Texas Pushes Our Red-Blue Division Even Wider | Opinion
Enlightened South Carolinians (yes, there are a few of us) have been known to say, “Thank God for Mississippi,” which means: At least we’re not THAT bad.
We can now add Texas to the list of worst than us, thanks to the Republican State of 2022 platform, which is not only radical but fundamentally dishonest. South Carolina may rank low in K-12 education, but Republicans in Texas are turning this first breakaway Confederate state into an oasis of intellectual rigor.
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Among the platform’s guiding proclamations and assertions: President Biden is only an “interim” president because he didn’t really win; homosexuality is an “abnormal life choice”; Texas should hold a referendum on secession from the union, an idea that even South Carolina has abandoned; the Voting Rights Act 1965 should be repealed; and, perennial favorite, the United States should leave the United Nations.
Although Texas Republicans have flirted with secession before, this year’s platform is objectionable at the top level because its rationale is tied to the “big lie” that Donald Trump really won the 2020 presidential election. is nonsense, even if a significant percentage of the Trump base believes it. Centuries ago, most people on the planet believed that the Earth was flat. Facts have finally forced (most) flat earthers to come to terms with reality. This is not the case with true Trump believers, who only trust facts that back up their beliefs. Such excessive credulity is otherwise known as superstition.
Fact: Trump and his allies have filed more than 60 lawsuits challenging the election results. They got nowhere. It does not mean anything ? Ronald Reagan, Antonin Scalia – and Jesus Christ himself – could form a Trinity of Truth declaring that Biden was the duly elected president of the United States and that a significant percentage of the GOP base would reject them as false prophets.
Unfortunately, for the republic, the Lone Star State isn’t the only one with overzealous aspirations.
As my Post colleague Perry Bacon Jr. pointed out in a well-researched column on Monday, much of Central America is turning bright red, state by state. This is due to the Republican Party’s strategic efforts to fund and install Republican governors, attorneys general, and lawmakers to take full control of state governments across the country.
The result is Republicans dominating government in 25 states, most of them in the South. That still leaves half the country purple or blue, of course — basically the West, New England, the Great Lakes states and Hawaii. We’ve long been accustomed to red and blue states, but the charts accompanying Bacon’s article vividly illustrate that the country now contains a kind of philosophical nation-within-a-nation-within-a-‘hover-country’.
From everyone’s point of view, the Conservatives are surrounded by bleeding-heart Liberals. Or the liberals risk being stifled by the nation’s food supply.
In Red America, Republicans have created a conservative legal infrastructure in all branches of state government that isolates them from the (currently) Democratic federal government. A secessionist’s dream come true! Over the past year, Republican-ruled states have passed laws on burning issues such as guns, education about race and identity, and school voucher programs. If Roe v. Wade is canceled this month, many are set to ban or severely limit access to abortion.
I would note: Not everything Republicans offer is objectionable – vouchers tend to benefit underprivileged children, for example. And Trump’s rise and the GOP’s relentless rightward steering could not have happened without the help of the Democrats. Liberals just haven’t realized that tens of millions of Americans aren’t interested in a woke reinvention of the country. They don’t think abortion on demand is tolerable. They don’t want to see women’s sport inexorably tilting towards athletes benefiting from male puberty.
What did they expect?
Now, alas, the country seems bound in a seismic split. As Bacon wrote, many of us now live in states that increasingly fall short of our core beliefs. Some will not want to live in a state where a woman can choose to abort an unborn child; others will not tolerate a state of origin where homosexuals are considered to have chosen their “lifestyle”.
With this boundary-pushing platform, the Texas GOP seems determined to drive a divider into our red-blue divide. Unsubstantiated “beliefs” that become law can become unpleasant to say the least, and so the distance between us widens. More violence is almost a certainty in the absence of a common goal.
I would like to think that our divisions can be bridged through constructive debate and the electoral process, but I am not optimistic. In light of the recent attacks on pregnancy counseling centers and churches, combined with the January 6, 2021 assault on the United States Capitol, I fear our country is bracing for battle.
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