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Willard M. Romney, Commander-in-Chief

In introducing Willard at Liberty Jerry Falwell, Jr. Chancellor of Liberty University told the graduates and guests that they are “electing a commander-in-chief.” I suppose that is true: the President is constitutionally the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces.

But in fact, we are electing a chief executive officer for the government. I am not in the military: I have no Commander-in-Chief whose orders I have sworn to obey.

This sort of nonsense tells us most of what we need to know about the education provided at Falwell’s so-called university. A university is an institution of higher learning with multiple faculties, devoted to expanding human knowledge and disseminating it.

Liberty University’s chancellor is either unaware of the distinction between an office and the (ex-officio) positions that are part of the duties of the office; or, he believes that we will in fact elect a Commander-in-Chief. Now, after the debacle of Commander Codpiece we may well wish we elected the C-in-C separately, but that will require a constitutional amendment. But distinguishing between a part and the whole is a really basic thing in human endeavors. Maybe Junior needs to review set theory. Paul Halmos wrote a really great book called Naive Set Theory. (Don’t let the title fool you — Halmos was a master of Brit-style understatement even though he was an American mathematician.)

So, let’s just settle for making sure that Willard never has access to the nukular futball.

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I'm a professor of statistics at New Mexico State University with some expertise in government statistics and work experience in state and federal government. My professional expertise is in experimental design and analysis, with a sideline in survey design and analysis.

My hobby is music making with large lengths of brass tubing.