January 28 Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I read with interest your January 14, 2021, article about TX-23 newly-elected Republican Representative Tony Gonzales. While new to Congress, Gonzales displays the hypocrisy, justification for his own misdeeds and avoidance of taking responsibility for his own actions like a far more experienced politician. He is either a quick learner or came to office with these character flaws.

Despite his excuses, Gonzales is as responsible for the disaster of January 6 at the Capitol as all the other Republican politicians who repeated the fantasies and lies of their president about a “stolen election.” Gonzales voted against impeachment, criticizing this process as “divisive.” Surely if there was a national award for shameless hypocrisy, our very own representative for TX-23 would win it hands down.

Let us not forget these actions of Tony Gonzales when it comes time to replace him in 2022.

Kent C. Anschutz

Marfa

 

Dear Editor,

Some Republicans performed unconstitutionally as insurrectionists while many others upheld the Constitution and rule of law.

While we all know that actions speak louder than words, the letter from 17 new Republican House members offering to work with President Biden, recognizing the harm of excessive partisanship, is encouraging. I looked for the name of our new U.S. Representative in the list, but he was not there. Remember that. I’m sure he was encouraged to participate. We need to ask him, if we ever get a chance, why he declined. And 17 is a rather small portion of the 211 Republican House members, of which 121 voted to block the routine acceptance of the electoral votes delivered.

Far more encouraging is the fact that a number of Republican officeholders at both the federal and state levels (remember Georgia and election officials and judges all over the country) refused to go along with Donald Trump’s unconstitutional and lying efforts to overturn the election as has been done by some who become tin-horn Latin American dictators. Unfortunately, far too many did go along with his effort, both by the vote in the House and the views expressed by Cruz, Hawley and others seeking to undermine confidence in our electoral processes and encouraging lawlessness. That brought us, among other consequences which will be much more long-lasting, the idiocy of January 6 at the Capitol. Changing Georgia’s electoral votes would not have changed the outcome of the election.

The only reason to have any interest in Trump now is the fact that congressional districts are so thoroughly gerrymandered compounded by effective voter suppression that the outcomes are usually determined in the primary elections. This leaves Republicans, some of whom would behave, speak and vote more rationally, occasionally finding their way to bipartisanship, in great fear of being primaried and losing their seats because of Trump-base opposition. That base is not going away anytime soon, much as some of us might wish we could banish them –– with their despicable leader  –– to an isolated island far from our  coasts. (Sorry, my capacity for forgiveness in this matter ran out long ago.)

McConnell is smart enough to not say out loud that he will lead Senate Republicans to block and defeat anything Biden attempts to do, as he did when Obama took office. And he kept his word.

But that will be, in general, his position and the position of most Republican members of the House and Senate, cowards protecting themselves from the fury of the Trump base.

Hence we need to be grateful for those who have taken action in recent weeks to stop the movement to fascist authoritarianism and “strong man” rule, a strong whiff and taste of which we experienced in the last four years. Some of them were Republicans who should be thanked for standing up.

Dale Christophersen

Alpine

 

Dear Editor,

Many years ago I decided that most employers fit into three basic categories: those who pay as little as they can get away with regardless of turnover problems or quality of employees, those who pay according to union or government requirements, and those who aspire to pay their people a living wage if at all possible.

It’s clear that Elizabeth Tebeaux (letter last week) belongs in the first category. And to put her comments into perspective we should consider one thing I believe is absolutely true: no one in their right mind working for or near minimum wage is ever going to advocate keeping their wages at a poverty level. It would be reasonable to assume Ms.Tebeaux does not work for minimum wage (if she ever did) and likewise suggests she no longer understands the difficulty of the working poor…or she just doesn’t care.

What is even more telling about comments like Tebeaux’s is that basic facts are typically ignored. For instance, a bill passed by the House in 2019, H.R. 582 – Raise The Wage Act – called for an increase of $1.10 per hour in the minimum wage every year until the magical $15 is reached. In other words it would take seven years to be fully achieved, not tomorrow or next week as Tebeaux falsely suggests. Of course, Republicans in the Senate had no intention of passing a bill that would actually improve the lives of low wage workers in America, so there it died. That is “Something to think about” as Ms. Tebeaux said last week.

Another false conclusion by Ms.Tebeaux was “Increased taxes hurt all of us,” referring to President Biden’s desire to reverse some of not just Trump’s tax breaks for the one percent of Americans who need those breaks the least but the tax reductions that have occurred consistently since the 1980s. What she left out was that higher taxes, as I understand the intent, will only be paid by those earning over $400,000 a year. So…how many people reading this make $400,000? Does anyone even know someone making that much?

It often seems that the sole purpose of a certain segment of society is to ensure that poor people stay poor. If my comments suggest I am disgusted by those with that attitude and purpose, you have read them correctly. Joe Biden says we are better than that. For most of us that is no doubt true, but for some of us, well…

Fred Gossien

Terlingua

 

Dear Editor,

I have great concern over the handling of the February Brewster County Presidential Joint Primary Election. In interest of truth and fairness, I do not want to ignore the positive aspects of the Nov 3, 2020 Presidential Election voting experience in Brewster County. I did end up voting; even after wanting to just give up on the chance of fair elections and politics in Brewster County. But, I did end up voting by mail. I never expected to actually go to a voting poll station on Election Day; but, I accepted a sincere request for me to escort and protect a voter from abuse from the election workers.

We first went to the Val Beard Building Complex, in error. I did not recognize a single face (nor was I able to read name tags); but they all greeted us with smiles and offers of help. They happily found the correct polling place for us and sent us on our merry way. We left feeling happy. Then, we went to the Sul Ross campus, where we were warmly greeted by Jan Moeller and her crew of election helpers. It was a return to the wonderful experience of voting, of which I have had the privilege to do for many decades. That does not resolve my other concerns, but I want to give credit to the wonderful election workers that we encountered on Election Day! Thank you!

Terry Pelle

Alpine

 

Dear Editor,

Last week Ms. Tebeaux wrote to express her concern that a hike in the minimum wage would be the demise of small towns like Marfa. At present, the proposed $15 minimum wage requirement is for federal workers only.

Past minimum wage requirements have exemptions that support small businesses. Another way to support local businesses is to shop locally. In 2018, Amazon made 11.2 billion dollars in profit but exploited tax loopholes to pay zero dollars in federal taxes while using the very same facilities that the rest of us pay for.

Call or write to your Congress person now and ask them to support a budget that will help small businesses survive this COVID crisis, and that ensures corporate behemoths pay their fair share in taxes. Their fair share.

Supporting your local vendors also means protecting them. Wear a mask.

Thank you.

Zena Zeller

Fort Davis


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