Fake American values are the current GOP's ideology, not real American values. Texas, is the cutting-edge of American, right-wing-extremism.
There is no bigger threat to our democracy, than redefining patriotism in extremist language and ideology.
I now live in Texas and have since 2005. I love the state, especially here in Central Texas/ San Antonio. A couple of years ago I also had a few acres in the Hill Country in a small community where my parents retired. After their passing, I sold this little piece of heaven but still miss the lifestyle it accorded my outdoor nature. Great people, low crime and common sense. After all, you can’t succeed in rural life without common sense. Or so it would seem.
Like every other red state, TX claims to be conservative and in my former rural county, that’s largely true. This stands in direct contrast to the Texas Republican Party who is not conservative. The party’s actions betray a deep, currently immovable streak of RWE, right-wing-extremism, not conservatism. Their 2022 platform was not only unconstitutional but put their addiction to conspiracy theories on full display. Like the US Congress, the exclusive GOP control in Austin for the past 28 years, doesn’t permit conservatives a voice, especially principled conservatives. The current version of the GOP employs a variety of adversarial influence tactics to convince ordinarily conservative Texans that their new extremist ideology is conservative. It most certainly, isn’t.
Slowly conditioning an audience to be subconsciously triggered by certain concepts, is how that malign influence works best. If you don’t know your audience but desire a few million Pavlovian responses, you must either know the identity of that audience or create it. This takes time, years actually. This is whathas worked on in the past 27 years. Now in the Trump era, there are far worse and more dishonest than FOX, but they all synchronize and disseminate the same, aberrant and anti-American conspiracy theories. Sure, they claim patriotism, but their patriotic themes are in no way our founders’ principles. Not at all.
These 4th estate types like Steve Bannon and Alex Jones, though thoroughly disdained by decent Americans have been turned into savants of RWE, virtual pied pipers leading the weak of mind and spirit towards the subservient role they are intended to play.
It might be news to you that the term fourth estate has been around for centuries. In Europe, going back to medieval times, the people who participated in the political life of a country were generally divided into three classes or estates. In England they were the three groups with representation in Parliament, namely, the nobility, the clergy, and the common people. Some other group, like the mob or the public press, that had an unofficial but often great influence on public affairs, was called the fourth estate. In the 19th century, fourth estate came to refer exclusively to the press, and now it's applied to all branches of the news media.
Here in Texas, we have some excellent journalism, but they are no match for political hitmen and unethical marketers and influencers, hired by the power-hungry elites in Austin and that form a nearly indomitable chain of corporate nepotism, employing extremist ideology to offer profit-driven advantages. Our 2020/21 freeze is a perfect example. The GOP legislature approved a fee schedule for ERCOT fossil fuel providers that allowed them to profit exponentially when our power failed. What ensued for some were electric bills for 24 hours in the thousands, and some double that.
This meant that power producers had insane bills from the fuel providers, that the legislature then arranged to pass on the costs to all Texans. The grid failure was because after a similar event in 2011, an engineering report showed the improvements that must be made, but no one in Austin would pass along those costs to the fuel providers, mostly natural gas. In return, these GOP legislators benefited with big fat campaign donations. Greg Abbott’s campaign profited with a donation of $4M.
The cost to taxpaying Texans was a few hundred lives lost and the costliest disaster in state history. All because the TX GOP won’t impose costs on the fossil fuel industry. This is essentially, “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” The problem is that taxpayers foot the bill, not the state whose responsibility is to run our state ethically.
For today’s example of their threat to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” look no further than the topic of guns.
