Commentary: Mediocrity is the way to go according to the El Paso Times

On May 17, 2011 the El Paso Times editorial board stated through their newspaper that Arditti’s defense team was an embarrassment to El Paso. According to their reasoning, the actions of the Caballero-Leeds team in zealously defending their client before a tribunal that can deprive Arditti of her freedom is somehow an aberration and an embarrassment to our community. In those few words, the El Paso Times editorial board just represented everything that is wrong with the city; a city where mediocrity rules.

If we are to accept the Times’ notion that it is more important to maintain a façade of everything is fine for the rest of the nation then we, as a community, are doomed to continue living in a community where we keep our secrets and our heads buried in the sand oblivious to all that is wrong. It really should be no surprise that the El Paso Times has chosen this road as this is reflected in the community’s leadership on a daily basis. Of course, there is no cross border violence and El Paso has no fault in the deaths happening in our sister city, proclaim the talking heads of our community. It’s a façade, of who, us, but we are the third, fifth or whatever most secure city in the country! A collective let’s pretend all is fine. Let’s not embarrass our community by doing our jobs to the best of our abilities, because after all we are just El Paso and our way of doing things is to pretend all is fine.

The Caballero-Leeds team did their job, not only did they do their job but they chose to give their client the best of themselves, even to their detriment. Shouldn’t that be the case all around? A simple notion of I’ve got a job to do and I’m going to it to the best of my ability. Wow, what a notion!

Of course, the El Paso Times states that Arditti could have won her case even if her lawyers had acted in a different manner; after all it was a weak case they state. Even the editorial board acknowledges this when they write “showed the evidence was flimsy”. Instead of asking why prosecute someone, if the evidence is flimsy, and ruin one to two years of their lives, the El Paso Times editorial board feels compelled to castigate the Caballero-Leeds defense team for doing their job. What about Arditti, does her life not merit more than “flimsy” evidence?

Interestingly that the El Paso Times doesn’t bother to note that had Arditti lost her case she would not only loose her ability to make a living for herself and her family but she also faced the possible loss of her liberty. She could have been sentenced to jail. Faced with that possible outcome would Arditti want mediocrity in her defense or someone giving it their all?

I wonder if any member of the El Paso Times editorial board, faced with the potential of going to jail would have asked for a lawyer more interested in maintaining the façade of “all is well” and “I won’t be an embarrassment to my community”? I think not!

Maybe that’s why the established businesses in El Paso contract out of town experts to do the jobs they need because in El Paso, at least according to the city’s paper, It’s about not embarrassing the city rather than to do the job they are paid to do. What a concept, do what you are paid to do, but not according to the Times.