Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wendy Davis Is Running For Governor Of Texas

...and I am glad.

I am a Republican and she is a Democrat, so there are things we probably don't agree on, but I think she's pretty cool.  And she seems like a very good woman, a very strong woman, a very intelligent woman.

Wendy Davis is one month and six days younger than I am, so that makes me automatically a bit sympathetic to her.  We grew from girlhood to womanhood during the same times, seeing the same things happen in our country -- although, from very different places.  I've always lived in California, after all.  And I've come to see that being a Republican in California is a very different thing than being a Republican in Texas.  Actually, if I were raised in Texas, I don't think I'd be a Republican.  For example, the other day, I was reading about the "theology" of Ted Cruz's father.  Not to be disrespectful, but that's some pretty scary shit.  And learning about the peculiarities of Texas politics makes me quite a bit more sympathetic to Wendy and her allies, even if I am not perfectly in line with each and every one of their positions.

Why do I admire Wendy as person?  She's had to overcome quite a bit of adversity to get to where she is today.  She married very young and had a baby.  After divorcing -- also at a very young age -- she both took care of her child and worked extremely hard to put herself through school, earning solid grades through Harvard Law.  And she's had a very distinguished and successful career.  If I had tried to do all of the things Wendy has done, I would have collapsed from exhaustion. In fact, I am quite sure that if I married and had a child as a teenager, I would never have graduated from any type of law school, especially Harvard.  I would have been fortunate to earn my paralegal certification (which Wendy did before earning her undergraduate degree).  And if I had managed to become a paralegal, most likely that is what I would have remained for the rest of my working life.  There is no way I would have even dared to dream of becoming a lawyer.  So, being that Wendy and I are the same age, I can easily put myself in her young shoes, and imagine what I would have done had I been in them.  I would also like to point out -- although, it will matter naught to some -- that Wendy had her first baby as a teenager in a day and age when "choice" was a legal option.  And you can see what choice she made and what she did with that choice.  I wish I could say for certain that I would have made the same choice as she did.  But, looking honestly at my 18-year-old self and my 18-year-old relationship with my parents, I'm not sure I can say that.  So, I admire the strength that it took for Wendy to make the choice that she made.  She also seems to have a lovely relationship with her daughters.  This relationship has the potential to be a very good example for other women in Texas -- women of all ages -- as they look to Wendy for leadership.  Because what will encourage women to make positive and responsible choices, more than anything else?  I believe it is having a positive woman to emulate -- a woman who is not preachy or judgmental, a woman who respects the personal autonomy of others, a woman who has most clearly taken responsibility for her own life.  As I look, therefore, at the strength and courage Wendy has shown in living her life, I am inspired to have some confidence in her as she runs for governor of Texas.

I also believe that Wendy truly believes in lifting up those who have been dealt a poorer hand in life.  I think that, if she were governor, she would work to establish a stronger social safety net in Texas.  And that's a good thing, in my book.  

There is a group called Battleground Texas which is backing Wendy Davis in her run for governor.  Yes, they are the "Obama" people, which makes them the "bad guys" to many.  I like them, though.  I see their pictures on their website and it's hard not to like their young, open, happy, hopeful faces.  It's hard to imagine them leading some sort of "evil conspiracy to undermine our government" -- something of which some might accuse them.  And one thing I like about them is how they are driving all around Texas registering people to vote -- including many minority voters and many who have never voted before.  (Yes.  This is all part of the "evil conspiracy" according to some media pundits.)  I don't think it is evil, though.  I think it is awesome.  I think it will be a wonderful thing when Texas has a voter turnout that is more representative of its population.  And, after all, the Battleground Texas people don't know for sure how all these new voters will be voting.  But, to me, they're doing what should be done in a political system like ours. They are trying to build a government that is truly by, of, and for the people.

I was listening to somebody the other day who kind of objects to Battleground Texas and all of its aggressive voter registration drives.  This individual was saying, basically, "Why should we try so hard to register people to vote, if they don't take the initiative to do so themselves?"  This individual is also -- at least a little bit -- of the mindset that it is better if the more "well-educated" people do at least most of the voting.  Now, this person's opinion isn't born of prejudice, mind you, but out of the idea that the more "well-educated" people are more well-informed, making them more qualified to vote.  I, on the other hand, think it's a great thing when everybody who is qualified to vote, does vote.  (I guess this makes me a Radical Progressive, deceptively disguised as a Catholic Republican lady.)  I also think that it is possible to enable most, if not all, of these potential voters to become informed voters.  So, dear fellow Republicans, I have this to say to you.  Instead of whining about Battleground Texas and its ways, start informing all these new voters.  Let them know why they should vote for you.  Be fair, now.  Run clean campaigns.  Run honorable campaigns.  Because, if you truly believe your ways are the best for the people, take your arguments and reasoning to the voters -- ALL of them.  You should have nothing to fear.

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