The Lone Voter State

Posted on September 3, 2021

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Texas lays claim to the fact that it was once its own country. Colonized in the eighteenth century by the Spanish, Texas declared its independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836. Texans stood their ground at that bastion of American Pluckiness, The Alamo. Countless children, thrilled by the story of the brave frontiersmen fighting for freedom from Drugs/Crime/Rape Mexico, weren’t informed that the story of the Alamo was, in effect, a mini-Civil War. Mexico had outlawed slavery in 1829. Texans thus knew that their slave-owning days were numbered. But, if they got rid of Mexico, they could continue to own slaves. Alas, the Texans lost. It would be up to Texas Hero Sam Houston, in a later battle, to finally win independence for Texas.

Texas knew, now, not to trust another country to call its shots. It declared itself its own country, the Republic of Texas, made a flag, required everyone to wear big hats and boots and decreed that slavery was legal. Then it put its big-booted feet up and relaxed.

The heyday of Texas-as-Country lasted until 1845, when the Big Guy was incorporated into the United States. Ever since then, Texas has struggled to accommodate itself to being part of another country. Their state flag has one star, a kick-in-the-nuts to those who would like to think of the US as an actual confederation of states. They have their own power grid, independent of the rest of the country. They threaten to secede at regular intervals. Many Texans favor secession. No Mexicans were asked their opinion about any of this.

Just this year, Texas achieved a trifecta of sort-of-secession against the rest of the country. In spite of abortion being legal in the US, the Texas legislature voted to limit that legality to only the first six weeks of pregnancy. And it gives the average person bounty hunter status. The state will pay each citizen-turned-bounty hunter ten thousand big ones for the apprehension of anyone seeking or providing medical attention resulting in a pregnancy termination.

In spite of voting being guaranteed in the Constitution for citizens over age 18, Texas now forbids voters from registering using a post office box as their address, allows the secretary of state to cut funds for voter registrars that fail to remove certain people from the rolls, and one more law makes it harder to apply for a mail-in ballot for medical reasons.

Texans know that guns are the best fashion accessory to big hats and big boots. And, as countless Westerns have shown, it’s no fun to own that gun unless everyone around you knows you own it. As of Wednesday, a newly-passed law allows anyone who can legally own a firearm to carry it in public, as long as it’s in a holster. They no longer need a permit to carry. That’s a first since Reconstruction.

Interestingly, a recent poll in Texas revealled that  59% of Texas voters oppose unlicensed carry of handguns in public spaces. The same poll also found that 64% of Republicans support background checks on all gun purchases. So the penchant for guns doesn’t seem to be quite as rabid as the Republican legislators would seem to believe.

As for the new voting laws (which include a stipulation requiring counties with more than 100,000 residents to livestream and record all ballot-counting areas), Texans are firmly behind it. It’s morbidly fascinating to Life in the Boomer Lane that one man, pissed off because he lost one election (albeit a very important election), managed to convince enough folks that the election was in doubt, that now people are falling all over themselves heaping election rules upon election rules in order to protect a system that was never at risk anyway. If anything, the mountains of recounts and rules simply convince folks that, well, there must have been something sketchy going on, right?

The Texas legislature, the latest Big Winner in the conservative Race-This-Country-to-Hell, has used the tried and true one-two punch of a combination of the Cowboy Can-Do mentality and a 20-year-long slog in political and racial redistricting (think Tom Delay) in order to achieve its goal. LBL suspects that other GOP-controlled states are watching closely and salivating.

A sincere note of apology to those in Texas who are thoughtful, caring, mentally-aware people. LBL knows you are out there and that there are many, many of you. She believes that you are even sicker about all this than she is. Her heart goes out to you.