It's Not Us. Republicans Just Didn't Like What's All Around Us.
Gosh, could there be something about the Texas Republican Party that people elsewhere find off-putting?
First thing, Dallas shouldn't take its rebuff by the Republican Party so personally, because ... because Dallas shouldn't take everything so personally. Sometimes I feel like we're sitting at one end of the bus, a woman gets on and sits at the other end, and we shout at her, "What? You're too good to sit next to me?"
That's weird. You can get a 911 call that way.
George E. Condon Jr. has what's probably a pretty good piece in The National Journal suggesting that Republicans chose recently to take their 2016 national convention to Cleveland not because they had anything against Dallas but because they wanted to avoid the weird Addams Family nightmare that has become the Texas Republican Party.
Citing the gay-hating Mexican-bashing platform adopted at the recent Republican Texas state convention, Condon says the Texas brand of Republicanism is last thing the national party needs to showcase at its national convention two years from now. "The face of a Dallas convention without much doubt," he writes, "would have been Texas firebrand and Tea Party darling Sen. Ted Cruz."
As always when we get spurned, Dallas is shocked that anybody could take that other one over us, being as how we are so beautiful. And I'm not staying we're not. But other people are beautiful, too.
Look, a reasonable person might reasonably choose to sit at the end of the bus with Cleveland, Indianapolis , Cincinnati, or, believe it or not, Pittsburgh instead of sitting next to us, because a lot of incredibly cool things are happening in those cities. Cool things are happening here, too, but the fact is that some those I have just cited, Indianapolis, for example, are quite a bit ahead of us in redeveloping their downtowns as sophisticated, fun, walkable, human-scale communities instead of freeway-chopped office centers serving radially far-flung suburban encampments.
If we absolutely must have a pity party about it, we might look back to our first big case of unrequited love in 2001 when Boeing CEO Phil Condit moved the company to Chicago instead of here (or Denver). A decade after the move when Condit was retired, he gave the Puget Sound Business Journal about the only negative quote I've ever seen from him about Dallas. Condit said his memory of Dallas was that a bunch of Dallas suburbs at the time were in his ear telling him why he shouldn't move to Dallas.
We could believe that, right? In fact it would be the reflex of Dallas suburbs to warn a guy from out of town how bad Dallas proper is, thinking that was the way to talk themselves up. But of course if you're the CEO doing his two-day chopper tour of the region, all you're going to hear in that is a dysfunctional family. It's just another reason why Dallas, the city, needs to get a divorce from the region.
For one thing, the region isn't at our end of the bus, either. In 2013 the Olympics declined to accept a ring from us. (Gosh, this is a lot of rejection when you add it all up, isn't it? I'm starting to get the snuffles after all.) Bradford Pearson posted a good piece on Frontburner comparing the distances from downtown of the major stadiums in all of the candidate cities around the world. Our stadium, of course, was to be Jerry World.
It was sort of a joke. Most of the stadiums were either right downtown in candidate cities or within six miles or six minutes by transit. Jerry World, at 19 miles from downtown, just is not a Dallas venue. It's in Texas, yeah. But it has nothing to do with Dallas. So why would you have a Dallas Olympics and then do most of it not in Dallas?
I need to get over my snuffles, so I am going to propose a way to deal with this that I think may be good for us. It's not us they reject. It's Texas. And it's the Dallas suburbs. That's who people don't want to sit next to.
Dallas is cool, and we're getting cooler. But we need to get a sign or something we can hold up with an arrow on it that says, "Not with them." I'm convinced if we do that we'll get a date someday. If that doesn't seem to work, fine, we take off our shirts and whistle. Well, you take off your shirt, I'll whistle.