What is Battleground Texas? My understanding is that it is a grassroots organization dedicated to turning Texas blue (like a Smurf) by making a sustained and dedicated effort over time. And Smurfs are cool, so no insult is intended here. It is only my strange sense of humor at work. If you don't know what "turning Texas blue" means, it means transforming Texas from a long-time Republican stronghold to a place that will elect Democrats, at the local, state, and national levels.
This is quite an undertaking, if you know anything about Texas politics. A lot of Texas Republicans are dubious that it will happen. A lot of them seem to be turning a blind eye to Battleground Texas, expecting it to fade away. This is foolhardy, in my little old opinion. And I know my opinion doesn't count for much.
But, this is the thing. Have you ever read the ancient work entitled "Art Of War" by Sun Tzu? I have not read the whole thing, but I have read several parts. And it seems to me that Battleground Texas is doing everything that Sun Tzu says should be done to achieve victory; and the Republicans are displaying all of what Mr. Tzu describes as the attributes of the Losers. Check it out for yourself, if you don't believe me.
As I have stated before, I am a Republican. My husband is a Non-Partisan, meaning he is not a member of any political party. I was a Non-Partisan for a while, but it was kind of boring. By not belonging to a political party, I felt quite left out of the Big Party that is American politics. And that was just depressing. My husband, though, is kind of a "political animal." He is very interested in politics, keeping himself quite informed. And well before the election of 2008, well before Mr. Obama became the Democratic Party's presidential candidate in that election, I had a discussion with my husband. I asserted that I believed Mr. Obama had not only a strong chance of winning the nomination, but he also had a very good chance of winning the Presidency. My husband strongly disagreed. He told me that Mr. Obama had very little political experience on the national level, and he didn't believe the Democrats would nominate him. He also asserted that even if the Democrats did give him the nomination, that the American people certainly wouldn't elect such a neophyte to be their president. I told my husband that, based on what I was hearing from ordinary people, I disagreed. I felt that if Mr. Obama campaigned in a smart way, in a way that focused on the needs and concerns of regular folks, that he could, indeed, win. And he did win, because of the type of campaign that he ran. A grassroots campaign. A focused and determined campaign. And the people who were in charge of his campaign (as well as his 2012 campaign) -- many of them, anyway -- are now running Battleground Texas.
You're in for an ass-whupping Texas Republicans, if you don't open your eyes.
And it will be well-deserved.
And I, even though I am a Republican myself, will be glad to see it happen. I think it will be a good thing for the Republican Party, for Texas, and for the nation.
(Now all the Republicans are heading to my house for a tar-and-feather party. So, excuse me while I go lock the doors and windows.)
Why do I think it will be a good thing? Because over the last many years, I have become a bit disturbed by my party. It is a party dedicated to smaller government, more efficient government, the idea of subsidiarity, the fostering of the spirit of personal responsibility, valuing personal autonomy and ingenuity. These are all good things. The Democrats also hold many of these things in high regard. But, I have witnessed that, since the early 1980's, the "religious right" has come to have a degree of influence in the Republican Party that I have grown to be uncomfortable with. And along with the influence of the views of these people, perhaps intertwined with them, have come many other extreme ideas that I don't believe are representative of the views of the majority of the American people. I have heard a lot of conservative rhetoric -- embraced by many Republicans -- that I find quite distressing. I have also witnessed actions by the Republicans that seem foolhardy, uncharitable, and out-of-touch with reality.
I will just give a few examples.
The Tea Party. It is my opinion that many of their ideas are not grounded in reality and, if actually enacted, would be disastrous. For instance, I have heard that some of the Tea Partiers believe we should abolish the Department of Education. The Department of Education has been quite helpful to many families, including my own. It has assisted us greatly in sending our kids to college, for example. I also don't think doing away with The Fed is any kind of a good idea. And giving out vouchers for people to buy health insurance in retirement seems like a fool's game to me. I could go on and on... I know we could argue back and forth for days over these things, but based on the research both my husband and I have done, these are my opinions. Basically, it seems that the Tea Party wants to return things to the way they were back in 1780, or so. And that is just not going to happen. And it shouldn't happen. Our country has grown and changed too much. So has the world.
SNAP. Or food assistance for the poor. No, I don't think we should cut it. That would be heartless.
And Texas in particular? What Governor Perry and his cohorts did regarding abortion was just ill-advised. They seemed like a bunch of cruel bullies. I don't like abortion. I wish there were no abortions. But, you don't just come in and pull the rug out from under women in that manner. Abortion is legal. That is the reality. If you want to reduce it, do it in a manner that is respectful of the intelligence and dignity of women. Do it in a way that will give rise to cooperation between people of differing viewpoints. Do it in a way that is thoughtful and charitable and will foster trust between people. Dear Republicans, it just seemed like all you were doing was trying to impress each other with your conservativeness. And combined with your actions regarding medicaid and your views on other social safety net issues, you just came across as heartless. The results? A LOT of angry women. Smart, angry women. And a shitload of ammo for Battleground Texas to use against you.
These are just a few examples of things that some or many of those in the Republican party have endorsed or done that disturb me. I have also been distressed at hearing Republicans complain about people who "depend" on the government without wanting to be independent. I have witnessed first-hand how difficult it is for many people to achieve economic independence in today's world, even though they truly hope to. I have been disappointed that many Republicans fight meaningful gun control. I have been disturbed at the lack of a charitable attitude towards illegal immigrants. I also think the Republicans need to allow for higher taxes on very wealthy people, without giving those wealthy people "legal dodges" so that they can avoid paying those taxes. And I get very, very disturbed when Republicans say and do many of these things while acting as though God is on their side. I also do not like it at all when certain groups of people are marginalized by the Republican Party, especially when those groups of people don't conform to the religious ideas of many in that party. I recall that, not so long ago, many conservatives in government wanted to marginalize Catholics. And there are probably some states where that is still the sentiment. So, when I hear that someone in the GOP (I believe it was in Texas) expressed the view that the Republicans in that state don't really want black people to vote, I get kinda miffed.
So, this is why I am rooting for Battleground Texas. The Republican Party in that state -- and on a national level -- needs to be shaken up and renewed. And that may mean that a little ass-whupping is in order.