Who Will End Republicans’ Reign of Terror in Texas?
From callous abortion laws to restrictive voting policies, my native state is nearing rock bottom. Will a Democrat challenge the governor to right the ship?
Contrary to the national imagination, many native Texans can recall a time in which the state didn’t feel like it was always ruled under varying strains of repression and stupidity.
As a child, the first governor I remember was a woman named Ann Richards, who sounded a lot like the kind of country White folk who populated Texas with the rest of us, only with more of a politically progressive bent for the times. I’m too young to recall her referring to former President George H.W. Bush as having been “born with a silver foot in his mouth” at the 1988 Democratic National Convention that first gained her national fame, but I remember enough about her to know that when I started elementary school in the 1990s, a woman and a Democrat was governor. I can’t recall her name being as cursed by those surrounding me as that of her Republican successors.
Much of that has to do with her not sounding at all like the sort of Texas politicians covered in more recent history. Richards was elected governor of Texas in 1990 and appointed the sort of people no longer seen in the state: women, Blacks, and Latinos. Richards was also celebrated for trying to equally distribute public school funding, vetoing the concealed carry bill, and creating inmate substance abuse programs in the Texas prison system. For those of you who swear you’re going to hit the number, Richards created the state lottery, which my pops appreciates to this day. Richards also brought the Texas Film Commission to the Office of the Governor and advocated extensively for the Texas film industry. That didn’t go so well, but people like me are trying to help. Lift us in prayer.
Unfortunately, Richards was defeated by George W. Bush, who she rightly dismissed during that 1994 campaign as “some jerk who’s running for public office.” Living under Republican rule is a nightmare, which is one of many reasons I give all praise to God that I was not totally defeated by Bush’s education policy, No Child Left Behind, which was tested in Texas and subsequently put the…