The enthusiasm of voters on the left is undeniable in this mid-term election year. With calls for his impeachment even before he took the oath of office, President Trump has energized his detractors like no other in recent times, even more so than President Obama did among conservative voters. Obama produced the Tea Party revolt yet that has now essentially fizzled out.
I live in a state known for being reliably conservative, a very red state. Texans love freedom, guns, and God, not necessarily in that order. Now, however, with marked enthusiasm and increased voting activity on the left, Texas Republicans and conservative voters should be paying attention. Democrats have been patiently and meticulously building infrastructure to grow the party and get out the vote. For many years, Democrats stayed home because there seemed to be no hope of sweeping Democrat victories. Leading the pack is Battleground Texas, formed in 2013 by a former Obama political operative. I attended their first organizing meeting held here in Houston at a local electricians’ union hall, out of curiosity. Also, I firmly believe that we must know what the other side is up to in order to win elections. They were remarkably well-organized for a start-up group.
Voter registration is a central part of their operations. During the March for Our Lives events Saturday, this jumped out at me again. Several cities throughout the state held rallies and marches and all of them used their regional directors to promote their voter registration efforts on social media. Here is a sample tweet from the regional director in Dallas which includes a selfie with a Hollywood actress. Score!
— Terry Bermea (@terrybermea) March 24, 2018
If you watch ABC’s hit show Scandal you will recognize Bellamy Young as a lead actor in that show. She plays the president on that show. A little on the nose, but ok. It’s a political movement. There were few reports of counter-protests and only one I’ve seen from Texas. A two-person counter-protest was mentioned by a reporter in Fort Worth, a quite conservative piece of Texas. Only two people showed up?
Fort Worth Police have formed a protective circle around 2 counter protesters using a microphone to disrupt the city’s #MarchForOurLives event which is about to get underway pic.twitter.com/hlRDEBp0jZ
— J.D. Miles (@jdmiles11) March 24, 2018
So, with little pushback even from Texas gun owners and Second Amendment supporters, is it any wonder the gun-grabbing party would be out rounding up potential voters? Let me remind you that I live in Houston, our nation’s fourth-largest city. It, like most large cities, is a Democrat-controlled city but Harris County is the country’s third largest county and up until now has remained Republican-controlled. As Harris County goes, so goes Texas. If Texas goes back to the Democrats, Republicans will lose any hopes of the White House. Sadly, too many Republicans are sticking their heads in the sand and remaining complacent.
The mid-term elections provide a way of measuring projected Republican victories in November. I live in a very conservative part of town, not in a suburb but in Houston city limits, and even the primary voter turn-out (typically low) provides cause for concern. In the largest precinct in my area, and in the county, the Democrat turn-out was up a whopping 450% from 2014. That is an astounding number. Republican turnout in the precinct was actually down by 20% from 2014, probably due to shifts in residency due to Hurricane Harvey. This is part of Congressman John Culberson’s district. His district has been targeted by the DCCC.
As the kids say, I got woke this time last year as I attended a town hall with Congressman Culberson. The event was held at a school auditorium and was limited to residents in the district. The crowd was standing room only and lots of folks were turned away because of fire code limits. I videoed it on my iPhone and put it on my Facebook page. (Apologies for the quality of the recording.) I did that because of the unusualness of it. I’ve been to Culberson town halls before but usually, the only hostile questioners were other Republicans upset on his voting record. This town hall was filled with Democrats and Independents with very few Republicans present. It was loud and explosive, to make an understatement. I sat in the audience that day with a long time GOP consultant and her husband and all of us were shocked. That was the day I truly became concerned about Harris County’s political direction.
This is just my story about the current political climate. These rallies that erupt because of current events are part of our reality and conservatives have to step up their game to counter those with different political philosophy. The other side is organized and motivated.