Episode 23 - Election Education & Bipartisan Battles at Home
Welcome to the top Texas Lawyers podcast. This podcast is brought to you by the law firm Abercrombie and Sanchez PLLC.
Your hosts are Bryan Abercrombie and Samuel Sanchez. Bryan has been practicing law for 18 years and his board certified that sort of legal specialization in the area of family law. Sam has been practicing for 13 years, is licensed in both Texas and Florida, and is a certified mediator. This podcast is for informational purposes only and all views are the opinion of the hosts. It's not designed to provide legal advice for your particular legal matter, and it should not replace the advice of competent counsel. Welcome. And we hope you enjoy the top Texas Lawyers podcast..
Good afternoon and welcome to the top Texas Lawyers podcast, election edition. With me, as always, is my co-host, the innumerable, the invaluable, the master of disaster, Samuel Sanchez, how are you doing?
Oh, what's going on, brother? What's going on? I'm glad to be here. I'm sporting early no-shave November. I'm going to try to work it out. We'll see.
Yeah, you're going to definitely going into the cowboy mode like you're going to rob a stagecoach or something.
Yeah, either that I'm going to try to channel my Burt Reynolds, my inner Burt Reynolds. I could drive the Bandit.
East-Bound and Down right now. But what kind of we got together today?
We want to talk about kicking around some different topics. We're trying to take the podcast and maybe some other other directions and give you more some more interesting content. But what we're talking about today, I think, kind of affects everybody is the election. Obviously, everybody's talking about the election. It's on. Every channel is inundated with phone calls, text messages. I think in three hours yesterday I got 15 text messages. But I mean, we're not necessarily just going to talk about the presidential election. Obviously, that's important. You all that kind of stuff. But, you know, we're going to talk about kind of the areas where most people don't talk about with respect to the elections for your state and your local elections and kind of how those affect your life. But any thoughts on that?
No, I think you're absolutely right. As far as the text messages and phone calls and emails and door knocking and postcards, I mean, there's plenty of information out there and it's confusing. I mean, it's it's really hard, I think, as a voter in Texas and Florida, wherever you are, to kind of look at this election and say, like, really, what does it matter?
I think we all get hung up in the president, even though, you know, other than a lot of executive orders, the president really has limited powers, at least domestically, to affect your life where the other elections, you know, whether it be something that's going to be a constitutional amendment, whether it be a bond, whether it be school board or local elections, these are the people that actually get stuff done that affect your family.
And so it's really important, I think, that we take some time to kind of, one, honor the process. And as lawyers, we're officers of the court sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States and Texas and Florida. But in that, too, I think it's important for people to kind of have some additional kind of real world grass level information about the election. I totally agree. I couldn't agree more. I'm I'm thinking that, you know, let's talk a little bit about like I I went in early, voted yesterday. I hope you early voted. I don't know if you've gone yet, but it's on my agenda for tomorrow.
And the lines were a little longer for that.
I highly recommend that it took us an hour and a half. But we've got it. I got it knocked out of the way. But I'm.
Early voting, obviously, in Texas is going on until from October the 13th through October the 30th, and there's Sunday, Saturday Times, there's, you know, there's a plenty of available times to go. And that's probably a really good time to get down there and cast your ballot. I mean, I think the first few days of early voting are always pretty hectic, but I think the lines to now, there's plenty there's typically plenty of locations in the in the county. But where I was going with all that is you take a look at the ballot in your in your particular your particular county or your particular precinct or wherever it is.
And there's obviously a number of down ballot races that are going on. I mean, we had several judgeships and this is when I'm you know, my cautionary tale here is elections have consequences.
And that's you know, that's what obviously everybody kind of knows that on the national level. But what what elections can affect your life? I mean, the school board elections can affect, you know, what your kids are taught at school, what kind of budget the school gets, what kind of where the money goes or where the school is going to the programs that you're interested in for your kids or not, or, you know, the local bond elections. I mean, we had an election a couple of years back here or they were trying to pass the school board bond to get some money for a new school.
And the election wasn't well publicized. It was done in May and nobody knew. So the bond didn't pass and the school wasn't built because they didn't get the money, because nobody knew about the election and nobody went down and voted. And that's obviously something that that has an impact on people's lives. And then, like I said, a judge, a family court judge or a civil district court judge, those make a difference on your case and potentially can affect your life.
