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Part of being rational—radically or otherwise—is realizing that two things, or several things, or lots of things, can be true at once. Not everything is binary. In fact, hardly anything is.

As Exhibit A I present Beto O’Rourke. He didn’t say anything yesterday in Uvalde that wasn’t factual and logical. He was right.

But he was also stupid. His premeditated stunt of interrupting Abbott’s statement/news conference was a strategic blunder.

Understand, I’m not offended in the least by what he said. But his choreographed grandstanding did not make any sense with respect to his campaign for governor.

In fact, O’Rourke handed Abbott an early Christmas present. That’s now an Abbott campaign television ad waiting to happen. And it will be an effective one.

Abbott will spin this as O’Rourke being disrespectful to the Uvalde victims and their families, and cast Beto as being selfish and exploitive. That’s a layup. And it will work.

Ultimately, this is all about math. Did Beto gain even one vote in the state as a result of that stunt? No. Not one.

But will he lose some votes—we can debate the number—because of it? Absolutely. Net loser.

I’ve heard from many of you that you appreciated O’Rourke’s passion. I understand. But he poured it into the wrong venue at the wrong time. Did you see the tv interviews he did later in the day? They were passionate, accurate and compelling. They accomplished everything he wanted to, but without the backlash that is already resulting from the stunt.

Yes, I have said that this, “Now is certainly not the time” garbage following every mass shooting is Republican claptrap. Now is absolutely the time to be talking about this issue. Talking about it yesterday was perfectly appropriate. Talking about it every day is what we should be doing.

But the STUNT was not performed at the right time or in the right place.

Two things can be true at once, and in this case are. 

Beto was right. He was also stupid.

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.