In a Texas Independence Day, “I love Texas and I always will” column I wrote a year ago, published in the San Angelo Standard-Times, I admitted I wasn’t confident if in good faith I could write a glowing love-you-anyway piece about Texas.

“We’ve elected some strange ones to be in charge,” I opined. “Guys who spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about whether people are going into the right bathroom stall, when the only way I think they can know another person is in the right stall is by looking under the stall door.”

I continued, in what I hoped would be an incredulous-sounding tone (even for those reading silently), “We’ve got an ag commissioner who thinks it will be all right to poison wild hogs without considering the fact we — and a lot of our wildlife and natural waterways — stand to be poisoned in the process.

“And this school thing? The very idea of transferring public money to private schools in a disguised effort to educate the already advantaged and discriminate against the most vulnerable is truly shameful.”

But, I concluded, the “truth is, disappointment’s no reason to give up on love… Somewhere in all this apparent mess, I know there survives that same basic bottom-line desire the delegates wrote into that March 2, 1836, declaration — seeking the rights and privileges of life and liberty, goodness and the freedom for their pursuit.”

It was coincidence, that this year, March 2, 2018, I found myself walking (Marching?) into the Edd B. Keyes government building in San Angelo to cast my vote for education friendly candidates in the lieutenant governor and state legislature races and vote against bills for bathroom safety and public tax-stealing school vouchers. In my pre-voting research, I’d found a website – Texans for Public Education (Texans4PublicEd @Texans4E) – that had educated me on candidates with an education friendly status. That was easy.

Texans for Public Education is a well-organized, cross party lines, people strong movement to block vote for those candidates, all of whom are on the Republican ballot in the primary, who are truly supportive of public education. Those in support, mainly and for instance, vote for Scott Milder, exceptionally friendly toward public education and educators, for lieutenant governor – denying the incumbent, Dan Patrick, the nomination.

While Patrick calls himself a conservative Christian, his actions in office have not shown he is responsibly conservative (as in thinking to use public tax money for private education is a good thing) or, that he is a true Christian. He typically lies, pushes an agenda of judgment, hate and division, rather than follow Christ’s teachings of service and love. Truly.

Rather than staying the course, Patrick’s followed rabbit trails – like the bathroom bill – that have little or nothing to do with the lives and welfare of most Texans. Let’s see. I believe in the most recent legislative session he was widely accused of finding solutions for situations when there weren’t problems.

OK. Now as far as the agriculture commissioner goes, there’s not enough time and space to go into all the dereliction of duties Sid Miller’s committed. He’s not been a friend to agriculture, or this state’s citizens, and, he’s not been fiscally responsible, to say the least. My vote in the primary went to Trey Blocker, again hoping to deny Miller the nomination, but I am planning to vote for the Democratic candidate Col. Kim Olson in November.

The beauty of the block vote plan, is that the Democratic Party faithful can cross party lines to vote in the Republican Primary because the majority of the candidates on the Democratic Primary ballot are unopposed. Those people will get their party’s nomination.

Come November, it will be head to head, and the voter can cast a ballot in favor of his or her choice. Hopefully the November ballot will be culled from the irresponsible, damaging incumbents – Patrick and Miller, specifically.

I went to vote on Friday a little weary, having just finished my school day at the elementary school where I am an instructional aide. I was coincidentally wearing my school T-shirt bearing the statement, “Teaching my tribe to have kind hearts, brave spirits and fierce minds.”

I walked out of the building, strangely energized, feeling on the inside everything my shirt front expressed, believing fully that as a proud Texan I had helped secure for ours and future generations of Texans “the rights and privileges of life and liberty, goodness and the freedom for their pursuit.”

 

Editor’s note: Candace Cooksey Fulton, formerly of Brownwood, is a freelance writer now living in San Angelo. She writes weekly columns for the Brownwood Bulletin and the San Angelo Standard-Times, each unique to the particular paper. She can be reached at ccfulton2002@yahoo.com.