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Photo by Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue

I was gobsmacked recently by a survey that says Americans believe the GOP is best at the economy, national security, and fighting crime. Huh? Who are these pollsters calling? People with landlines who stopped paying attention back in the ’90s? People who answer spam calls hoping to get a good deal on pillows or toasters? Today’s Republican Party ain’t your meemaw’s GOP.

Permit me to introduce you to today’s Republican jefe, the twice-impeached, quadruple-indicted Donald Trump, who believes war heroes are “losers” and was the worst jobs president since Herbert Hoover. In the United States of Amnesia, evidently too many have forgotten what an endless shitshow his administration was, especially its crowning achievement — the loser sending in his goons on January 6 to stop Congress from doing its constitutional duty. So much for being tough on crime.

In Washington, we just saw Republicans play pin the tail on the speaker for three chaotic weeks before selecting a Trump-endorsed nobody who believes the orange stain has been chosen by God. The situation is almost identical in Austin, where the House and Senate are fighting each other, so in both capitals, Republicans and chaos go together like huevos y chorizo.

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After almost 30 years of Republican dominance in Texas, basic governance is no longer in their skill set. Examples abound. CPS (Child Protective Services) has been trapped in endless scandal for years — putting children in unlicensed facilities, relying too frequently on psychotropic drugs, and not informing kids how to report abuse and neglect. As recently as June, U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack “berated Texas officials for how the state regulates facilities housing foster kids,” the Texas Tribune says.

Our prison system practices cruel and unusual punishment by not providing air conditioning in this hotter-than-hell state. Only about 30% of our prisons have full air conditioning. The rest have partial or none. Unsurprisingly, it’s led to many deaths. This past summer’s heatwave killed 41. Also, “more than 500 prisoners in Texas … have been in isolation for 10 years or more — by far the largest number” in the United States, The Guardian says. The UN and I would call that torture.

But nowhere is Republicans’ indifference to governing more apparent than in its treatment of education. Higher ed has been hurt by the legislature’s latest right-wing fixation on DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion). University of Houston’s chancellor noted that since a ban on DEI went into effect, “recruiting faculty has been tougher.” Not only has it been hard to hire new professors, but it’s also made retaining them difficult. According to a poll by The Texas Tribune, a quarter of the 1,900 Texas professors surveyed plan on looking out of state for work because of Republican political interference. What this means is that a group of anti-woke lawmakers, who would never be invited to a zombie buffet, are recklessly causing a brain drain in Texas that will harm our economy.

This past year, as usual, our legislature did everything to help the well to do — dishing out tax cuts for big business and wealthy property owners — but nothing to aid public education. In fact, by imposing the unfunded mandate of security guards in every school, all districts were hurt. And now Gov. Greg Abbott has promised to pass vouchers, even if he has to hold the legislature hostage in Austin until he gets it, but by siphoning off public funds so the wealthy can afford even ritzier private/Christian schools, public education will be crippled even further. Texas public schools are being set up for failure.

And tough luck if you want a change from the GOP’s unique blend of incompetence and cruelty. To Republicans, democracy is a four-letter word. Under them, Texas has become a laboratory for autocracy. Our corporate overlords are now completely in charge, not the people. Republicans have gerrymandered districts in favor of red incumbents and have changed the rules to make it harder for the poor to cast a ballot. And now the legislature can overturn democratically decided elections in Harris County for no other reason than it’s the most populous blue county in the state.

Like their favorite president, Republicans hate democracy because they know their issues are unpopular. A recent survey found that 60% of Texans disagree with our abortion ban. Of course, nothing better says “screw democracy” than Texas’ Death Star bill. Aimed at blue cities, where most Texans live, it’s designed to prevent the citizens there from getting what they voted for.

As a shot of espresso has only one job — keeping your drooping eyes open — political parties, when in power, have only one necessary task: governing. Texas Republicans have dependably flunked that test for years. Well-meaning friends tell me that I, a fifth-generation Texan, should skedaddle. No way, because that would deprive me of the pure pleasure that will fill my soul when these corrupt Trump-loving hucksters finally get their long-deserved comeuppance.

 

Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue is one native Texan who refuses to be run off by corrupt, self-serving politicians.

 

This column reflects the opinions and fact-gathering of the author and not the Fort Worth Weekly. To submit a column, please email Editor Anthony Mariani at Anthony@FWWeekly.com. He will gently edit it for clarity and concision.

1 COMMENT

  1. This article is further proof of leftist lunacy. GOP can’t govern?????? I guess you haven’t been keeping up with the disaster the dimocratic party is everywhere it governs. From states (Kalifornia, New York, etc), big cities (Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc.) to our federal government. Sky rocketing inflation, a national security issue with our porous border, the handling defunding of police, decriminalizing former felony crimes which have now led to sky rocketing crime in cities that did so. And I won’t even get into Biden’s graft with his son or the insanity of letting kids have sex change operations. And you have the balls to write that the repubs can’t govern??? It would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad. And I could sadly go on, I’m just tired of writing about leftist disasters. You psychotics need to step back and try and find reality.

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