Opinion

Letters to the Editor — A handshake, the power of voting, Ellis County, baby boomers

Readers remember when refusing a handshake was a major offense; remind voters of what the Constitution says about voting; wish there was more bipartisanship in Texas; and apologize on behalf of baby boomers for not doing more to save democracy.

If integrity matters, register to vote

I remember the Texas gubernatorial election of 1990 which pitted Republican rancher Clayton Williams against Democratic progressive Ann Richards. Despite some gaffes, Williams was the clear front-runner until they met at a luncheon in October. As they approached each other, Richards extended her hand but Williams refused her offer of a handshake. That gesture made the front page of The Dallas Morning News the next day (Oct. 12, 1990). That moment so offended the civil sensibilities of many Texans that Williams began falling in the polls and ultimately lost the election.

Such disrespect is now so far in the rearview mirror of political extremism that today it would not even warrant a mention. But if integrity and respect still matter to you, don’t let Oct. 12 be the day you realize you should have registered to vote by the Oct. 11 deadline.

Ron Dale Mathis, Plano

Be careful with your vote

Don’t vote away our rights and freedoms!

America’s foundation is based on a Constitution that boldly holds the following: The purpose of government is to secure these fundamental rights and government should not be changed for trivial reasons. The Congress will have the power to lay and collect taxes. The president will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. No religious test shall be required to hold public office or public trust.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Nor shall any state deny to any person within its jurisdiction equal protection of the laws. No person shall hold public office shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against thereof. The right of all citizens to vote shall not be denied or abridged on account of race or color or their sex.

Please vote, but be aware some politicians running for office want to deny you and your neighbors of your constitutional rights. Vote carefully!

Fred Wells, Dallas

Vote for ideals of the middle

Re: “The American Middle — Extremists on both sides are dividing Americans for power and profit. We can change that,” Sept. 18 Opinion.

I was thrilled to read your editorial on the American middle and look forward to the others in the series.

I am a very progressive Democrat but many of my friends over the years have been committed Republicans. Our disagreements were always over substantive issues, but we could often find common ground in some fashion. That was because we agreed on the fundamental principles of our democratic republic.

What makes that hard to do today is the refusal of so many of my GOP friends, following the lead of the former president and a majority of elected GOP politicians, to accept the reality of the 2020 election. Small turnout in primary elections, gerrymandered districts and reliance on biased cable news maintain this divorce from reality.

Living in Ellis County, I am represented in Congress and the Texas Legislature by former President Donald Trump’s devotees with no hope of that ever changing unless my GOP friends make a change. My hope is that they, as well as others, will read your editorial and the ones that follow and begin to vote in a manner that reflects the ideals of “the middle.”

Cecil Larry Pool, Midlothian

A baby boomer apology

Here’s an apology from the baby boomers.

We were the generation that forced change. We engaged in sit-ins, we were the flower children, the Black Power shouters. We burned our bras and draft cards, and protested the Vietnam War.

We witnessed the first moon walk. We lost John and Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. We survived Watergate. We benefited from the Right to Vote Act.

We saw the first Black Supreme Court justice seated and abortion and same sex and interracial marriages legalized. We even elected our first Black president. We recently saw a Black woman elected as vice president and the first Black woman justice seated on the Supreme Court.

But somewhere along the line, we got comfortable in our approaching golden years. We rested on our laurels and now all of us are in trouble. When they went low, we went high. We played fair and what it’s gotten us is a climate headed for disaster and democracy teetering on destruction.

We are sorry, generations Xers, millennials, and Zers. We are still woke but need your help to ensure that your children will be left a planet of clean air and water and a country that is still a beacon for human rights, the right to vote, the right to marry and the right to determine their own body’s worth. Let your voices be heard.

Adrienne Carter, Lewisville

Step up to cast ballot

We have seen a woman’s right to choose taken away, but we still have a choice at the ballot box in November! We have a choice between public officials who advocate for compassionate and commonsense reproductive rights, as well as commonsense gun reform, and those who just keep pushing further toward the absurd in these and many other issues.

It’s time for all commonsense Texans to step up and vote. All of you self-identified Democrats need to do whatever you must to cast your ballot. And independents, think about where the GOP is heading. It’s not in the direction of common sense from what I’ve seen.

As for my moderate Republican friends, stop using the excuse that these are “wedge” issues and that you vote with your pocketbook and not because of social issues. If you allow an extreme minority to wield the power, you may wake up one day with not only having lost control of your pocketbook, but having lost our democracy. Don’t just say the MAGA crowd doesn’t represent you. Vote that way!

Sara Miskimins, Dallas/Lake Highlands

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