Your Turn: Jan. 18

January 18, 2019 GMT

Latino, periodRe: “Castro makes his first move from West Side to West Wing,” by columnist Gilbert Garcia, Metro, Sunday:I find unnecessary Gilbert Garcia’s use of “Latino Barack Obama” in an otherwise excellent summary of Julián Castro’s rise to presidential candidate.Castro is his own man. He is an authentic minority, deeply rooted in evolution of Hispanic culture, close family support and a passion for truth, honesty and commitment. Educated, cultured, polite and politically astute, his path to public service was delineated early and realistically planned.Castro is experienced in nuance of governance as mayor of a major U.S. city and in corporate-level management as head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has proven to understand and manage compromise, encourage collaboration and understand requirements for consensus-building, and clearly recognize and avoid polarization — qualities that are absolute as president — to reconstruct the deconstructed.Castro is a Latino, period.Carlos HernandezWhat’s his hook?Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro faced the nation with a telegenic face but with smooth delivery of tired rhetoric. It was probably too early, although keeping that face before the public for the longest time possible may prove to be an effective strategy.His camp needs to produce much more specific suggestions and plans to reform government. It needs to come up with something innovative. He needs a hook to grab interest from his ultimate opposition, which is blaring and brash.“Tax the rich and overhaul health care” are just words that have been heard too often from unsuccessful campaigns. Prospective, bright leadership can be an effective lure, but concrete plans presented confidently and loudly are needed to sell the divided votership.Informed voters will recognize good ideas, but the uninformed need a train whistle to get on board.Norm LoukinenKeep driver finesRe: “A program that unfairly tags the poor,” Editorial, Tuesday:I respectfully disagree with the suggestion to repeal the Driver Responsibility Program.Income level considerations should not dictate who gets punished for DWI violations. If so, why not make the fines and monetary assessments much greater for those who can afford to pay more? But do not eliminate fines for first offenders. This might possibly serve to encourage rather than dissuade irresponsible consumption.Very simple: Don’t drink and drive (regardless of your income).Guillermo Benavides, LaredoIvy League HighTexas’ education problem should not be solved by raising property tax rates but by using those taxes more wisely.Look at the new high schools these days, and you would think they’re Ivy League colleges. It’s ridiculous to build such extravagant schools. For the price of one, they could build two, if not three, normal high schools.As for college, the first year should be minimal payment — if any — and the following years should be free if the student maintains a 95 percentile average or above. This will cut the students who just went to party, but whose folks have a lot of money. The cream will come to the top for a better, smarter Texas and America.Michael B. WhiteWants over needsRe: “Your or you’re?” Your Turn, Monday:To respond to Ginger Burkholder’s question, “Can’t the seventh largest city in the U.S. show some educated leadership in correct grammar usage?” the answer is a profound “No.” There are too many important things on this “progressive sanctuary” city’s agenda of wants over needs. Get used to it.Durand C. Waters, WindcrestRespect, pleaseRe: “Not rational,” Your Turn, by Malcolm T. Kirven, Tuesday:Mr. Kirven , although we do not share the same views, I respect your opinion. I did not refer to you as MTK or Special K but as “Mr. Kirven.”Referring to the president of the United States as “45” is inappropriate and at most disrespectful. If you do not respect the man, at least respect the presidency of the United States and refer to it appropriately, whether or not you feel President Donald Trump has earned your respect.Alfred LabordeWhy he can’t lieHaving listened to Donald Trump the last two years and, more specifically, his erratic rant over a border wall during his recent photo-op trip to our lower Rio Grande Valley, surrounded by the usual backdrop of sychophants, I realized Trump cannot lie.Lying requires knowledge of facts and the truth — things alien to him. Trump is just full of bull.Carlos Valle, Jr., LaredoNot for $5 billionI have no doubt there are sections of border fencing that need to be repaired, reinforced and/or extended. If the president were asking for $10 million to do this, I’d have no problem. Or $100 million? Perhaps. But he’s asking for $5 billion!After World War I, France spent a huge amount on an impregnable barrier along its border with Germany. It was called the Maginot Line. In 1940, Hitler did an end run around the Maginot Line and defeated France in two months!No wall along the border with Mexico can keep drugs or terrorists out. Drugs come in through ports of entry; terrorists can cross our long, unguarded border with Canada via air or even be homegrown in the U.S.The wall may have sounded like a good idea when it was “free” — another country was paying for it — but $5 billion? No way!Thomas N. Lee