Yeah, absolutely. How many times do we see it know? Like, unfortunately and fortunately, depending on your perspective, I suppose judges are elected in Texas and you never really realize how important that vote is until you're standing in front of one, two.
And, you know, I think half the time when people do cast their vote, they walk in. And I mean, I don't want to disparage a lot of people, but I think there are plenty of people out there that really they only go to vote on presidential elections or if they do go to vote and kind of fulfill their civic duty, they really have done very little research on the candidates that they're voting for. So whether it be the old fashioned coin flip, whether it be, hey, you know, I really like that person's last name, reminds me of my favorite teacher in elementary school or I hate that guy. That guy's name is Wendell. And Wendell was the guy to beat up in the second grade. You know me like whatever it is that you do that I would encourage you to be smart, be smart voter. You know, there's lots of places where you can go online to look at the ballot. What's going to appear if they're constitutional amendments, either state, there's no federal ones this year.
But if there were state constitutional amendments in your state, you usually can go to that that particular state, like Florida voter dotcom, Florida ballot box, Texas ballot dot com for twenty twenty, there's tons of resources that are going to tell you what's on there. You can just do a little bit of research. I'm not saying trust the Internet on everything, but I mean, I can say that at least some information is going to be way better when you walk in the door to cast your ballot.
And a lot of websites and sometimes newspapers are going to give you a at least a rundown of where the candidates stand on various issues. And then especially it's harder on especially on state and local issues, you know, where the candidates stand on on different things. And, yeah, like you said, I mean, you go on and, you know, there's a lady or woman on the ballot I've never heard of. I don't know who this person is. You know, they're making decisions concerning my child's school. And I have no idea who this person is or, you know, I know sometimes there's tricky language on the ballots, at least here in Texas you're talking about sometimes the ballot measure asks whether you're for or against it. And depending on how it's worded, you may vote the wrong way, you know, just depending on maybe you intended to vote for it, but you vote against it because of how it's worded.
So it's really important to take a look at those ballot measures and make sure you understand, you know, why they want to bond for a particular or why they want to raise money for a particular bond, why they want to raise your sales tax, what you know, whatever the case may be, it's important to get probably get that information before you go down to the polls. And there's you know, I'm not like you said, I'm not saying trust the Internet and I'm not saying trust the political parties or anything like that. But there's a lot of different places to go get information that can you know, that you can way you can do the old balancing the scales.
Yeah, because one of the things I always tell my family, I mean, I'm sure everybody has the smartest family in the world. Most of my family falls in that category. Some of them not. But I will just tell you, a lot of times watching political ads or getting inundated by political advertisements in the mail, you know, there's going to be tons of information and not all of it is highly regulated. Unfortunately, elections in any state across the Union, we've seen it the twenty sixteen election, we've seen it every election since then. There's there's going to be stuff. This is propaganda. There's going to be stuff on both sides. There's going to be stuff or all three sides to every group you're supporting. I'm sure they're giving you kind of their platform and what they want you to hear.
And the smart thing for a voter to do is really be intelligent for yourself, regardless of who you're going to vote for.
The one important thing is that you cast a vote. But beyond that, to that, you cast a vote intelligently. You want an informed vote as an example. I'll give you one. You know, a lot of my family's in the oil industry. And so one of the big elections that they're always on, you pay super attention to is railroad commissioner. Well, in Texas, railroad commissioner, people kind of hear that. And you're like, well, I didn't even know we still had a railroad and one, what a job to be the railroad commissioner because like, what power do you you know, like, whoa, I guess the train stop or they run at three o'clock in the morning. But you don't know. Is that in Texas, the railroad commissioner, he regulates the oil and gas industry. And it's a hugely important board that people sit on in relation to that in the state of Texas.
Extremely powerful on that board.
And so, you know, any decisions, big money decisions, big money decisions, big economic decisions for the state, big even EPA decisions. I mean, there's just a lot of things that run through that board. And it's not the governor, you know, it's not the head of the Senate, but this is somebody who feels a lot of power that sits on this board. So these are the kinds of things that I would just tell our listeners as you're kind of considering what's happening in your state and what's important to you, really kind of dig in and do some research. So at least, you know the people that you're cast your vote.
