This past weekend the Texas Democratic Party met in Dallas to energize the statewide base and try its best to build momentum amongst independents and undecided voters. With the most diverse ticket in this state’s history, Democrats are banking on winning over voters with a message of inclusion and hope. While most polls suggest that it will be an uphill battle for Democrats, the party is working hard to ensure an upset come November. But my fear is that if this "dream team" loses this election, Texas will have to wait another ten years or longer before any serious Democrat can run statewide.
While Democrats will be licking their wounds, the rest of the state will suffer under the continued strong arm of Republican domination. Just imagine it now: Greg Abbott in the Governor’s Mansion, Dan Patrick behind the gavel of the Lieutenant Governor’s chair, or even Ken Paxton deciding which laws he will or will not abide by as Attorney General. While businesses may prosper from new tax breaks, the average Texan will be hindered by the decisions of this new wave of Republican ideology.
With the Tea Party is in office, the current landscape of education, social services, and basic civil rights will be altered beyond recognition. They will start by making major cuts to the education budget by getting rid of early childhood education, fine arts programming, and even cutting funding for public schools and universities. This means that school districts, such as Houston ISD will be forced to close even more schools, cut teacher pay, and even remove certain programs from schools. Universities such as Texas Southern and Prairie View A&M will have to raise tuition, restrict the use of adjunct professors, and also eliminate some student services. Since our public school system will not be able to educate students properly, more "mom and pop" charter schools will be started and will set our kids behind even further.
Once they have wrecked our public education system, they will come for those receiving assistance from the government. Under the new Republican era, it will be harder for Texans who are down and out to receive the must needed assistance from the state. Since many Texans will not be able to afford to go through more bureaucratic policies to receive assistance, many will not even try to apply and will increase the rate of poverty in this state.
After we no longer have a public education system and the state’s poverty rate is nearly doubled, be prepared for legislation that will gut the basic civil right we have as Americans: voting. With the Tea Party in power, voter id laws will become tougher and transparency in election finance will become a thing of the past. And when the time comes, they will demolish any rules on redistricting and draw a map that will ensure Republican domination for years to come.
We cannot afford 10 to 20 or even 30 more years of Republican governance of this state, especially when the sensible Republicans are being choked out by the radical Tea Party. Texas is not a Republican state; it is a low voting state. Democrats and progressives should have more seats at the table. But since we do not get out and vote, there are few people at the table who actually care about us. As the late Bobby Womack sang "nobody wants you when you’re down and out". #ijs