Beware the tortoise and the (Democratic) hare

Brandon Birmingham
The Honorable Brandon Birmingham presides over the 292nd District Court.

 

By BRANDON BIRMINGHAM

Candidate for Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Justice

 

One of my favorite stories is The Tortoise and the Hare. We’ve all heard it: the overconfident hare starts the race very strong, builds a big lead, and decides to take a nap before he crosses the finish line. As the tortoise crosses the finish line, we learn how he won: “Slow and steady wins the race.”

The Democrats got off to a big lead here in Dallas County, and it was easy to tell why. People lined up to vote. For the first time in my voting life, the line not only went out the door, it stretched all the way around the parking lot. Similar stories abound Texas. We got off to a big lead, indeed.

But now we’ve taken a nap.

At least, that’s what the numbers tell us. Democrats are turning out less, losing their lead by one point per day since that second day. With a few days left in early voting, and a consistent recent history of being outvoted on election day, we are destined to wake up on election night like the hare: helplessly watching the tortoise cross the finish line first.

Here’s the thing: the problem is not that we don’t have registered voters. Those who have always voted did so early, propelling the hare to the lead. The problem is the large numbers of registered voters that are staying home. Democrats are slumbering on the bench. They’ve voted in the past, but haven’t done so in 2020. If it’s because they’ve heard about record turnout here and there across the country and are thinking victory is a lock, they are wrong. Just like the hare.

We can’t afford to sleep on the tortoise. Remember, not voting for your side is a vote for the other. And if we lie dormant, the pandemic will continue to spread, poverty will continue to run rampant, and the movement to bring criminal justice reform will come to a grinding halt.

If you are registered, and haven’t voted, wake up. Run to the polls now. Grab your friends and family along the way. Take them with you. Do not wait until Election Day. Don’t stop at the top. Vote for every Democrat up and down the ballot. We’ve heard this story before. It’s time to change the ending.

 

Texas African American leaders endorse democratic judicial candidates

Justice is on the ballot as African American Democrats call for fair courts

Prominent African American leaders from Texas’ two largest counties – Dallas and Harris – announce their endorsement of all seven Democrats running for statewide courts, and also emphasize the need to vote down ballot in regional and local court races.

“I am proud to endorse this fine group of candidates. It’s been a long time since we assembled a full slate of statewide judicial candidates, and we need to elect this group,” said Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson.

“Our high courts need greater diversity and balance,” said State Senator Royce West. “We need courts that serve justice and the facts rather than special interests or political agendas.”

“We know there has been inherent bias in our system. We have worked hard for years to make our system fairer with reforms, and by examining evidence that has freed so many innocent people from prison,” said Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot.

“I’m supporting these outstanding statewide candidates and also encouraging Democratic voters to go down the ballot where many regional and local judicial races are found,” said Commissioner Rodney Ellis. “If you want fair judges, finish your ballot.”

“We have seen our judiciary change to reflect Texas’ diversity over the past few years at the trial and appellate court level. We need to see that change in our highest courts as well,” said State Representative Senfronia Thompson.

“These are outstanding candidates,” Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said. “Without the straight ticket, we are pushing voters to vote their entire ballots.”

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