So in Texas, they used to have what's called straight ticket voting, which you could go into the ballot, the ballot box about the booth and check the box for Republican or Democrat and then, boom, it would fill out the ballot for you. You cast a ballot, you're out the door, you're on your way. As of September of I believe this year, they did away with straight ticket voting. So they no longer have that. So you actually have to go down the ballot now. And whether you agree with it or disagree with it, I do think it's probably a good idea to go down the ballot either way. And kind of, you know, like we talked about, kind of look at what you're voting for and who you're voting for. And if you don't know, ask somebody that, you know a good a good rule of thumb with judges that appear here and, you know, talk to lawyers that appear in front of these judges.
I mean, they're going to have the best information with respect to how a judge's judicial demeanor is, how they decide cases, what their what their judicial philosophy is like.
The lawyers that appear regularly in front of the judges are the ones that typically, you know the most about how the judge might rule on a particular issue. And it's worth asking. And then typically the bar association has, as polling know in Dallas, the Dallas Bar Association has a lot of information on judicial candidates.
Same with Fort Worth, Montgomery County. Harris County typically has information on the judicial candidates. I think that's important because, like I said, these people can make decisions that affect your lives.
You know, I had when I remember when I was a kid, there was a guy that there was a really, really, really bad criminal case in Fort Worth. And this judge, let's let this guy off with a light sentence. And the whole community was in an uproar that this this guy shot, this shot. This guy got off with a light sentence and everybody was kind of wondering, I was a kid. So I'm like, what the heck's going on? And everybody's all up in arms about it. And then then everybody kind of figures out, OK, well, we elect these judges. Oh, everybody figures that somebody put this guy in power. Somebody gave this guy the the keys to the the keys to the car, so to speak. And that judge, I think, either retired or lost the next election.
But, you know, at that time, the judge that that judge made a seriously consequential decision that affected a lot of people's lives and people that were that were tough on crime, I think were very upset about that decision. And, you know, these local D.A. races, those people are finding out all across the country that the local D.A. race makes a huge difference in what crimes prosecuted at what level. You know, because the D.A. is have a lot of discretion in terms of what they're going to prosecute, theft of what amounts, who's going to get bail, what's what the bail is going to be, or different in different categories. And that's that's obviously having a lot of impact with a lot of civil unrest in the country right now.
Oh, without a doubt, Bryan. Without a doubt. And you raise a really good point because. When we as far as, like, talking to people who are in that industry in advance, I mean, you may have family members who are in the legal profession or maybe they're in the deal with oil and gas, or maybe they do with particular Senate where the senators sit in in councils, in committees and kind of the decisions that they've made. You can look at voting records that you want to see, like how is this person and voting? One of my favorites is always a tendency. I mean, back when we were in college, I don't know, political sigh you know, we would sit there and that was one of the things, you know, a professor would always say, like, you know, if you want to know if your your your representative is working for you see how many times you showed up to vote and how many times he missed.
And so, yeah, these are the kinds of things that can help you kind of determine how you want to vote, irrespective of whatever party you're choosing. If you look at candidates, you don't know anything about them. It's a difficult choice to make a lot of times. But beyond that, too, I would tell you that I think that one of the things that I think is really come to light and I feel in relation to early voting and I'm glad that you did or other good civic good civic person voted early. But I would tell you this year is going to be extra difficult COVID the restrictions. I mean, I don't know. You can kind of tell us a little bit about your experience, but I know with social distancing and limited numbers of polling places for early voting, if you think that you're going to wait till Election Day to cast that vote, I mean, that could just be insanity.
So voting early really seems like the way to do it.
But once you fill us in, how was it? Well, I can tell you the whole story.
I mean, Texas did extend the voting, the early voting this year by a couple of days. I don't remember how many, but so that made it a little bit better because obviously they give you a big window.
I mean, you got the 13th through the 30th to go vote, but get down to the polling place. Honestly, we had to stand outside. We waited for an hour and 15 minutes.
Everybody was six feet apart, you know, down. So the line was really long because everybody was spaced out. But, you know, now everybody's out there. I mean, and it's a particularly obviously contested presidential year. So there's you know, there's the Biden folks on one side, there's the Trump folks on one side. And so they're waving signs and flags and all that kind of stuff. And then, you know, you're waiting in the line and they offer that.
They'll offer you water, they'll offer you a ballot car or not ballot cards. But I can't slates of candidates if you want one, that sort of thing. And then you get up past the electioneering line and then you're like I said, everybody still spaced out six feet apart and and then they let you in the building and then you're still spaced out six feet apart. And then you go up there to the to the window.