“The Right to Keep and Bear Arms: State and Federal Legislatures shall:
a. Repeal and/or nullify the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968.
b. Pass unrestricted Constitutional Carry by amending Article 1, Section 23, of the Texas Constitution by removing, “but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.”
c. Nullify any gun laws that violate the 2nd Amendment or rights of due process.
d. Support national reciprocity for gun ownership rights.
e. Recognize the right of License to Carry holders to carry anywhere off-duty or retired law enforcement can carry.
f. Ensure that any of the above legislation shall not be construed as impinging on private property rights. “
2022 TX GOP Platform
When it comes to guns, you’d think that flouting guns was part of Greg Abbott and Co’s manhood. The truth is, overwhelmingly, most Texans want responsible gun regulation. Only the extremists differ, and they are the ones who via radical gerrymandering and a variety of other methods, maintain ruthless control over legislation. I live about an hour from Uvalde. Responsible Texans clamored for responsible reform. Greg Abbott, Tony Gonzales and Ted Cruz headlined the refusal to adopt responsible legislation. Then, the state loosened gun regs even more, as they always do.
Our new SB1, a Jim Crow, 2.0 voting law is being taken on by the US Justice Department. Thankfully, the Federal government will stand for American values in TX because the current RWE GOP refuse to.
The TX GOP platform for the 2022 midterms reads like George Orwell’s 1984 and is full of anti-constitutional agendas. Putting religion back into public school is a great example. The platform fully endorses the “Big Lie” which was the influential conspiracy theory that drove the armed rebellion on Jan 6th. Texas is among the states providing the majority of arrestees of those traitorous rebels, including the founder of one of the most prominent RWE orgs, the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes. He’s a hero of sorts among many of the Republican groups making up the dominant TX GOP.
“31. Prayer, Bible, and Ten Commandments in Schools: We support prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments being returned to our schools, courthouses, and other government buildings.”
2022 TX GOP Platform
We have out of control violence, especially gun violence in Texas. The GOP blame the opposite side of the aisle. This is common on other topics too like education, healthcare, unwed mothers, a rape epidemic, religion (only Christo Nationalism is fully endorsed) and so many other issues. We are at the bottom in providing well-paying jobs for the masses and don’t even get me started on the border, where everyone in GOP leadership lies incessantly. Greg Abbott’s abuse of our Texas national guard prompted a multipart series in the Military Times detailing such. Operational Lonestar is a resounding failure that taxpayers foot the bill for. It’s nothing more than a political stunt for Greg Abbott. That the TX supports veterans is absolute BS. Some retired vets are taxed out of the homes since TX has some of the highest property taxes in the nation. The TX GOP is lying to everyone. They have had exclusive control of Texas for 28 years. If anything is broken, they did it.
My congressman, Tony Gonzales, a Navy Vet also has lied incessantly about the border, national security and refuses to criticize the big lie or anything else on the Trump train, of anti-American values. He has a district that is so radically gerrymandered that it extends from my neighborhood in north San Antonio all the way to and includes much of the TX border with Mexico. Operation Lonestar is an unmitigated failure with even the state police/ DPS caught lying about arrests to support Gov. Abbott.
Conservative Texans have been conditioned by the State GOP, to believe that their behavior is conservative, but in truth, is RWE. Considering my background, I know a great deal about what makes up extremist organizations. There is no doubt that like the national GOP these days, Texas Republican elected officials are extremist, as is their ideology/ platform.
This was intended to be short but when I look around and see the same type of government here in Texas as the Taliban in Afghanistan, I’m not only horrified but angry. My military oath to the nation means that I and other TX Vets are required to combat any party or movement that is hellbent on undermining US national security. Well, my oath never expires, and my military and family values dictate that I do all that is legal, to protect our true national values. They are the foundation of our democracy. Since Abbott and company refuse to honor them,
I am required to speak out and speak out truthfully. Today will be just the beginning as that I will return to this subject often. I use my home state of Texas as the poster child because it is in my opinion, that they are on the cutting edge of RWE in governance. Who needs Marjorie Taylor Greene when we have Greg Abbott, Ken Paxton, Dan Patrick (actually Danny Goeb), Dade Phelan, Gohmert, Ted Cruz, Tony Gonzalez and more?
Our nation was founded on the principle of passionate, factual debate to come up with the best solutions for the nation and its citizens. We need opposing, fact-filled opinions to come up with the best solutions. We need principled left and right, in addition to a variety of other belief systems. This is dead in Texas and the national GOP. The sooner the GOP reforms or folds, the sooner we get back to pursuing actual American values. Until then, both the nation and Texas will remain at risk.