POLITICS AND LEADERSHIP
When I was a boy in the 1930’s my grandfather was the County Clerk of Palo Pinto Texas. He was one of my hero’s and when I spent the summers visiting he helped form my principles. I would go to the County Court events and observe how the justice system operated. On one visit when I was about eight, he took me to Mineral Wells to meet with the Governor of Texas at that time, W. Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel. He later became a US Senator. Later in life I was a schoolmate with Joan Jester in Corsicana Texas. Her father, Buford, was also a Texas democratic Governor.
All politics in Texas was controlled by the Democrats. All leaders of the State of Texas were conservative. In fact I do not recall any politician being a republican before I was in my mid 20’s. His name was Bruce Alger and I remember that he was the first republican that my dad ever voted for. I did not vote for him as I was committed democrat.
As I matured the Democratic Party started the drift to the left toward liberal socialism. This was contrary to the way I was raised and by the time I was thirty I had become a republican by choice and watched as the change progressed in Texas.
When I moved to Sabine County in 1991 one of the first things politically I remember was that there were no republicans in local politics. I recall an event one morning while Norma and I were having breakfast at Twitty’s and overheard a local group discussing politics. I will never forget what we overheard. One of the gentlemen in his blue overalls made the following statement, “I would vote for a dog before I would vote for a republican for anything.” Things have slightly improved here since then but we still have not had a republican Judge, Commissioner, Sheriff or County Clerk since I have been here. As Texas has been controlled by the republicans for several years now, you would think the locals would have figured out that the reason we are one of the poorest Counties in Texas is because we have no voice in Austin or a democrat to talk to. Maybe someday the local people will understand this when they vote. Many just do not care.
Texas passed a significant milestone this week when two recently elected House democrats switched to the Republican Party. For the first time in my memory the republican’s now have a super 101 member majority in the Texas House of Representatives. This means that the democrats can no longer disrupt the business of the people. I recall their childish behavior a few years ago when they all went to Oklahoma so that without a quorum the legislative process was impossible.
Now with the full power to act in the people’s interest it will be interesting to see if the Texas republicans can lead and use the power we have vested in them. Using the 1994 republican victory in the US Congress as a benchmark they will likely fail to listen to the people and squander the opportunity. We have a repeat of 1994 again next year in the US House of Representatives and an increased population in the US Senate. Let us all pray that the republicans can change Washington and Austin and restore the power to the people as designed by our Constitutions.