They they have plexiglass up everywhere. You got to wait your turn, you go up there, you give them your ID, they run it, they're cleaning off everything after every person goes through, then they clean off, they clean off the voting machines off. Every person goes through. They also had people could go up. And I think this is a you can make an appointment to do this. But if you physically can't get out to the polls, well, they can bring a voting machine to your to your car and allow you to vote from your car so they will check your right and everything like that. But there were a number of people that were doing that as well. So they're trying to make as many accommodations as possible to allow people to vote. So, you know, I felt I didn't feel it was unsafe at all at any time. I thought it was I thought it was fine. And that's the whole thing. I didn't feel it was unsafe. And I thought I went I thought it went fine.
So it good. Well, I know that I think that's one of the unique things. Obviously, with this election, if you're feeling ill, you know, they are going to allow people to utilize curbside voting, just like you can use curbside pickup for food or retail. So there's nothing that really should prohibit you from being able to cast your vote. I mean, you know, mail in voting obviously requires substantial explanation in the state of Texas and Florida as well. But there's a whole lot of other ways that you can do it. And obviously, you want everybody to be safe, be smart. But the big piece of it is that it can be done. It should be done. And I think that if you have questions about how best to proceed in voting, that I would encourage everybody to put together a plan, you know, always say if you don't vote, you can't complain.
So, yeah, I love that. I love that. Yeah, I agree wholeheartedly.
You know, if you if you can't get your butt off the sofa to go ahead and cast a ballot, then suck it up, buttercup, you're just going to get what you get. So I think it is important, but I do want everybody I want everybody to know. I just do a little research. If you have concerns about, you know, I'm not feeling well, can I still vote? Absolutely. There's a lot of different considerations that are being made this year for what's been going on to make sure that everybody's vote is is counted.
Yeah, and like I said, I mean. There's a couple of places that are doing the drive through and things like that, but like I said, you can make an appointment, they really are trying to make accommodations for everybody. I and honestly, when I was standing in the line, there were people that were coming up in wheelchairs and stuff like that. There was a couple that came up and he was pushing his wife in the wheelchair and they let them ride to the front of the line and let them vote. And nobody nobody complained or called them line jumpers. So, you know, if there's a physical handicap or something like that, you can put in your car, that will give you some combination to get in there and and vote. And then obviously, they let you wear your mask and everything like that if you if you're so inclined.
So, yeah, you know, I mean and obviously in Texas, that's going in on the 30th. So if you're going to get out and get to voting and you want to do it early, make sure you put together some days, I think it's seven to seven.
So you've got plenty of time to go do it. If you need to get out, do all get off of work or whatever and get out there and exercise your right. Right.
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. You know, and I mean, I feel like, you know, everybody always talks about, you know, there's two things you don't want to talk about in good company, and that's politics and religion.
But I will tell you that I think in the context of which we're addressing it, it's really important.
I think you have to have those kind of conversations with family, with family, and specifically, obviously, a lot of times Bryan and I, you know, as having a background extensively in family law, we talk a lot about like how families can break apart and when they do, how everybody now has a different perspective.
And so, you know, one of the things I would encourage you to do is start early with your kids.
This is an important process, you know, as an American citizen, as an individual, irrespective of who you're going to support or what your beliefs are. I think that as a parent, if you have young children or really medium age children or older children, you can talk and talk to them about issues is really important.
It can be here in the kitchen that because, you know, my son's 11 and he just got interested kind of in the process this year seeing everything. And he's got a little overboard with it. I'm not going to lie. We've got signs in the yard and everything, but I don't want to discourage that.
So he's taking these kind of taking it to a new level this year because, I mean, he's getting interested in the process. I think you need I think it's important for him to know the process because obviously, you know, he's the future. He's you know, he's the future of our country. Our kids are the future of our country and and educating them on on on the country and how it works and how it operates and what their rights are and how important it is is is super important.
Yeah. And, you know, I mean, as far as you know, I, I, I don't want to jump on the bandwagon for the reasons this year that voting is so prolific in people's minds. But what I do like about what is going on is that it seems that the entire country is energized to vote. And that's something that a lot of times, you know, as a country, we've had tremendous voter apathy in the past. In presidential elections, it seems like we're all willing to get up and go vote for any other election. You know, the elections that happen in the spring or special elections, you know, turnout is really, really small.
