Is This Really Necessary, Texas Democrats?

Scott Threlkeld/The Advocate via AP

Democrats keep trying to turn Texas into a purple state, and if you look at the election results from 2018, you can see why they thought they had an outside shot. Ted Cruz squeaked by against Beto O'Rourke that year.

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However, more recent elections have looked pretty bad for Democrats, and it's pretty safe to predict that Cruz will cruise to victory and Trump's campaign message will trump Biden's.

Democrats had counted on demographics helping them out--Hispanics have been gaining in numbers, and they had traditionally been in the Democrat's electoral column. There are now more Hispanics in the state than non-Hispanic Whites, and they make up an absolute majority of younger Texans

Yet, if anything, Texas is getting Redder, not Bluer. 

What's happening?

Well, I am no expert in Texas politics, but a couple of things stand out: first, it turns out that Hispanics are not exactly huge fans of illegal immigration, contra Democrat assumptions to the contrary, and then there is this:

Democrats have veered extremely far Left when it comes to social issues, and there is precious little evidence that this leftward lurch appeals to people outside the overeducated and dissolute demographic that the Affluent White Liberal Female, or AWFL, most exemplifies. 

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These videos come from this weekend's Texas Democrat convention, in which the Party is putting forth its preferred image upon which it chooses to be judged as a political party. 

I am probably not the only person to have noticed that a state political party pushing drag for kids, sterilizing and mutilating children, and backing Hamas is unlikely to appeal strongly to working-class people who are feeling an economic pinch. 

It's an odd set of priorities at any time, but particularly in an environment where ordinary people are practically screaming that they are unhappy with the Democrats right now. 

No doubt people in Austin are thrilled that the Democrats are fighting the "civil rights issue of our time," but once you get outside the wealthiest (and one of the Whitest) cities in Texas, the appeal likely drops off precipitously. Austin is home of both the Texas state government (government employees being liberal) and the University of Texas, Austin (which is even more liberal), so you shouldn't be surprised to find that the city is very liberal compared to the rest of the state. 

And you shouldn't be surprised if economic concerns are not quite so high on the list of things voters care about. It's good to work for the government or academia. 

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Still, pulling out a drag queen to promote Palestine, transing kids, and sexualized performances for children is something a smart political party wouldn't do, even if those issues matter deeply to the party members in private. That the Democrats did this tells you how far removed they are from the concerns of ordinary Texans. 

Of course, this is the party that chose a gun control advocate as their gubernatorial candidate in the last election. Beto O'Rourke came within spitting distance of Ted Cruz in 2018; in 2022, when he ran against Abbott, he lost by 11 points. 

The realignment of the political parties continues apace. Democrats are pushing into their "party of the elite" pitch, while Republicans are the "party of the working man." It is an inversion from the impression people had in previous times. 

Democrats still push unions, of course, but their union base is government workers, teachers, and the SEIU. They make noises about the Trades, but what tradesman takes his kids to Drag Queen Story Hour? 

You don't have to obsess about DQSH to see that pushing this as a premier issue makes no political sense. Even people who are largely indifferent to the movement can see that Democrats care far too deeply about Queer issues and not enough about bread-and-butter ones. 

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Are Queer concerns the "human rights issue of our time?" If you think so, you live in a bubble. The same bubble where defunding the police is a good idea and giving Israel to Hamas makes sense. 

Times change, political parties evolve, and any party that remains in power too long becomes spent. So, it would be wrong to assume that Republicans have a lock on Texas forever or even to believe that it would be healthy if it did. 

But as long as Democrats lead with performances like this, it makes sense to bet against a Democrat revival in the near term. 

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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024
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