Bill Murchison

Not quite, Billy Bob, he learned it in the good old USA, along with some positive traits once associated with citizens of that country, including honesty, ambition and hard work.

Louisiana saw Jindal, heard the words and didn't give a Confederate durn whether his folks were from Mississippi or the Ganges. Gov. Blanco didn't choose to run. The second-place finisher, a Democrat, got just 18 percent of the vote. Louisiana handed its future to an ethnic Indian.

We're seeing the future, and it may or may not work. It certainly isn't the world in which we "older" folk grew up, what with all the international comings and goings. What is entrancing about Bobby Jindal, an internationalist to his fingertips, is his easy appropriation of American ideals and modes. He represents in many ways the hopeful, as opposed to the divisive, character of immigration: the sense that good is good, wherever it originated.

Who knows where all this is going? All we really can know is that, when Louisiana elects a Catholic, abortion-opposing Indian to lead it out of a mess perpetrated by generations of, shall we say, old-style Americans, opportunities of a new sort open up.

Can we someday agree that talent and integrity and vision are the attributes voters want to reward, rather than skill at rekindling burned-out resentments, pounding people for whatever happened, or didn't happen, in another time and place? It could be that the debate begins in Louisiana.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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