Sunday, December 9, 2012

Notes From a Small Town Republican Meeting in Texas Shortly after the 2012 Election

A few days after the election in November, I went to the local county Republican meeting. It was a small town gathering near Austin Texas, just far enough outside of Austin to qualify as a representative small town in rural Texas. Here is a description of what I observed that night. My intention is not to poke fun at anyone in a mean spirited way, but to try to present some honest observations. I can’t claim to be completely successful at all times, but I tried.

There was a real sense of gloom in the discussion before the meeting. Paraphrasing typical comments:

"I've lived through bad presidents and bad congresses, but I've never seen anything as bad as this. I don't know how we're going to get through these next 4 years."

“It's going to take millions of people learning hard lessons from the mistake they've made.”

“We need to be more conservative in these tough times”

“We lost because there were obviously there are more takers than producers.”

“We lost some local races because liberal PACs outspent us 10:1”

They saw this election as a “mistake” that can eventually be corrected and then things will return to normal. Nobody suggested that it was as a signal of some sort of permanent change. Interestingly Romney's name was not mentioned once. Republican/ Democrats were only rarely mentioned. It was all about the battle between liberals and conservatives. I also observed that the term "conservative" seemed to have evolve from defining a collection of political views, into something that was roughly synonymous with righteousness and strength of moral character. In such a view, there was no such thing as a balanced conservatism - being more conservative was ALWAYS better.

The meeting was opened in the usual way with a prayer, pledge to the American flag, followed by a pledge to the Texas flag. A local Republican county commissioner then gave a report on various local county issues: roads, taxes, emergency preparedness plans, and of course water issues. He came across as very experienced and knowledgeable, and motivated by a desire to do what’s best for the county without a hint of partisan politics appearing in his talk.

The Republican Texas State Representative from that area then gave his view on issues and priorities for the coming state congressional session. He supported what I found to be an interesting mix of ideas:

  • Clamping down on immigration
  • Tort reform - "looser pays" legislation
  • Drug testing for welfare recipients
  • Our schools needing more focus on vocational training and less on standardized testing. Vocational classes have been canceled over the need to focus too much time and funds on test preparation.
  • Addressing our long term water needs. This includes building more reservoirs, as well as investigating “aquifer storage”, which involves pumping water back down into underground aquifers. It turns out that the city of Austin looses more water from evaporation from its reservoirs than the city actually uses. (This idea was new for me, and quite interesting)
  • Improving our transportation infrastructure
  • He also supported legislation to give people rights to carry guns on school grounds, including grade schools and high schools. This would only apply to adults with gun permits. His explanation was that churches sometimes worship at schools on weekends, and people need the right to defend themselves during church services because Christians are being increasingly persecuted.
The meeting then ended with a long lecture on socialism. The speaker was very sincere and gave a very well prepared talk. He had apparently migrated to the U.S. from an eastern European country when he was young. (This is where it becomes difficult for me to remain completely objective and avoid giving a biased and perhaps somewhat sarcastic view based on the selection of key points that I chose to include. I will say I found the talk entertaining. )

The Threat of Socialism:

  • Capitalism is clearly based on Christian principles
  • Socialism is the government control over means of production. The most socialistic agency in our current government is the EPA.
Here are the plans being used to introduce socialism into our society
  • First corrupt our culture, starting at the universities
  • Then the press and entertainment
  • Finally destroy Christianity though liberal teachers at seminaries
Howard Zinn was singled out as being one of the most corrupting influences around because his books are corrupting US history. He is teaching our children that the U.S. did bad things at times, reducing the pride we have in our nation. This is a major problem, because it's very important for citizens to maintain their pride in America.

The real goal of the Obama administration is a “one world government” that takes away our guns.

The main groups working for socialism include: civil rights groups, feminists, the gay pride movement, environmentalists,liberal churches, organized labor, esp. the AFL-CIO, the far left radical liberals including Obama and Hillary, and of course the National Education Association.

The end result of socialism in Europe is the Muslims moving in and establishing sharia law. That's our future too, and George Soros is funding this. We may say that couldn't happen here, but they said the same thing in Europe, and it's happening now.

(End of lecture)

I don’t know to what extent the audience agreed with everything the speaker said, but they did give him a standing ovation after his talk.

A final observation: In my estimation these are not tea party people. They are run-of-the-mill mainstream small town Republicans. I've been to Texas tea party meeting. The Texas tea party folks despise the type of mainstream establishment Republican Party members gathered here for being too moderate in their views and actions.