thanks for helping me clarify that.
Thanks, Mark, as always. I referenced this post in my blog today, but was too busy to link it. As I told a friend today, the world didn't end because Nagin was re-elected.
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"And when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcome, but when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive." -- Audie Lorde

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