Editor’s Note: The Battalion recently offered all the candidates running for public office in the cities of Bryan and College Station as well as Brazos County the opportunity to submit guest opinion pieces. We will be publishing the articles of those who accepted that offer daily between Oct. 26 and Election Day.
Clyde Garland is a retired Brazos County resident and candidate for Sheriff of Brazos County in the 2020 election on Nov. 3.
I am Clyde Garland, and I am running for Brazos County Sheriff as a Libertarian.
I am running because our government, the Texas Legislature, said I could not run. For 40 years the Texas Libertarian Party has had candidates on ballots throughout Texas by following the Texas Election Code Section 181 for Convention Parties. Last year, they passed a new law that is so contradictory that it could not be followed. I believe the law is unconstitutional, as it requires our candidates to pay a fee to help pay for the primaries of our Republican and Democratic opponents. Our Conventions are paid for with donations, so our candidates can run for office without paying a fee, plus our conventions cost taxpayers nothing. The confusing law and fee kept many Libertarians from running. The rest of us ran by the old 40-year-old law, not knowing if we would be on the ballot. Long story short, I am on the ballot.
I will talk about five issues: Jurors, The Constitution, Sheriffs, Drugs and Disasters.
Jurors have the right to render a just verdict. They have this right even when their judge says they do not, that instead they must rule according to his or her instructions. Even good laws can do harm. The defendant could have broken the law, but, in their particular case, it would be unjust to find them guilty. Or the sentence may be too severe for the crime, making it unjust to find them guilty. Our founding fathers referred to jurors as one of the fourth branches of government. Jurors are the final check to keep even good laws and good government from doing harm. Yes, jurors do have the right to judge both the law and the deed.
The U.S. Constitution means what it says. I reject the view that only constitutional scholars and lawyers can tell us what it means. The Constitution is a set of laws, they are our supreme laws. Laws that go against the Constitution are not valid laws — they are illegal and unconstitutional. Our representatives, like all government officials, take the “oath to support it.” Based on the number of constitutional laws they pass, it seems they never get around to reading it. It takes one hour to read. There is even a summary of the Constitution that takes only four minutes to read.
Sheriffs are the highest-ranking law enforcers in the county because they are elected. Most sheriffs do not know this and bow to federal requests. Federal agents have to ask the Sheriff’s permission to police in their county. Remember the Fed’s raid on a Waco Church, killing the children to save them.
Drug laws do more harm than good; therefore, we must repeal them. If unconstitutional federal laws prohibiting drugs were voided, law enforcement agencies and their jails could be greatly reduced. Fact: The CIA used to be a huge importer of drugs to fund many of its unconstitutional operations to prop up or overthrow foreign leaders.
We prohibited alcohol lawfully from 1919-1933, with the 18th Amendment. Alcohol prohibition did more harm than good, corrupting most of our large law enforcement agencies, while filling up our jails. Pre 1919, alcohol was a minor problem. From 1919 to 1933, it became a huge problem. Post 1933 (the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th), alcohol became a minor problem again, though corruption lingered on, and is now being fueled by our laws against drugs. The result of this is that the U.S., the land of the free, has the largest prison system in the world.
Our representatives never let a real or perceived disaster go to waste. They use them to get more power, which always means more control over our lives. COVID-19 is an example of turning a “perceived” major disaster into an "actual" major disaster by shutting down our economy. Most people I talk to believe COVID-19 is worse than the Spanish Flu. However, records show that up to 50 million died from the Spanish flu worldwide, when the population was lower. COVID-19 has killed one million worldwide. COVID-19 is five times worse than the average flu season. However, if you remove the 90 percent of COVID-19 deaths that have occurred among the elderly, the virus is less deadly than the seasonal flu.
But look at what we have lost. We have lost the right to keep a business open, the right of employees to stay employed and the right of customers to decide for themselves if they will enter or not. Plus, our government can now tell everyone what to wear and who can work by deciding who are "essential workers," in direct violation of the 14th Amendment. Our government has used this severe flu to take more of our constitutional (natural) rights from us, making us less able to protect ourselves from the flu. Those who give up liberty for safety, end up with neither.