Joe Strauss and Conservative Texans face a fight from within
Posted July 15
Austin — Ahead of this legislative special session in Texas, Speaker Joe Strauss (R-San Antonio) is catching flack from many within his own political party. The flack comes from not what he has done, as much as from what he feels is best for Texas. The way he sees things is not far off from how a majority of Texans see the future of their state.
Strauss is a long time face in Texas politics and had often proved the voice of reason in a Legislature that seems to always act more like a circus that a governing body. His voice today seems no different today than it always has been.
Since even before the Texas legislature began their work in January, Strauss had maintained that what he wants is an economically stable Texas that holds a clear and bright future. Strauss seems to be aiming at a state that welcomes all, for the benefit of all. But in a world of the tea-party and evangelical activism making attempts to redefine the conservative platform, Texans like Joe Strauss may have a long fight on their hands.
With leaders like Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick at the helm, Texans with voices similar to Strauss's find themselves more and more muted.
Abbott and Patrick relied heavily on evangelical Christian voters to get them elected. The tactic is no different than liberal Democrats using radical sects of their own to hang on to their seats in a state that is so unequally divided.
Where Democrats use tactics such as political oppression and racial profiling to scare voters, Tea Party Republicans use similar tactics to scare voters into believing there is a major problem with transgender individuals using the restroom of their choice and undocumented workers committing major crimes in their own backyards. But reasonable politicians like Strauss, who seem to be carrying the flag for most Texans, are being attacked even within their own party over the highly divided lines that make up the state.
In communities like Burnet, Texas the lines are not so obvious and are not clearly visiable in the sand. People here are generally hard-line conservatives who are Trump loyalists to no end. But, just down the road in places such as Horseshoe Bay and Marble Falls, the lines fall more towards Strauss and the idea that economic security means more than social matters.
The voice of reason that Strauss carries is a voice of most Republicans within the state, but as the special session approaches this week, the vast majority of Texas is left holding the bag as hard-line liberals face off against hard line tea party conservatives in the upcoming special session. Time will tell how history defines the conservative agenda and if Texans like Strauss will be able to maintain a secure and stable future for years to come.