And wasn't that a lot of times it's those off year elections that have the most impact on your life because, I mean, those are the that's a lot of times on the big judicial seats come up and, you know, they're up for reelection on the and that's when they're going to want to set the bombs, that they're going to talk about tax rates or sales tax or personal income tax like these are the kinds of things. But I think if you encourage your kids to your point, you know, really kind of allow them to get invested and participate in the process and gets them excited, it makes them look forward to that day. I mean, I don't know about you, but I mean, I couldn't wait to turn 18 to vote. And I was like, you know, like, sign me up, let's go.
And I was the first thing I did. I'm an October baby. So November. Yeah. I was like, I could wait. I was like, I you know, I got to be registered to vote. I could vote the November election. But I tell you what, spring election, I was ready to vote. So, you know, these are the kinds of things that I think as a family member can be challenging because let's talk about this for just a second. Obviously, they're going to be plenty of times where we don't agree. That's what's great about our country, is you don't got to agree that you have the freedom to be able to disagree even within your family. But a lot of times that can be difficult, Bryan, when you're talking about split homes.
So, you know, sons coming home to the mom's house and she's ultra right wing and she's a jumper and she's got her MAGA hat. She's, like, super excited about the election. And then she goes to dad and dad has become a super liberal and he's wearing, you know, sleepy Joes hat. And he's like, hey, you know, I mean, I can't wait to get out there and vote for for the Democratic candidate that forth. I mean, as a as an attorney, do you ever have those kinds of issues come up, situations come up? And how do you help your clients kind of like consider what to do? Well, I have my my you know, my client, the kid wears the magnet hat and then he wears the Biden shirt, so.
Right now, I know that's a very, very real question, it's a very serious question. I mean, and the way family law works, I mean, you have the right to to bring up your child the way you see fit.
So if you want I mean, if you want your child to be a super liberal at your house and that's fine. And dad or mom wants to be a super conservative at the other house, then you you can teach you can teach one way and teach the other way. I mean, that's nothing there's nothing in the world wrong with that. I mean, the only time there would be a problem with it is if you were teaching something that was obviously dangerous to children or something like that. But I give them the platforms of the Democrat and Republican Party aren't necessarily dangerous to children at all.
You know, I realize we're in a heightened election season, but you understand what I'm saying. It's you know, you have the right to raise your children the way you see fit. And if you want to teach them about conservative traditional values or liberal progressive stuff, that's totally up to you. I mean, it's going to be it's going to make the kid feel a little weird.
But, you know, a well-rounded kid that can make their own decision is maybe a better thing for for the country, honestly.
Yeah, I agree wholeheartedly. I always tell clients who struggle with that, like, I want you to take every opportunity to teach your child, to teach them your beliefs and why you believe them, that believe what you believe and to be expressive and excited about the power of their vote. And so as as a client, I would never encourage anyone to back away from that conversation.
Now, obviously, you don't want it to where the child is coming and crying to you because, like, every time he shows up at Mom's house in a hat then she's ripping it off and setting fires in the backyard and screaming at him and grounding him or even in that kind of stuff is happening. Well, there's a whole lot of different conversations you probably need to have with your counsel about how she's behaving now.
That's a different kind of a family problem. I mean, it it's the same thing as, you know, you have two parents of different faiths.
You know, I've had Muslim and Christian divorces where, you know, they want the child to go to them, to the mosque and and the mom wants the kid to go to the Catholic Church. So, I mean, that happens quite a bit. And it's something that you have to, you know, that that each family has to tackle.
So, you know, ultimately your kids are going to make the decision that they want to make when they're adults anyway. I think, you know, in a split household, it's difficult.
But I think you have the right to tell your kids what you believe and encourage them in a way that you see fit. Yeah, I agree wholeheartedly.
Let's talk a little bit about, obviously so, you know, looking at the ballot, looking at the votes that are set to be cast. What about election night, brother? Like, you got any election night plans? I mean, how do you handle you know, there's like election parties, there's you have in one of those or what's going on now?
I mean, this year this year is going to be crazy because I don't know. They're not going to I don't think they're going to announce a winner on the election that I'd be kind of shocked if they did. You know, over the years I've worked on political campaigns. I've been at a political party on the night of an election in another state once and swing state one time. You know, that's a good experience.
If you ever get an opportunity for your child or you to volunteer on a political campaign, that's, you know, that's a very good opportunity for me to meet people. And it's also a very good opportunity to learn about the process and really how grassroots politics work and how you know, and how if you have a belief, you can make it, you can make an impact and you can.
