Texas Republicans Embrace Big Government to Subvert Liberal Cities
Texas GOP Latest To Take Aim At Liberal Cities With Regressive PreEmpting Bills
State legislatures around the country are seeking to subvert local laws and ordinances in the name of “small” government.
Texas, for all its legendary cowboy poets and Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits, is home to a remarkably unfree political system. The state legislature, long in Republican hands, is necessarily composed of the independently wealthy. Offering a meager salary of $7,200 per year, a job in the Capitol is untenable for the average citizen—a perversion of democracy which allows backscratching and special interests to flourish. There can be no true representation of the state’s voluminous underclass.
Yet what concerns my Republican friends most of all is freedom and small government. The trouble is convincing them that the Republicans offer neither. Consider the spate of preemption bills to land on Governor Gregg Abbot’s desk this upcoming special session. These bills, part of a national trend in Republican-controlled legislatures, intend to predict and subvert laws and ordinances within liberal-leaning cities. Small government, indeed.
“Part of it is motivated by our urban communities that are very blue and Democratic and have different ideas about the environment and workers rights,” said Rep. Gina Hinojosa, speaking with a reporter from The Hill. “I think it’s just offensive to Republican leaders.” Hinojosa, a Democrat, represents much of downtown Austin—perhaps the state’s most liberal region.
The most controversial preemption law to be considered will also be the state’s most financially costly if enacted: the bathroom bill—intrusive legislation which would necessitate the examination of an offender’s genitalia should he or she be born with the wrong set (a consistent phenomenon throughout human history and only recently understood in hard scientific terms). I need not elaborate on the public relations disaster a similar bill caused in the Kingdom of North Carolina.
Abbot justifies the undemocratic and transparently big government preemptive legislation thusly:
“What we’ve seen in Texas is a growing rise of actions at the local level that infringe upon people’s liberty. And just like I fought back against the federal government that was infringing on people’s liberty, I’ll fight back against federal, state or any government that infringes upon people’s liberty.”
What Abbot sees, at the local level, is democracy. The will of the people in action, uninhibited by the whims of a rural populace with an entirely different way of life. The tree, I like to say, should have finished the job. In the name of liberty for all, that is.
Related: Texas Governor Signs HB 3859 Bill, Allowing Religious Groups to Discriminate Against Foster Kids
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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