Ahead of early voting in Texas, the state’s GOP has been going around proclaiming joy, prosperity and fear to the faithful electorate of Texas. While Texas Democrats are doing the same in form of a 4,700 square mile bus tour and asking Texans for a fair shot, Republicans are trying to play national party political agendas while trying to maintain ties with voters who seem to have heard it all before.
Where the Democrats have brought in the uber liberal Dana Bash and CNN, the GOP has brought in Sean Hannity and Fox News.
The discussion of property tax reformation from Texas Republicans has seemingly been dropped, especially as the spiritual leader, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has been mostly MIA on the issue after proclaiming it Statewide to voters just to beat David Dewhurst.
Patrick took to Twitter on Sunday morning to in essence say “Come, all ye faithful! Joyful and triumphant!” Patrick urged Texans to vote “Straight Ticket Red” instead of being worried about holding him accountable for basically abandoning his platform of Property Tax Reform.
“It’s almost like the GOP wants you to forget about how they abandoned the voters” says Republican strategist Steven Campbell. “They believe this will come down to base versus base and they might be exactly right.”
If it does come down to base versus base, then the math certainly favors the GOP. But if middle of the road Republican voters make an attempt to punish the ultra right wing faction by voting with democrats, then all bets are off.
“The democrat base just did that in Senate District 19 with Pete Flores. The Democrats were tired of being used as pawns for the party and for Uresti so they voted for Flores” Campbell says. And for that reason, Texas right wing bosses should be more than concerned.
Republican voters outside of the major metropolitan areas have eaten their young before and they are not afraid to do it again.
“That is the marvel about Texas. One party can run the show for 50 years and then piss off the wrong bunch and there goes that” says AJ Conley, a retired news journalist from South Texas. “That’s exactly how the GOP gained control–Ann (Richards) pissed off the Democrats and that was the end of that.”
Conley says that in 80 years, he has seen politicians in the state come and go. He reported on George and Archer Parr. He covered the scandal ridden “Box 13” and LBJ. He knows Texas politics. To Conley, this is another cycle of punishment building up and if it happens now or happens in 2020, the verdict is still out–but the feeling is that rural voters are getting frustrated and the belt is coming off.
“I get the feeling that rural voters, Republicans and Democrats have handed the parties the clippers and told them to go cut their switch” says Conley.
One of those voters is Kellen Davies of Alice, Texas. Kellen is 62 and owns his home. He worked in the oil patch before retiring last year. He might be what you could call an average Texan. Kellen has voted in nearly every single election that he can remember and this one has him caught up making decisions that he never thought he would have to make again.
“I saw the democrats switch to republicans and republicans shift their gears. I lived through that turmoil of gas shortages and corruption and lies upon lies from Austin politicians” he says.
Now, Kellen says that he is seeing it again.
Mr. Davies is a lifelong, born and raised Texan who believes that democrat bosses are using homosexuals, environmentalists and left wing special interest groups as a platform of fear. He also is growing more and more concerned that the republicans are doing the same with evangelicals and far right special interest groups.
“I go to church but damn it, y’all play those games in Washington, don’t bring them to Texas” he says. “Sorry bastards”, Mr. Davies says as he sets his coffee cup back down on the table shaking his head.
Davies, along with many other Texans are feeling abandoned by parties. They feel that democrats are just too far left while republicans like Patrick are just too far right. Somewhere in between lies the real Texas voters.
As Houston prepares for the arrival of President Trump on Monday, Texans are just shaking their heads wondering how they ended up in the middle of a shit show known as “American Politics” and the games that surround it?
For Texans it is all too clear, both parties have Washington, D.C. politics on their minds while Texans figure out what to do.