As Texas Goes…How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda by Gail Collins
When you move from California to Texas, you get a lot of questions. WHY? being number one.
Since I’ve been here, I’ve learned to really appreciate the Texas way of life. People are incredibly friendly, beer is cheap, two-stepping happens all the time…it’s great. But I’m buffered by the cozy, liberal weirdness of Austin. When I’m reminded of the way that this state is run politically, I get all angry and huffy.
Texas relies on abstinence only sex ed. The birth rate, including teenagers giving birth, is through the roof.
Because Texas is such a huge buyer of textbooks, textbook companies have to tell history in a way that the Texan government approves (California is one of the only states that gets its own lefty hippie textbooks, so I missed out on this as a kid. Bummer.).
Texas has some of the highest rates of uninsured folks, and Texas makes it incredibly easy for businesses to opt out of providing any sort of insurance or worker’s comp to their employees.
“No Child Left Behind” was based on the Texas education system…that’s failing when kids are asked anything that isn’t on the test.
Collins argues that as such groups as the Tea Party gains strength, the USA is looking to Texas for inspiration. The philosophy of low government involvement (never mind that Texas had ample government help through the years with things like infrastructure and lighting and whatnot. You know. Little things that make it possible to even be around) spreads quickly. And Texas is at the epicenter of it all.
Basically, Texas loves businesses, hates people, and is kind of a pain in the ass, to oversimplify. At the same time, it’s brassy, charismatic and ornery. Yeah. I’m going to have a complicated relationship with this state. I just hope I don’t get hurt or pregnant while living here. That’s just terrifying.
Oh, and the Alamo is so, so, so important. I knew that already though.
(PS: This post was written after accidentally mixing cold medicine and a glass of wine. Everything is wonderful right now, but this post may not make sense. Apologies.)