I blush as I write this (well, not really) but things are going well at the University of Georgia, the nation’s oldest state-chartered university, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South. UGA President Jere Morehead’s State of the University address notes among other positives that U.S. News and World Report ranks my alma mater in the top 20 (Number 15) of all public universities in the nation. Oh, did I mention we just got our 25th Rhodes Scholar? All that and a pretty fair football team, too. Our cup runneth over.
In the interest of equal time, I will say that while most Republican politicians in Georgia seem to have lost their tongues, a couple of Georgia Tech grads in the Legislature are showing some real backbone in standing up to the torch-and-pitchfork crowd still smarting over the results of the presidential election. Former Yellow Jacket pitcher and current Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan seems not the least bit intimidated by the ominous rumblings coming from the Trumpsters about his future political career nor is he hesitant to speak his piece about the election being over and done with.
Another Georgia Tech loyalist, State Rep. Bert Reeves, R-Cobb County, calls U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene “an embarrassment to Georgia” and “the face of radical political extremism.” Reeves does not say such things lightly. If Republicans have a lick of political sense, they will listen to these two men or get ready to hand the keys to the Governor’s office over to Democrat Stacey Abrams next November.
Speaking of Greene (must we?) here is proof that political buffoonery in Georgia is color-blind. First, there was Cong. Cynthia McKinney, a Black woman whose only contributions to our state were a bunch of wacky conspiracy theories and positioning herself on the aisle at each State of the Union address in order to wet-kiss whatever unfortunate president happened to be coming by. Greene, white as new-driven snow, is equally wacky.
Greene, newly elected from Georgia’s 14th congressional district held a press conference recently to say she was sorry – sort of – for saying things like suggesting that the California wildfires were started by a space laser beam which was controlled by the Rothschilds, a prominent Jewish banking company, and (my favorite) that then-Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was being played by a body double. (Who? Dolly Parton?) She was summarily stripped of all of her committee assignments, meaning her constituents can expect taxation without representation. If she plays her cards right, Greene could replace McKinney as our next Ambassador to Outer Space.
I don’t know if you watched the Super Bowl or not. According to the ratings, not many did. As is my wont, I didn’t turn on the television until after the National Anthem was played and I changed channels during the halftime show because I have no idea who those people are. So why do I bring this up? It turns out that Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians is the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl and Tom Brady is the oldest quarterback to do so. You better watch us old folks. We rock!
We are coming up on the 25th anniversary of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta. While I’m not sure if there will be an official celebration or not, I will have my own anniversary to celebrate. Two years after the Games, I was asked to write a guest column about how well the city did in hosting the event. I said Atlanta blew the Games. The city government was racist, the business community was more worried about traffic than how the city would appear to the world and the local media was in over their heads. That led to another column and then another and now 23 years and some 2,000 columns later, I find myself the most widely-syndicated columnist in Georgia.
Finally, the outpouring of support I have received across the state following the loss of the beloved Woman Who Shares My Name has been nothing short of overwhelming. So many of you have told me how you welcome me into your homes each week and how you have grieved for me and with me. The experience has reminded me that words have meaning and to be careful in my use of them. So I will leave you with these two simple words: Thank you.
•Dick Yarbrough is a four-time winner of the Best Humor Column by the Georgia Press Association. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.