Confused? Surprised? You shouldn’t be. This is the Republic of Texas, after all, and Romney beat out Obama, taking 57.2 to the incumbent’s 41.4 percent of the popular vote. We’ll have our way—national election be damned— or we’ll pull a South Carolina, jump ship and rip that Lone Star right off liberal America’s flag.
…or maybe not.
It’s December and, last time I checked, at least, President Perry wasn’t taking office and I didn’t need a visa to head to California for Christmas. The only secession crisis I’ve seen recently lasted two-and-a-half hours last Friday night in Spielberg’s “Lincoln.”
So what happened?
Perhaps Texas doesn’t bleed quite as red as I was promised.
In my school’s mock election Romney came out on top with 53.6 percent of the vote; Obama received 45.6 percent, while write-in Gary Johnson ran off with the remaining .8.
Though the Massachusetts governor was clearly the undisputed victor, he didn’t win by the margins I would have expected when I first moved down here to The Land of the GOP.
At the start of the year, I joined Junior Statesmen of America (JSA) ostensibly because I wanted to become more politically involved during the election year—which was true—but, when I’m honest with myself, I know I was also on the hunt for that infamous Texas Republican zealotry. I was promised the boot-wearing Red, and was compelled by some morbid curiosity to find them.
I didn’t have to look long.
JSA hosts weekly open-forum lunchtime debates on current issues. My first meeting (foreign policy in Syria) was thrilling.
The Republican fervor was palpable; the GOP dominated the discussion, confirming all my preconceptions about Texas politics.
But, with each subsequent debate, the spectrum widened and I found more and more views beyond the stereotype. As we worked our way through questions of affirmative action, marijuana legalization and capital punishment, a whole range of moderate and left-leaning views surfaced. Yes, the staunchly conservative tend to be the most vocal, but only because they’re truly passionate, and I’ve found most to be open-minded and tolerant of differing opinions—though still more than willing to convert you. And, while certainly in the minority, I can confirm that the mythical Lone-Star liberal really does exist.
It was slightly disappointing, to be honest; I suspect it’s like showing up in California and learning that not everyone’s a blond surfer.
Don’t get me wrong; we’re still the most Republican state. The GOP controls all statewide offices and has the majority in both the house and the senate. And our petition for a peaceful secession has over 100,000 signatures—the elephant still reigns supreme down here.