From the editor’s playbook

Complacency is bad for democracy


Tomorrow (Friday) is the deadline day to file for various races around the county. In the city of Gonzales, seats that are up for grab include the mayoral position and two school board seats. As of press time, we have one challenger, former Gonzales councilmember Lorenzo Hernandez, going up against Connie Kacir, the incumbent. For Gonzales ISD school board we have Gloria Torres defending her District 1 seat unopposed. In District 2, Justin Schwaush is also unopposed.

I’m going to sound like a broken record, repeating a message I’ve been preaching for a little over two years now. But it’s worth repeating.

Unopposed is not democracy.

This time, let me try taking a different angle.

I’ve interviewed my fair share of high school coaches in my six-year stint here at the Inquirer. It may sound like cliched coach speak, but I believe in the philosophy that competition is good for teams. Without competition, there’s an opening for complacency. If an athlete believes his spot is his no matter what, why waste time trying to work hard? What’s the point of hard work when you know that you’ll get the result you want without it? The benefits of hard work do not outweigh the benefits of taking it easy, if both paths lead to the same direction.

Look, I’ve experienced complacency professionally. I’m willing to admit there was a time in the past where I didn’t bother to do the hard work because in the end, it didn’t quite matter. I had no competition. With no competition and my job pretty secured, what was the point?

The problem was, past me couldn’t see that far ahead in to the future. Sure, my job was fine. But was I proud of my output? Proud of the content I was providing?

Let’s go back to the sports metaphor. That kid that knows he’s going to be a starter. If he becomes complacent, you know what happens? Overall team failures. There is no drive, there is no “want to,” therefore, no real long-term success. That kid may be starting, but are they winning games? Probably not.

Competition forces you to be better. There are real consequences in failure.

I understand that there are people out there who just want to be better and are great at self-motivation. But for mere mortals like myself, I need a reason to go above and beyond.

Competition eventually gives teams the edge to go over the top. I interview Shiner St. Paul’s Dana Beal-Sestak about this just about every year before fall sports begins. Her girls’ cross-country team wins state championship after state championship all because the athletes are fighting amongst themselves to get to the top seven.

That logic should be (and is) applied off the field.

In business, if a company wants you to purchase their product, they need to prove that their product is worth your money more than a competitor’s.

Have taxing entities here in Gonzales County become complacent? I’ve seen the social media posts, I’ve read the letters to the editor. Clearly, many of you believe so. But complacency will not go away unless there’s some competition. Hernandez has thrown his hat in the ring. That’s a good step toward getting back to democracy.

If you truly think you can make a difference, sign up. It’s not hard.

The least you can do is push someone to their absolute best. Even if you lose, at least you know that you’ve made a difference.