Republicans Sweep Texas!
On election night, Texas saw three liberal congressmen defeated by their more mainstream (by Texas standards) opponents! Obviously this overshadowed the major gains in the Texas House of Representatives which were far more impressive. While the national election was definitely a referendum on liberal policies and a 2nd chance for the GOP, the results in Texas were clearly a mandate in support of a more conservative Legislature , which could spell trouble for Texas House Speaker Joe Straus.
A net gain of 12 seats in the Texas House was seen as a ceiling for the Texas GOP until election night when an unprecedented 22 new Republicans were elected to the Texas House of Representatives! If this isn’t a mandate for conservatives and a sign that the Democratic Party in Texas is more than out of touch, then I don’t know what it will take them to see this. Every year Democrats say that this is the year that Texas becomes “purple” and/or makes the jump towards being a “blue” state.
Fortunately Texans are smarter than that. We don’t really care what elitists in Washington think of us. We Texans do things our own way and it has definitely worked well for our state. On election night, Texans gave conservative Republicans a very clear mandate to bring some common sense to our House. For the past two cycles, the Texas House has been closely divided and during the last session it seemed like Democrats were actually running the place.
While I have a great amount of respect for Speaker Straus (after all, I realize it must have been impossible to legislate with 74 Democrats obstructing everything during the last session), I think his time has come and gone. Joe Straus was able to get the Legislature through the last session, but now its time that we get some real work done!
First off, we’re going to have to find a Speaker who will not try so hard to placate Texas Democrats. That’s obviously not what Texans want. I think we should look for someone who is not only a conservative, but a pragmatist who will be able to tackle a wide range of issues in a short legislative session. I can’t tell you who that person is, but with such a large majority, I’m sure that there must be someone who will not compromise our values while being able to do what is right for Texas.
Then we can get down to some real business, and there will be a lot to get done this next session here in Texas. To begin with, we’re going to have to find a way to balance our budget and then move on to redistricting. I’m confident that with such a large Republican majority Texas will have a balanced budget relatively quickly and redistricting will not be as big of a battle as it was ten years ago. This time we’ve got so much more to gain during redistricting, probably three or four congressional seats, actually.
In addition, it’s about time our Legislature finally gets a Voter ID bill passed in order to protect the integrity of our voting system. Despite the smears from the left that this is an attempt to suppress voters, the fact remains that there are questionable voting practices all across the state which are not fair to anyone. We deserve the will of the people. We just need to make sure that our will is determined in a fair and dependable way!
Aside from these issues, there are a slew of issues that will be discussed before the next legislative session even begins. It is our responsibility to hold the new legislature’s feet to the fire, and I surely intend to do so over the next few months! Though most people my age don’t vote, we definitely have our opinions and I will be sure to do my best to offer some insight on issues that are important to me and are sure to be contentious such as improving education, immigration, and protecting the dignity of life.