While people around the world express their glee at the new President- and Vice President-Elect, it's important to take a moment and remember another Vice Presidential candidate who went on to his final reward over the weekend.
During the tumultuous years of the eighties a third party candidate made headlines and T-Shirts throughout the nation. With daily coverage in hundreds of newspapers, millions of Americans followed the unfolding story of his campaign. Despite running valiant campaigns in 1984 and 1988, the third party would not meet with success. Saddled with a small party structure, less charisma than Walter Mondale, controversy over the San Francisco convention, getting slapped with the Liberal label, allegations of an affair with Jean Kirkpatrick, and a presidential candidate who was mostly dead, the Meadow Party just couldn't pull in the votes.
The Vice Presidential candidate with Southern roots lived a full life. His early jobs included writing personal ads for the local newspaper before he began work as an assistant to the only lawyer in town. He toured with renounced heavy metal band Deathtongue, until the lead singer was caught up in a biblical scandal. He briefly married a sculptor, before the wedding was annulled over concern about children and noses. There were rumors of an affair with Diane Sawyer, but those rumors may have been started by the candidate himself. Always the Star Trek fan, he owned his own Spock uniform.
He valued diversity, and was close, personal friends with a fascinating group of people -- nerdy and cool, black and white, liberal and conservative, wheel-chair bound and runner, young and old, and in later years, gay and straight.
Throughout the years, he tried to bring out the best in human nature. But the one thing he sought for over twenty five years is the one thing he finally got -- a mother and a home.
Opus passed away this past weekend after several weeks in an animal shelter.
He ended up there after a run in with Homeland Security due to his immigration status. His last act was to surrender a chance at freedom to his cell mate who likely made it to Tahiti.
Opus passed on from the pages of the comic strips to the pages of Good Night Moon, where he will spend eternity cozy in the warmth of a loving family and story.
No matter what happens in the next four years, remember:
Don't blame me. I voted for Bill and Opus.
For more details about the final weeks of Opus's life, see this Wikipedia article.