Tag Archives: Roberts County

Beto’s been to all counties, even to the heart of Trump Country

I love how Beto O’Rourke boasts about visiting all 254 Texas counties. For the life of me I cannot fathom that, but the Democratic challenger to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz stands by his story … and he’s sticking with it.

I cannot help but wonder how he fared when he ventured into tiny Roberts County, just northeast of Amarillo along U.S. 60. It’s been said of Roberts County that it has far more livestock than live human beings.

However, the New York Times profiled Roberts County a year ago as the nation’s friendliest county for Donald John Trump. I looked up the results from the 2016 presidential election. Trump carried Texas by about 9 percentage points, which is down from the total that previous Republican presidential nominees — Mitt Romney in 2012 and the late John McCain in 2008 — scored in their losing bids against President Obama.

Roberts County, though, voted 94 percent for Donald Trump; Hillary Clinton got the handful of votes remaining.

How does someone such as O’Rourke, a flaming liberal/progressive, actually campaign in Roberts County? I haven’t been privy to news reports on how this event took place.

Suffice to say, though, that it speaks quite well of the young man from El Paso that he is willing to travel into the heart of Trump Country — and I consider Roberts County to be Ground Zero — and pitch his notion of good government.

His strategy seems to be to cut his party’s losses in the deepest Republican-red regions of the state and hope he holds onto his margins in the urban centers where Democrats usually outperform Republicans.

If he can cut the GOP margin in Roberts County by, say, three ballots, I figure the young man is on a roll.

You say ‘Miam-ee,’ or is it ‘Miam-uh’?

One of the quirks of living in the Texas Panhandle is the pronunciation of a certain community about 80 or so miles northeast of Amarillo.

My wife and I have lived in the Panhandle for more than 23 years.

I have yet to get used to the pronunciation of a town in Roberts County. It’s spelled “Miami,” which is how one spells the name of the city at the southern tip of Florida. You say it the way you would expect to say it pertaining to Miami, Ohio and perhaps even Miami, Okla.

But you pronounce the Roberts County seat “Miam-uh.”

We’re moving away from the Panhandle. We’re heading for North Texas. I’m unaware of any peculiar names surrounding Fairview that will give us difficulty as we relearn our surroundings.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m just blathering briefly about something of no particular importance.

Miam-ee, or Miam-uh?

Ah, yes. Change awaits. I’m getting ready for it.

What’s to love about Texas Constitution?

I hate the Texas Constitution.

Don’t misunderstand. It’s not that it stands for evil intent.

My problem with it is that it so damn archaic and nonsensical.

Consider one of the measures Texans voted on this past Tuesday. It involved whether we here in the Panhandle, or in East Texas, or the Hill Country, or the Trans-Pecos, or the upper Gulf Coast should vote on a tax measure involving the Hidalgo County Hospital District.

The measure passed, as did all nine of the constitutional amendment proposals the Texas Legislature tossed in our laps. Some of them actually mattered, such as Prop 6, which sets up a fund to pay for water development projects across the state. The drought-ravaged Panhandle can use that kind of help from the state.

Back to the Hidalgo County Hospital District. I didn’t bother to vote on that one. Why? I don’t care about tax rates involving a hospital district about 500 miles from here. If we lived on the East Coast, it’d be three, maybe four, states away.

I get why the state’s founders set up a Constitution this way. They wanted to spread power to as many folks as possible. They hated centralization and didn’t want to copy the federal constitutional model. Heck, they partitioned the state into 254 counties, for crying out loud; one of them, Loving County, is populated by all of 71 residents.

If the idea, then, was to create an environment for greater local control, why did they set up a Constitution that requires all Texans to vote on things that have no bearing on their lives? Remember when the entire state had to decide whether to let tiny Roberts County just northeast of Amarillo let go of its hide inspector’s office?

Some issues ought to be a totally local matter and don’t have to involve the rest of the state.

I would ask the Legislature to change the document to make it more modern and make more sense.

Except that such a request will go nowhere. The hidebound traditionalists who populate the Legislature will have none of it.

Get ready, therefore, to vote in two years for issues that will have you scratching your head.