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Post-Election Day musings

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Chris MetitationsAnother Election Day has come and gone.

In the news media sector, elections are both a big business and a fun spectator sport. 

For those of us tasked with reporting on the elections, it can be quite a thrill to watch results trickle in from various polling locations, and to see how certain races evolve through the course of the night’s tallying.

If, like me, you’re a reporter/media person who lives in the county you’re reporting on, it can also be a bit of a let-down at times, if your choice candidate did not win, or if a race your eyes are upon ended up in a runoff, after you’d hoped it go in a more decisive direction.

Speaking of, I imagined one, maybe two, of the primary elections in Tyler County possibly going to runoffs, but I could have never imagined four out of five contested countywide races going that way.

So, there’s another stop on the train ride that is the mid-terms here, prior to November’s general election. Whoever wins the Republican runoff for County Judge, and wins in November, it will be strange to see a different face at the head of county government, after Judge Jacques Blanchette has served for so many terms, but encouraging that so many folks have stepped up with willingness to serve.

The same goes for the other contested races in our county, and it’s encouraging, as well, to see so many younger folks with that heart of service appearing on the ballots.

As I alluded to earlier in this scrawling, some of the elections didn’t go the way I’d hoped. Case in point: Texas has missed out on having a true statesman in a powerful office (Ag Commissioner) this go round. Also: I’d really hoped for better picks going to the general election for the gubernatorial and Guv Lite races, but that’s just how those things work. Abbott, Beto and Dan Patrick have the name recognition, and most importantly, the serious coin to get on that ballot.

In terms of statewide legislative action, next year will see another legislative session, and hopefully, if there’s a good deal of new leadership in Austin, there will be less focus on inane folderol. In other words, personally, I’d like to see some real, meaningful diving into the school finance issue as well as the monolithic property tax issue. There are others, to be certain, but those are at the top of mine (and many’s) lists.

I think what most Texans would like to see is a tackling of actual issues, and a cease-and-desist on the nothingburger that is Critical Race Theory, as well as a moratorium on bigotry dictating policy, i.e. the recent Transgender law. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Hopefully we’ll get some folks into office in Austin who value public education and trust teachers to be experts on curriculum and instruction. 

For those who notice the little quotes appearing on the front page of this newspaper, there’s a reason why the bit from Plato appeared on last week’s edition about the measure of a man and power. 

A similar quote comes by way of Stan Lee, who scripted the eternal line “With great power, comes great responsibility,” which is actually a paraphrase of a sentiment expressed in classical texts and in some sacred texts, but most know it phrased the way Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben said it. 

Another quote that seems applicable is attributed to George Van Valkenburg: “Leadership is doing what is right when no one is watching.”

Getting things done for the people will take working together and healthy discourse/debate. The toxic model of political wargames doesn’t bode well anywhere, not in Austin, not in Tyler County. 

For all those who find themselves with titles in November, courtesy of the electorate, it boils down to three words: service above self.

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