Since her early days, the Lone Star State has raised truly fine leaders. Many well-qualified Texans have been thrown into the state, national, and international spotlight thanks to their well-respected, academic, Constitutionally-grounded views on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.
That list of Texans thrust, by choice or otherwise, into the national or international sphere includes such leaders as: Lyndon Baines Johnson (36th President of the United States and responsible for sweeping legislation in the areas of civil rights, urban development, education, immigration, and gun control), Ann Richards (first female, elected governor of Texas and a tireless advocate for equality in the area of education), Barbara Jordan (a leader of the Civil Rights Movement and the first black woman from the South elected to the US House of Representatives), Cecile Richards (the current President of Planned Parenthood, she is currently defending the organization’s ability to provide health care and health education to a country desperately in need of both), and many others. It is a list of articulate intellectuals led by rational thought, academic research, legal precedents, and Constitutional guarantees – not “well-intended” agendas.
In our early days, we had some similar leaders. One was Sam Houston, our 7th governor. Houston was ultimately responsible for Texas’ annexation to the United States, creating a rather large bootprint on the American landscape. He is also responsible for the following comment regarding political leaders:
All new states are invested, more or less, by a class of noisy, second-rate men who are always in favor of rash and extreme measures, but Texas was absolutely overrun by such men. (citation)
It would seem, Texas has returned to this infamous and dubious governance. Perhaps some of the Texans making the current news cycle spin due to their irrational, emotion-based, Constitutionally-blind approach to the “greater good” for Texans should revisit Governor Houston’s quote whilst gazing in the mirror (perhaps, on a Sunday mornin’ after church).
The other leaders mentioned by name, above, remain singled-out and heralded for their intellect, not derided due to their lack of substance. These men and women are known for their thoughtful, reasonable, and rational responses to crises plaguing Texans and/or Americans in the fields of civil rights, reproductive and health safety, immigration laws, segregated educational institutions, and gun control.
Let’s look at the current state of affairs in Texas.
Effective January 1, 2016, Texans are accorded the rights guaranteed in the “Open Carry” gun law. The Texas Department of State Health is reporting that the “Open Carry” gun law (proposed by Texas legislatures and signed by Governor Greg Abbott Citation) now effects Texans in the following way: state-run psychiatric facilities will now allow men and women to enter those hospitals with visible, loaded firearms. Citation
All this, while the rest of the nation is creating avenues to address mental health needs in the United States, in a desperate attempt to remove guns from the hands of the mentally ill. Texas plays Russian Roulette, as it provides visual reminder to the mentally ill that weapons mean power. The exact opposite of what should be demonstrated to those suffering from emotional, mental, or behavioral illness.
The list is long of public missteps by the Lone Star State’s currently “popular” leaders.
Only two days ago, the current governor of Texas made the following pronouncement on his public website:
Governor Greg Abbott today delivered the keynote address at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Annual Policy Orientation where he unveiled his Texas Plan to restore the Rule of Law and return the Constitution to its intended purpose. Citation
“…his Texas Plan to restore the Rule of Law”? Such hubris is dumbfounding. Correction, such hubris is dumbfounded.
What we are doing in Texas is making international news. The United Nations is watching as Texans are stripped of their dignity and very lives in the prison system. We’ve seen Texans stripped of their access to free health care. Elderly are not immune as we see Texans stripped of their fundamental rights. Citing all that has been lost for Texans would break the internet because the depth and breadth of what has been taken away is overwhelming, documented, and undeniable.
When will it be enough? When will Texas’ leaders inspire our state, our nation, and our world, as once they did, representing all that is good and possible when an child is raised in Sweetwater, Lubbock, Corpus, Marshall, or San Anton? When will Texans no longer be the target of mockery for their arrogant and rash extremism, but once again lead world stages with their transformative and rational thought?
Soon, we should all pray.
God bless the Lone State State.