And how if you feel really passionately about something about how you can, you can convince people to to vote, vote the way that you want them to based on your belief system or or if you feel strongly or passionately about an issue. But now, as far as election night goes, I mean, I will probably take it low key around here. I don't expect there that we'll know anything.
And it's a crazy year. It's never it's nothing that I've seen. But I will say this. I mean, get out and vote because. I truly believe the future of the country is at stake. I think there's two very, very differing opinions on where we want this country to go.
And we've got in a year where we've had a pandemic, we've got a Supreme Court justice. We got you know, we got everything that could possibly come up in a year on the on the ballot is probably hinging on this this vote in November.
Yeah, I definitely feels like we're at a crossroads as a nation, you know, it feels like, you know, this vote will be one that I think as many people probably recall it in the past. I know talking to my mom about the election, she remembers kind of like the Kennedy, you know, that whole time period where casting a vote had that kind of meaning. And it feels like this is that type of environment that we're in, you know, that whether it's going to be you're going to vote for President Trump as an incumbent and you feel like it's a conservative values or whether you're I want a complete change and overhaul of where we're going in a different direction. I will tell you that it definitely feels like it's it's going to be highly contentious. I think that we're early in the election process. So I do think that early voting is going to be really important. I'm with you. I would encourage everybody to get that done as quickly as possible and then just, you know, like, buckle up, buckle up, because I feel like it could be days before we really have any kind of understanding about where the dust has settled and even when it's settled. I don't know that it's going to be settled. So.
So, yeah, you can have a you know, you can have a real constitutional crisis on your hands, depending on how some of these states go. I mean, you just don't you just don't know. The polls are all over the place. I think they're you know, I don't know. And the news media and the social media is all all one direction. And it's in it. It feels. It feels very odd this year.
It's just it's something different than than the Dole Clinton 96. That was very, very, very, very tame compared to what's going on now. Yeah, but I would also I would also caution you, I mean, everybody has the right to protest, to free assembly, to to protest peacefully. You know, if you feel like something something is unjust is happening.
And and I would encourage you to do so, but be very, very careful. There's a lot of radical elements out there that are that are causing a lot of problem. You don't want to be caught up in the wrong situation in terms of you're at a protest that gets violent for your own safety. No. One, and for the safety. You don't want to end up in a criminal situation because you're throwing a Molotov cocktail at a police car and or two. There was a lawyer in New York that saw that that got arrested. And they're probably going to get this hard because they threw a Molotov cocktail, burned up a squad car. I mean, you don't want to get caught up in the emotional you know, it's perfectly fine to, you know, to protest injustice or things that you feel strongly about.
But be careful which uniform you're wearing and be careful, you know, where you where you're associating yourself with, especially with the pandemic going around and especially with the just the sheer amount of civil unrest that's going on. These protests are turning violent almost nightly. And, you know, I don't really know why. I mean, there's a world of difference between a peaceful protest and then burning down a courthouse or burning down a police station or something.
Yeah, no, I mean, without a doubt, Bryan. And, you know, the thing that makes our country special, at least in my opinion, one of the things that makes it special is that we've always been able to, you know, have these just bitter disputes, but transition power peacefully, you know, I mean, like so whether it be that President Trump is staying in power, whether it be that somebody else is taking the office, like that's never really been something that as a country, we've know at least not since the 60s potentially, that I think that is really kind of been facing our nation like it is right now. And to your point, I mean, you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, even if it was with a purely genuine and innocent intentions to go and express your political beliefs, you find yourself in a situation like that. You will extricate yourself as quickly as you can. And should you find yourself in a situation where you're being arrested, them tell you right now you better find competent counsel, remember your constitutional rights and find competent counsel because you can beat it. You're going to need it, especially if that type of activity has been going on. Because, you know, obviously, no matter what your perspective is, jail is real. Jail is real. Losing your freedoms is real. You know, the fines, the penalties, incarceration, like, you know, that's something that you can't even really comprehend until your experience and your experience is sure one out of it. So I just encourage our listeners to be smart and be ever vigilant. You know, I always tell my kids situational awareness, right? Like where the hell you are and what's going on. And we always have a plan if you need to get out. So just be safe out there.
