Conroe, January 29 – County Judge Craig Doyal is salvageable, but he faces a rough and rigorous road over which he must traverse, while acting with patience and perseverance. Mostly, he must listen. We must not give up on him. We must work to change his heart.
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, in a land far, far away, there lived a man. He had grown up in a small town as a tubby little kid. His father made fun of his body shape. He wasn’t a great student, but he was a nice person. The other kids liked him in school and the girls liked his appearance. He wasn’t really interested in politics but some of his friends convinced him that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal” programs to expand the government’s reach and services were important strides forward for America. He loved FDR’s Social Security program and believed that government had a duty to take care of its citizens.
In his chosen line of work, this young man had the opportunity to join a labor union. He became heavily involved in union activities and rose to be an officer and labor organizer for the craft. In the 1948 President Election, he couldn’t believe that anyone would even consider supporting the Republican, Thomas Dewey, over President Harry Truman, a common-sense Midwestern liberal who showed his dedication to FDR’s programs. The young man worked tirelessly for Truman and, as a union leader, even stood on the stage with the President for numerous campaign appearances and speeches.
Only thirty-two years later, this young man, who had worked as a liberal activist, fought vociferously for government expansionism, and campaigned tirelessly to defeat Republicans at all levels of government, was elected President of the United States as one of those Republicans himself! President Ronald Reagan took the Oath of Office on January 20, 1981.
What happened to turn a “New Deal” liberal into one of the great conservative leaders of the twentieth century? A lot but mostly that Reagan began to listen to the world around him rather than staying focused on a narrow group of friends who exerted their strong special interests over him. Especially during his work as President of the Screen Actor’s Guild, Ronald Reagan began to see that people don’t always adopt political positions for idealistic reasons. In 1949, he met a young lady who eventually exerted vast influence over Reagan’s political outlook when she introduced him to her stepfather, Loyal Davis, a conservative neurosurgeon who lived in Chicago. The Davises, Loyal and his stepdaughter Nancy, opened the eyes, ears, and eventually heart of Ronald Reagan.
Not everyone has access to someone of the intellectual caliber of Loyal Davis. Our community does have some pretty amazing people in it, however. We do have some great political intellectuals, including Bill Leigh, James Noack, Jim Jenkins, Bill O’Sullivan, and Julie Turner. We enjoy some great political activists such as Dr. Walter Wilkerson, Jenny Stewart, Linda Fox, Mark Turnbull, Isador Ybarra, Steve Toth, and Gordy Bunch, among many others.
The availability of those people to someone like Craig Doyal might make a difference in changing his heart, if he were to listen. He’s basically a nice guy. Craig is intelligent. He’s about as smooth a politician as one can find. He’s unflappable, although he has a nasty temperament in private. He’s worked in government almost his entire adult life, a shortcoming but also potentially a strength. The problem with Craig Doyal has clearly arisen in the ties that bind him. Bobby Adams, his daughter Lindsey, the Halff engineers, the Dannenbaum engineers, the engineers and contractors of all shapes and sizes but all of $$$$$$$$, and some really bad political connections that he’s made. None of those people are bad people in the eternal sense. Nevertheless, many of them have exerted substantially corrupt influences on Doyal’s decisions as an operations manager for a Commissioner, as a County Commissioner, and as a County Judge.
This nation needs some local leadership. Our community, Montgomery County, needs some local leadership. As one of the most conservative Republican counties in the United States, it is markedly absurd that our County government’s spending is out-of-control. Nepotism, conflicts of interest, political vendor decisions, secrecy, and hateful behavior towards citizens, main line county employees, and the law enforcement community must all come to an end as the symbols of the Montgomery County government.
There is no reason that Craig Doyal can’t be the reformer. Nevertheless, Craig Doyal needs to listen. Only then could he break free from the tantalizing liberal forces from which a young Ronald Wilson Reagan broke.
Let’s give the man a chance, but also let us, as citizens, keep the pressure on him until he takes the right actions.