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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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SARAGOSA JOE RODRIGUEZ
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AMERICA IS A DEMOCRACY, NOT A REPUBLIC

A recent letter to the editor claimed that America has never been a democracy. A quick review of The Federalist Papers undercuts that fallacy. The Federalist Papers consist of 85 essays published on May 28, 1788, written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay.

In 1787, ancient “direct” democracies in Athens and Rome were the only examples of democracy. And those “direct” democracies created violent mobs.

Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, wanted to save “the cause of popular government” from its tainted history. That’s why today we use the term “democracy.” The “representative democracy” these founders created is very different from the “direct” democracies of ancient times.To avoid mob rule in American democracy, James Madison, the author and formatter of the U.S. Constitution, included “the separation of powers, checks and balances and the protection of individual rights, all concepts that were unknown in ancient democracies.”

At the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787, all 56 delegates signed the U.S. Constitution setting up a “representative democracy.” The Federalist Papers, especially Federalist No 10, Federalist No. 14 and Federalist No 51 discuss the reasons the founders created our democracy.

Here are the titles of two recent articles about this issue so they can be easily found on the Internet. “America Is a Republic Not a Democracy Is a Dangerous – And Wrong – Argument” and “America Is Living James Madison’s Nightmare.”

The Republican mob violence of January 6, 2021, in our nation’s capital, clearly violates the democracy our founders gave us.

-Jodie Sinclair Bandera, Texas

As a fairly new resident of Bandera, I’d like to share some things I have noticed since moving here. First of all, my family and I have visited Bandera for several years and always talked about moving here after retiring. The day finally arrived and we became residents here in June.

YOU KNOW YOU LIVE IN BANDERA…

• When you see horses parked outside of a restaurant

• Cowboy hats are not just a hat, but a real fashion statement

• Pickup trucks out number cars and at times motorcycles outnumber both of those

• You can enjoy a good meal with John Wayne

• The population explodes on weekends when people visit Bandera to enjoy the “cowboy vibe”

• People patiently wait their turn in line at a store while the cashier has a conversation with a customer

• People decorate golf carts for holidays

• Wagon wheels, horseshoes and cows are common decoration items

• Rather than a door greeter, some stores have animal greeters

But of course, as with anywhere, there are secrets about a town you don’t discover until you move there. Bandera’s secret is the US Post Office. It definitely has room for improvement.

• You move here and you are told there are no cluster boxes available, so you have to rent a post office box. However, you find out there are empty boxes assigned to vacant lots, but they can’t give you one. Yet, people who moved to your neighborhood after you, have a box.

• You need hazmat gear to enter the post office because of the overflowing trash and the filthy appearance of the facility.

• The post office returns your mail to the sender because it has your physical address on the envelope, yet they are aware of the situation regarding the cluster box, and that you do have a box at the post office.

• Sometimes they will return your mail to the sender with no explanation, or will put a yellow sticker on it that says, “no receptacle available, unable to forward”. Yet you do have a box at the post office facility.

• You see people in line at the counter with a yellow card, indicating they have a package. The clerk will tell the person to come back another time because they “can’t find it.” So, the customer has to come back another time.

• If you have a concern about service and talk to someone in charge, the person will tell you “I can’t do anything about it.” Why? Isn’t that your job?

• You try to call the local post office and nobody answers the phone.

• Your neighborhood has gone through 4 mail carriers in 6 months and their services are contracted from out of state. Why?

• If you talk to your neighbors about the situation at the post office, their response is, “it's been that way for years.” Really!

• If you contact the main post office in San Antonio, they are not concerned and it appears they will not answer or return your call when they recognize your phone number.

I realize the main focus of this narrative has concerned the flagrant lack of service and leadership at the Bandera Post Office. As the saying goes, “a company is only as strong as its weakest link.” I feel the post office is due for a change in order to better serve the community of Bandera. This editorial is solely based on my personal experiences with the local postal service. Why just endure the status quo? Something needs to be done. After all, EVERYONE is entitled to mail delivery. If you have been a victim of poor postal service and want to make a change, please feel free to contact the San Antonio Postal Service. After all, there is strength in numbers to facilitate changes.

-Donna Garcia