Today, people are counting wins and losses in terms of parties, and well they should. Personally, I’m licking the wounds for the loss of something else. I do not pretend to thoroughly know anybody in the legislature, but I have enjoyed exchanges with some of those guys through the years. I list among my favorites John Szoka (R-Cumberland). Assigned to interview him for the CJ, I arrived at his house ready to take notes, but soon found myself lost in a lovely conversation with a mathematician. After a couple notes, the only time I used my pen again was to exchange web sites or to present concepts in graphical form. It was apparent we weren’t going to disagree on anything. Szoka won in an unchallenged race, and that’s just swell.

Another hero would be Tom Murry (R-Wake). For one thing, he is incredibly quick to answer inquiries. I had the sense he actively listened to his constituents and went about problem-solving effectively. For another, conversations with him are just plain nuts-and-bolts. His intellect is definitely superior to mine. He talks fluidly about anything and makes perfect sense. I so despise when politicians try to win souls with whiny rhetoric and emotional games. Murry, such a straight-talker, was the antithesis. I say “was” because he’s now a has-been. He was defeated by a woman who ignored over ten attempts by me to interview her for a CJ article. That was a sorry disappointment.

The third would be Tim Moffitt (R-Buncombe). Moffitt is the hometown villain. I’ve complained on occasion about an apparent tyrannical streak, but he had so many other good attributes, I could hope he would outgrow it. Like Murry, he spoke intelligently, with facts instead of prejudice, even when challenged. He had a funny sense of humor, too. A natural leader, he deserves a chunk of credit for recent changes for the better in the legislature. As they say, he also ran.

So, this morning, I’m a little uneasy about any new directions the legislature will take. Power shifted quite noticeably in response to the lies of the MMM movement. Surely, the newbies will rise to the occasion and grow with good advisors. But I have this unsettling feeling about what it all means to have as our victors people who, either through deceit or stupidity, want more money to fund teachers who can’t or won’t do basic math. As one of my neighbors put it this morning, intelligent candidates have to swindle to capture the vulgar/common/majority vote.