The 2020 elections

It’s that time again. Four years later, and along with the big one (the presidential election), here in Harris County, Texas, the major law enforcement-related positions are once again up for election.

I’m going to just comment on the races I know about, some of them from the standpoint of the party primaries, some of them mainly in the context of the general election, in no particular order.

First up, Harris County sheriff. Both parties have multiple candidates vying for the position. The Democrats have incumbent Ed Gonzalez, running against Harry Zamora and Jerome Moore. I personally see no reason to replace Ed Gonzalez, plan to vote for him in the primary, and also expect him to easily win the primary.

If only things were so simple on the Republican side. Randy Rush got the endorsement from the Houston Chronicle. His challengers are Paul Day, who might not be so bad… and of course, two-time losing candidate for Precinct 1 Constable Joe Danna, who I just now found out actually got fired from his deputy constable position right after the 2012 election (for falsely stating he served someone with papers at an address later shown to be a vacant apartment at the time). His LinkedIn listed his occupation as self-employed; the Community Impact Newspaper lists it as deputy sheriff which means either someone failed to check him out or chose to ignore what they found. I’m encouraging my Republican readers to vote for Randy Rush, the most fit for the office of the three.

The Precinct 1 Constable election also looks interesting, with three Democratic challengers to incumbent Alan Rosen, those being “Ced” Collier, Perry D. Wesley, and Gilberto Reyna. Nobody is running in the Republican primary, so this may well be a de facto election of a new constable. I don’t see any reason to unseat Alan Rosen as of now.

My choice for president is pretty easy: Bernie Sanders, probably the most electable of the field. Though, there are a lot of good choices; if you are voting Democrat and just can’t bring yourself to vote for Bernie, please choose wisely among the remaining candidates. On the Republican side, there are challengers to the incumbent but I’m not expecting any of them to carry Texas. (I will probably discuss this more as the general election draws closer, but we need to slam the brakes on the country’s ride straight to hell, and that means voting for whoever wins the Democratic primary come November.)

There’s a US senator seat up for election in Texas, too. On the Democratic side, I’m not sure who the front-runners are in the field of eleven, but Sema Hernandez seems to be a solid choice. On the Republican side, it would be nice to see someone oust John Cornyn, but I’m not counting on it by any means. I do think Cornyn needs to go. Beto O’Rourke almost beat Ted Cruz in 2018; I’m hoping higher turnout this time around means we will finally get rid of Cornyn.

More as we get closer to election day…



Thoughts on the 2016 election season

A bit late, I know, but I want to get something out there for many reasons.

As alluded to in the previous entry, I have not ignored the goings on with the 2016 presidential race. I voted in the Democratic primary for Bernie Sanders. Though he did not win Texas, and eventually conceded the nomination to Hillary Clinton, I still feel Bernie would have been a far better choice for president.

When I read Bernie conceded the nomination, it was the biggest letdown I have ever felt over a candidate in the primaries. That day was the first truly sad day of a pretty sad week. It became obvious, of course, that those in charge of the Democratic party wanted Hillary to win at just about any cost–something which sparked outrage within the party, and which led to the eventual resignation of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and not a moment too soon.

As bad as that may have been, what happened on the Republican side is far more terrifying. I have never in my lifetime seen a candidate so obviously unqualified to be president actually win the nomination. I noticed Donald Trump running for the Republican nomination, and I thought it was one of those joke campaigns that had no realistic chance of winning, and that we’d at least see the Democratic candidate (this is before Hillary won) face off against someone remotely qualified to run the country sitting in the White House come next January.

And then, excuse my French, the shit really hit the fan. Mr. Trump showed he was a jerk with no regard for the law on so many occasions it’s hard to remember them all. The “highlights”, some of which happened before Trump actually won the nomination, include inciting a riot in North Carolina, the infamous “grab ‘em by the (genitalia)” tape leaked, instructing security to eject protesters out into subzero temperatures without their coats, and demonstrating a terrifying lack of understanding of foreign policy by asking “why can’t we just nuke Russia”. There’s also building a wall at the Mexican border, his anti-Islamic statements, and last but certainly not least, Mr. Trump has refused to release his tax returns sparking all kinds of speculation. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is, Mr. Trump is the personification of everything that’s wrong with the Republican party as we know it today.

I’m not even going to get into the whole emails debacle. I’ll just say there’s a huge double standard, and that when the Republicans do what Hillary did with emails, they have no problem with it. Yes, that’s ludicrous and hypocritical. No, it doesn’t surprise me anymore.

Adding to the frustration is that the system is horribly broken regarding third-party candidates. When I feel more like diving into details, I may go into this more in another post, but suffice it to say that today, the way presidential debates are organized, only the Republican and Democratic candidates are invited. They are organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is run by leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties. Worse, so many states do a “winner take all” allocation of electoral votes. Meaning, in theory, if Donald Trump has one more popular vote than Hillary Clinton in a state like California or Florida, it’s the same as if he wins by a 90%-10% margin or a 60%-40% margin.

And the rest of the world wonders why the USA is so messed up sometimes.

Perhaps the worst part about it is, the polls showed that Bernie would have crushed Mr. Trump in the general election. Yet Bernie is not who the Democratic Party put out there; Hillary is. Granted, at least Hillary has some idea what the job entails, having been in the White House during her husband’s two terms, and is somewhat qualified having been a senator and Secretary of State in the past. The flip side of that is the awkward truth embodied in the old joke that Bill Clinton is the best Republican president we’ve had (he ran as a Democrat). I wasn’t eligible to vote yet in the 1992 election, and honestly I’m not sure who I would have voted for even if I did. (I used to lean much farther right than I do today.)

I’ll be honest, I don’t like Hillary Clinton a whole lot. But I really, really, really don’t like Donald Trump, and I’m horrified he’s made it this far and that the Republican Party has given him this long of a leash. The presidency is not a damn reality TV show! This is not a four-year-long taping of The Apprentice! Sheesh! (Yeah, I voted for Hillary. I could not risk voting a third party with some of the last polls saying Texas was effectively a toss-up or swing state.)

So, why did it take so damn long for me to write this post? The few times where I had time to start writing a post about the election season, I actually got a bit queasy. It was still difficult getting it all out there today. I’m not sure how to fix this hot mess we call the presidential elections, but I do know there’s a lot that needs fixing.

If anyone has any good ideas on where to begin, feel free to comment below.