My initial reaction upon reading of Juaquin Castro ‘outing’ local San Antonio donors to the Trump campaign was along the lines of “oh dear, that was so not a good idea!” Nothing that I have read about the imbroglio in the days since has given me cause to revise that opinion … other than to confirm it. Yes, such information is a matter of public record, but opening up certain of your constituents to harassment, especially in the wake of such things as calls for Republicans to be harassed in restaurants, protested by persons threatening violence at their homes, attacked physically, and going so far as shooting up their softball teams … this does not calm the political passions in any degree. No, it’s as good as spraying gasoline on a bonfire, and the Castro brothers richly deserve every bit of the opprobrium they have earned – especially locally.
There is a rather curious thing about San Antonio; it may look like a medium-sized city to the distant observer, but it is actually the biggest small town in the world. The networks of personal connection are as strong and as intertwined as any small town.
Examples? I used to part-time at the local public radio/classical music station, which turned out to be a major node; any number of various circles – the military, business, artistic, political, medical/scientific, scholastic etc. – all intersected there. One of the other announcers was big in local small theater, another announcer was noted on the local music scene for performing and building harpsichords, yet another’s family was neighbors with a former San Antonio mayor – the mayor was himself their family dentist – and the senior radio guy was a retired colonel who had been a squadron commander in my own former career field. It wasn’t just the radio station, either: one of my occasional employers was a high-school friend of the previous employers’ wife … and it turned out that another of his high school friends was the CPA who does both of our taxes. A neighbor from just three houses away – his brother owns the best independent burger joint on Broadway, and their family also owned one of the classic old movie theaters downtown. One big small town, you see.
I don’t know personally any of those people whom Juaquin Castro so maliciously chose to all but dox – but I know of them. They aren’t national names, especially; but they are local, of substance, and generally considered solid good citizens. Phyllis Browning Realty, Bill Miller BBQ, Valero Energy, the Pearl Brewery development, USAA, Kuykendall, Steves; all names and companies of local note, and I’ll bet just about anything you like that they all know each other, or at least, know of each other. It shouldn’t have been any surprise that half a dozen of those named had previously contributed to his own and his brother Julian Castro’s various political campaigns. The Castros likewise were of note; and probably got to where they are in local and national office through the monetary support of those donors — donors whom Juaquin Castro gratuitously kicked in the teeth, because he didn’t like it that they also donated to Trump. I’ll just go ahead and assume that the Brothers Castro have pretty written off local office-holding; those local donors who consented to comment to the media seem rather annoyed – those who didn’t comment are probably incandescent with fury. Just my .02 – comment?
— Added later, some pithy remarks from this rant –
It would be comforting, in a sense, if there were some Grand Council of Masturbatory Dorks behind all this. But there isn’t. How to take that into account. You could be a grotesque cretin such as Joaquin Castro, the jackass Democratic representative from San Antonio (his idiot brother, Julián, is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination) and try to magic one into existence, organizing a two-minute hate campaign against such infamous malefactors as Bill Miller Bar-B-Q and the odd retiree in retaliation for their contributing to these acts of terrorism by . . . supporting the other party’s presidential candidate in the last election. It takes an ass of exceptional asininity to go down that road, but there is no shortage of them: We’ve two Castro brothers in Texas. If you wanted to ensure that we do not tamp down the hysteria and extremism in our politics, if you wanted to create an environment in which Americans understand one another as enemies, then creating a political situation in which your local congressman will try to ruin you and your family financially for ordinary political participation would be an excellent way to do that. That will do nothing to help to prevent these crimes, and may in fact contribute to the very culture that cultivates and celebrates these acts of theatrical outrage. You really think the other side is the moral equivalent of Adolf Hitler? We killed 4.3 million Germans getting at Hitler.