Yeah, and I think, you know, obviously it's going to be a crazy ride, so buckle up and and and see what happens. But, you know, if I can if anybody can take anything away from it would be do some homework, you know, get yourself a little bit cognizant about the issues, especially the down ballot issues that nobody nobody cares about. But having the most impact on me, I mean, that's the thing that makes me so crazy sometimes is nobody seems to care about these down ballot issues, these down ballot candidates. And those are the ones that have the most impact on your day to day life. You know that the like I said to the local school board could be deciding what curriculum your children are learning. You know, and if you have a very strong feeling, as I do about you, about certain things that are taught in class classes, you may want to have you may want to have your voice heard with respect to that, the person you're putting on the school board. And and, look, if you are curious about a candidate, especially a local one or a even from a local congressman to a state representative to a state senator, go to their office and talk to them, they're there.
They'll talk to you. I promise you. If I want to talk, I want to talk to, you know, take your kids down there, introduce your find out who your local sheriff is.
Because, look, if there is a lot of if there is a lot of civil unrest that occurs, you're going to want to know who your local sheriff is because your local sheriff is in the hey, go down there, introduce yourself, introduce your family. You know, hey, you're our local sheriff. You know, we want to say we support you, you know, we support for you guys. And whatever the case may be, find out who your local officials are, find out who your your local senator and congressmen are, and then go down there.
I promise you, they're going to talk to you.
And if you're a potential voter, they're going to talk to you. And, you know, it's a good way to find out about the process is a good way to educate your family about the process. And it's a good way to find out about issues.
Yep, without a doubt. Got it. I want everybody to be empowered, emboldened to get out and vote. It's important. We talked a little bit about judges. And as a final note for me, I would just tell you that I can't tell you how many times people stand in front of a judge that they elected have no idea who that person is. You get a terrible ruling. And if I were to ask them a lot of times, like I didn't even know I voted for that person because I did it, but I didn't go to that election.
Or if I did, maybe I cast and not even know who that person was. I put them on the bench without even understanding their qualifications or their background. And that's a difficult thing in Texas that we elect judges, because I will tell you that it's complicated. Being a judge is not an easy thing. Being in an office is not an easy thing. It's a tremendous amount of work. It requires a special skill, a special dedication.
And you want to make sure that the people that you're putting in these positions are the right people, at least for you. And from your perspective, it doesn't mean you're going to win because you cast a vote, but at least you can feel like you had to say. And that's really important. And I hope that everybody hears this, gets out early, cast their vote. And to Bryan's point, you just hold on through Election Day because it's going to be a wild ride, you know, like it. Like I said, I couldn't stress I couldn't stress enough. Find out about the candidates, find out about the issues. I mean, especially your state and local ones, because, you know, they have the most impact on your life and and and they're going to talk to you. And it never hurts you to be involved in the process because, I mean, that's that's how that's how the society runs. I mean, and like to your point, the other the other thing I would say is talk to your state representative in your state senator, because they're the ones passing these laws. If you don't particularly like. I'll give you a great example. I've had a number of clients tell me over the years I hate this visitation. What I don't understand why this visitation order is Thursday through Monday or Thursday through Sunday or whenever a winner was Thursday and Thursday nights and then Friday, Friday through Sunday.
I don't understand why I only get weekends. I'm a weekend dad. And this and that. And and I'm look. I'm like, look, the judge judges can only go by what the legislature gives them to go by. And the legislature is the one who came up with this, you know, the standard possession or whether you like it or you hate it. And I will tell you this, that standard possession order has been changed since I've been practicing law at least six times. And so that thing comes up before the state legislature for changes every legislative session, every two years. It's up it comes up for for consideration and possible changes. So if you if something if there's something like that that comes in your mind, comes in your world view and you want changes made, talk to your state and local representatives because they have a lot of sway on, you know, local family code and child support guidelines, you know, visitation rights. Those are all things that your state, your state representatives, your state senators and state representatives have a lot of impact on. And there's a lot of lobbying that goes on to these legislators, legislators, and they have a tremendous impact on your life.
So do you, Bryan, I mean, that's a great point. They absolutely do encourage everybody to get involved, get educated and vote.
All right, man, so I like your Halloween, decorate the back there. I got I got this. I'll be back here. He's going to vote later on with me. So we'll see in some states the voting that is just the same as voting alive, right? That's right. That's right. It looks like a pin it to a name. All right. Well, thanks for that. Thanks for the time. And we'll see you next time. Sounds good, Bryan. Take care. OK.
Thank you for listening, and we hope you enjoyed the Top Texas Lawyers Podcast. If you'd like to schedule a consultation with either Bryan or Sam, please call 1-888-981-7509. Or visit us on the web at astxlegal.com. Once again, that's astxlegal.com. Thank you very much.