Seeking perfection - Brownsville Herald: Letters To The Editor

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Seeking perfection

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Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2020 5:16 pm

A new year, 2020, is upon us. Recalling the Snellen Test used by optometrists, 2020 refers to perfect vision. Would it not be ideal if the calendar year had nothing less then perfect days? As humans, no one is so powerful or perfect; we all make mistakes or blunders somewhere along the line.

Two major blunders came to mind: elections and oaths of office. My civics lessons with my teachers, Mrs. Ruby Wooldridge, Mrs. Frances Eacho and Judge Joseph Tallent, taught me much, so I resorted to Henry’s Memory Drum Theory — that once we learn something we never forget.

I brought back facts from the back of my mind. I was amazed at how much I still retained after a half century. I knew that the U.S. Constitution had not changed much since I studied constitutional law in 1965 except for the 25th, 26th and 27th Amendments.

Amendment 12 on the Electoral College was one over which I debated much with my teachers, for I did not understand the premise. If a representative from my state was going to be chosen to represent me in the electoral college, how could I be sure that my vote would be cast as I wished? They were not legally bound to do so. What was the actual value of my vote in electing our president and vice president? Their election was directly out of my control.

I could not then, and still don’t, understand why the person who won the popular vote was not elected to be the president of our country. I felt faithless electors could cast a ballot that was not accurate and reflective of the people’s choice.

Question after question finally brought that special, sarcastic smile that one of my teachers had when she told me, “We must trust our elected officials to do what is best for our country.”

So, that now brings me to the second blunder of 2019.

An elected official will have to take an oath of office and affirm to faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office, as well as defend and protect our Constitution. As constituents, we place our trust in them and want to believe that the official will do what is right for all of us, just like my teacher told me. We never imagine that some would take the office in order to secure a position that is for their personal gain, interests, power, vendettas or get-rich schemes.

However, on a daily basis, constituents are disappointed after reading and hearing reports that another elected official has placed personal interests and power above the law they swore to

uphold. They are now accused, arrested, indicted by a grand jury, incarcerated and awaiting trial. If they were indicted by a grand jury, surely there must have been enough pertinent evidence to go forward with the indictment.

Failing to uphold their oath of office, some have resorted to soliciting or taking bribes, election fraud, obstruction of justice, favorable rulings in court, bid-rigging (quid pro quo), use, abuse and sale of drugs and several types of harassment or bullying.

In our country, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but how can one be impartial when we depend on media to keep us informed? An indictment surely means that something went wrong somewhere.

A Dec. 17 editorial in The Herald, “Our Shame,” alluded to some of the thoughts expressed in this letter. The editorial referred to the Rio Grande Valley as a known “den of corruption.” Many of our elected officials have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar and some are in jail or recently released.

The only thing that can pull us out of that den is to become intelligent voters, the editorial stated. We must do our homework before the next election in March and make sure that the candidate has impeccable credentials that will assist in making proper decisions and taking honest actions. Their pride should go as far as guarding their credentials that they worked so hard to secure. They risk losing so much, including our respect.

However, since none of us is perfect, I guess we are back to square one. We will never have a Utopia, but we must all have pride in what we do as we try to make it “almost JOIN THE DEBATE

possible.” All of us must do some serious contemplating when we go to the voting booth. What candidate is worthy of our vote and how will we hold them accountable? Taking on the challenge of running for office must be applauded, but it should not be taken lightly.

Let us dare to make 2020 full of perfect visions. May our 2019 blunders be replaced with 2020 wonders. Let us begin by telling ourselves that no one is above the law!

Judi “J.Rod” Rodriguez Brownsville

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