April 16, 2020
Dear Governor Abbott:
I’m sure you’re being inundated with input, questions, demands and pleas from constituents across the state right now. People are scared, angry, and concerned both about the virus and about the response of their local, state and federal governments.
I’m not some young hot-headed 30something who wants my football games and gym membership back. My husband and I are in our early 60s – ostensibly among the “vulnerable” according to popular belief. I was a police officer and taught for many years at the NCTCOG and Eastfield College police academies – specifically the topics of the laws of search, seizure, arrest and detention and constitutional issues.
In the 80s and early 90s I served as an elected official at the municipal level. I know the challenges of making difficult decisions that affect the lives of those who have entrusted you to represent them. I’ve been married for twenty-five years to an M.D. Together, we have a better understanding than most of both the medical and legal aspects of the situation in which Texas, along with the rest of the world, finds itself today.
We have both been vocal supporters of you and most of your policies. I understand the reasoning behind allowing county officials and mayors to issue orders specific to their jurisdictions. I agree with your premise that what’s right for a large urban county with high density may be completely different from what’s right for a rural area.
However, I’m reaching out to you on behalf of those of us who are caught in the tangled web of petty tyranny that’s going on in Dallas County (and most likely Harris and Travis, as well). We Republican suburbanites on the periphery of the county need to be rescued from the power-mad liberty-crushing edicts of Clay Jenkins and his ilk, and you’re the only one with the authority to do it. He is so out of control that his own fellow Democratic commissioners voted to limit his powers, but he continues to act as if he were a self-anointed monarch.
This isn’t sustainable, Greg. As the demonstration in Austin today indicates, and as is apparent from the changes in tone of social media posts over the last two weeks, people are getting fed up. At first they were scared, but now they’re angry. I understand that you’re looking to the White House for guidance and that’s appropriate — but “guidance” is what it should be and all it should be. We are Texas. We believe in personal responsibility and making our own choices.
The vulnerable can be protected without continuing to devastate the economy and destroy relationships, businesses, and lives through an ongoing unconstitutional lockdown. You’re a smart guy. You know what the consequences will be if this goes on much longer: increased suicides, homicides, domestic violence, child abuse, stress-related deaths of all kinds.
I look to you with hope and faith that you can see through the media propaganda and the maze of conflicting “expert” opinions and political agendas and have the courage to do the right thing: set our people free.
Debra Littlejohn Shinder