Forget any polls you read on Texas. I believe Texas will be a Blue State after the 2018 midterm elections. I did not say purple. I meant Blue; and here is why it will occur.
I live in the most Conservative suburbs, likely, in the country. I am at Starbucks virtually every day for hours reading, writing, and blogging. Most of my friends in this part of town are Conservative and Trumpsters. The Conservatives have not stopped labeling themselves Conservatives. The Trumpsters remain Trumpsters. What has changed is their willingness to entertain my far left ideas as plausible even as they declare themselves unchanged.
One may say, well, if they claim their values are unchanged, what makes one believe that a change is occurring? The fact that they are entertaining Progressive tenets is an acknowledgment that they are seeing the principles of their current politicians as at best suspect. It means some of those folks will peel off from their party, not all but some. That along with Texas’ demographic change will do it. My gut tells me not even this gerrymandered state can escape what is to come if Progressives instead of trying to be Republican-lite, tell Texans what they will do for them materially and how.
I wrote a piece that suggested how Progressives could make their message as simple and easy to understand as Republicans do all of the times successfully in Texas and throughout the nation. The entire article is worth a read but here is the core.
While Democrats start coasting to “victory,” the Republicans, flush in cash, will shortly begin to define each Democratic candidate. That definition will stick if Democrats do not preempt it by doing two things. Republicans are good at what they do. We all know that the truth is not the necessary source material for them. Progressives must define their opponents first so that it is them who are on the defensive. Then, tell poor and middle-class America in a district-specific manner, what is in it for them. It must be clear to them what they expect out of voting for Democrats.
- Democrats will fix the health care issue once and for all with a single-payer Medicare for All system.
- Democrats will provide student loan relief.
- Democrats will provide need-based subsidized child care for anyone who wants to work.
- Democrats will decriminalize marijuana and treat drug use as the disease that it is.
- Democrats will make the criminal justice system live up to the “Justice is Blind” motto.
Those five bullet points expressed in different terms will work in every district in America. It appeals to millennials, people of color, all working class people, parents, and every demographic in between. Most importantly these bullet points afford Americans a path to self-sufficiency It frees them from aberrations in the economy that stunts innovation, the inability to start one’s business, and the dependency and the enslavement to the corporation. One would hope that every Democrat who gets on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, HLN, or any other network would steer every topic to these bullet points.
An interview in the Nation should bring it home. Jon Wiener interviewed Pulitzer winning author of The Looming Tower & Going Clear and New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright. He was born in Dallas but now lives in Austin. He said the following in the interview.
It will happen for several reasons. One is that all the cities are blue, and that’s where growth is happening, and a lot of the growth is minority growth. The other reason is that Texans are already far more progressive than our elected representatives. For instance, most Texans want to have undocumented migrants be given citizenship or some kind of green card or something like that that would protect them. Responsible gun ownership: a lot of Texans don’t quarrel with that. But if you listen to our political figures, you would never know that they represent a people that have different opinions.
The other thing is the Republican Party in Texas—I think they have taken an overdose of some kind of hallucinogen that makes them think that they’re living in another future. The Anglo population is diminishing in terms of its presence and influence and it is almost an entirely Anglo party and they’ve been antagonizing Hispanics for a long time, most recently with the sanctuary cities bill. The particular feature of that is the show me your papers provision, which stigmatizes every Hispanic differently from any other Texans. Then there’s the intolerance towards homosexuals, the opposition to gay marriage. Recently, just a couple of weeks ago, we had the state Republican convention, and they refused to allow a booth to the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay Republicans. Well, what statement are they trying to make? They are so backward looking, they’re so hostile to public education, and they’re so focused on socially conservative issues like that bathroom bill that they tried to force through. Those are not winning propositions for a future party. They will become losing propositions when people in Texas go vote. We’re always at the bottom, or right next to it, in voter turnout. When that changes, Texas will turn blue very quickly.
I think the voter turnout model will change in Texas this year if Progressives make the case. Organization and mobilization have begun. I am starting to get excited about Texas more than for the rest of the country because all the necessary factors are already here.