My political opinions are worth about as much as the intestinal gas they are made of. That being said, at least I don’t light them on fire in the manner my conservative friends with Tea Party hemorrhoids do. Living in the Red State of Texas and being mildly liberal has forced me to listen to incessant streams of flaming insults and invective. It seems “liberal” is a bad word in Texas. We are apparently the primary cause of everything that’s wrong with the world. If you just have more conservative views, like having gleeful titter-fits over tax cuts for rich folks no matter how much they will hurt the working poor in the long run, then you are a good person, and Jesus loves you, and we forgive your three divorces, unpaid alimony and child support, and that Mexican-American you killed with your concealed carry because of the Stand-Your-Ground law.
But, my intestinal gas is bubbling after yesterday’s primary elections in Texas. Huffines lost the Republican primary to Paxton. Why is this significant, you may ask? Because the most corrupt and richest candidate did not win. Texas tradition is totally upended. And while both of them campaigned with lots of mud and bad words (yes, they actually called each other “liberals”), one of them is against both higher property taxes and reduced funding of education (which is the primary cause of higher property taxes). Paxton at least sounds like she is for spending more money on public education (heresy to the traditional Republican view of education). So there are signs of change in the Republican landscape.
And it appears that things are changing color in the reddest of Red States. Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate for Ted Cruz’s Senate seat, solidified his chances in November by becoming the Democratic Party victor in the primary. And so far his small-donor contributions have come in waves, giving him a fund-raising lead over the Republican Party’s most hated lizard-man Senator. There is a feeling of a rising blue tide coming to sweep away Republican anchor stakes like Cruz and Pete Sessions. Democrats may actually win despite Republican cheating through voter suppression, gerrymandering, and corrupt dark money.
But the point of this whole long intestinal-gas-fueled display of political insight is not that I want the Red State of Texas to turn completely blue. I think that too many liberals is just as much of a problem and a breeding ground for corruption as too many conservatives. The biggest problem has been that the blue donkeys and the red elephants haven’t done much but hate each other and call each other names for too long.
We need two sides to have a decent debate that can hammer out the kind of decently balanced solutions that solves problems for everybody. Texas Republicans have been in complete control for too long. They ignore problems like equitable school funding, racial problems in law enforcement, and income inequality. They give all their attention to smoothing the way for corporations and money-making interests. As long as the rich guys are happy, the world is good for Republicans. We need to balance the Republicans again with more moderate policies and beliefs. If you look at the political platform of the Republican Eisenhower Presidency and compare that to the Democratic Obama Presidency, you can see that they are very much the same. I think the chaos that the current Presidency has brought to the Republican Party has already produced some hopeful signs of the reversal of some of their most hostile and heartless positions. The high priests of greed and corruption that have taken over the Republicans since Nixon are beginning to experience rebellion among their acolytes. Republican pundits, thinkers, and operatives whom I actually respect are turning away from Trumpism and denouncing it in the mass media. Some of them have even left the party.
But I am not hoping for the death of the Republican Party. I am hoping for a fundamental change in who they are and what they support. I think recent election results are strengthening that hope. We need them to renounce their Gordon Gecko religion of “Greed is good!” We need them to turn away from the corruption, anger, and intractable stupidity of the Tea Party. We need decent moderate Republicans to return to prominence once again.