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Two weeks from today, one more choice for us to make

Our Viewpoint Column
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The fact that there were lines Monday at several Hays County early voting locations is a good thing. It’s healthy for our democracy that so many of us jumped at the first chance to cast a ballot. 

Those lines come with a caveat, though. Unlike the primaries and runoffs earlier this year, those of us who vote “red” and those who choose “blue” are in same lines now, waiting as one for the chance to make our voices heard.

Two weeks from today, we’ll know whose voices spoke loudest at the ballot box, and we’ll have a better look at the future — for San Marcos, Hays County and the country as a whole. Whether it’s a blue wave or a red resurgence, chances are it’s going to be close. 

Two weeks from today, we will all have one more choice to make that transcends the ballot. That choice has to do with civility, with respect and, yes, with the ability to let go of the partisan rifts that have appeared even here in our river city. Unfortunately, this newspaper’s recent publication of campaign finance reports appeared — at least to some — as widening that rift. We don’t believe that could be farther from the truth. As one reader pointed out, it’s just a matter of knowing who “brung ya” to the dance. It’s simply part of the media’s watchdog function.

We are a nation of laws, it’s true. One thing that we should not forget in that oft-shouted slogan is that a bedrock of that lawful foundation is the Bill of Rights, all 10 of them, that guarantee freedom of speech and assembly every bit as much as the right to bear arms. Our laws, working in symmetry with our rights, are what makes the United States unique and enviable in the history of the world.

Whatever happens on Nov. 6, we will still be the same city, the same county, the same people who will continue to see one another at the grocery store, post office and church. The same fans cheering on the Rattlers and Bobcats, Spurs, Astros and Cowboys.

And when disaster strikes, as it has so very near and so very recently in terms of unprecedented flooding, we’ll be, as always, in the same boat.

Let’s remember that, and let’s act like it.