There are times when I am convinced that if we actually were able to recover a live species of homo neanderthalensis, with their smaller brains, that they would come across as Einsteins when matched up to some contemporary Texans today.
There was a time when I was proud to be a citizen of the Lone Star State. It has a dynamic history and a lot of great people have hailed from Texas, including Sam Houston, Buddy Holly and Sandra Day O’Connor. At age eleven I formed a Texas Braggart club from a kit I bought at the local five & dime store. I was the President and my friend Raul Ramirez was the V.P. It lasted about 3-months before disinterest set in and the failure to recruit new members or collect any dues could be secured to sustain us.
John Connally was running for governor of Texas as a Democrat but would change stripes in 1973, a few months after giving the eulogy at LBJ’s funeral. Liberal Senator Ralph Yarborough lost his bid for re-election in the 1970 Democratic primary to the more moderate Lloyd Bentsen. In 1979 William P. Clements became the first Republican governor of the state of Texas.
Following a scandal involving a slush fund for paying SMU football players Clements decided not to run again, paving the way for Ann Richards, a sensible progressive, to eek out a victory against an acerbic multi-millionaire Republican candidate, Clayton Williams. But the writing was on the wall for progressives and the Texas Democratic Party by 1994. Richards lost her re-election bid to George W. Bush and the prospects of ever seeing a progressive or even a moderate hold that office again were clearly not in the foreseeable future.
It was at this point in time that a migration of political and religious extremists started flooding into the state from so-called liberal bastions like California, Massachusetts and New York, and in association with the native-born wing nuts, we have seen a dramatic dumbing down of the state. Texas has since become the butt of many jokes and any pride I may still hold for it is quickly diminished by the eye-rolling I experience from people who reside beyond the opposite sides of the Rio Grande, Sabine and Red rivers.
This herd of fundamentalistic John Birchers have assimilated themselves into the state GOP changing the character of that Party where many now think Attila the Hun was a RINO. Since taking control of both state legislative houses and the governor’s mansion, these people have managed to prevent the state from rising above its sub par level of academic mediocrity over the last two decades.
No better evidence of this exists than when the Texas GOP stated in their 2012 platform their opposition to critical thinking for fear it might reveal some of the flaws in the backward thinking that these people practice.
Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority. SOURCE
Is it any wonder then that Texas ranks 50th among the states in the percentage of its population 25 or older with a high school diploma. Why bother? It doesn’t take a high school education to fill all of the minimum wage jobs Governor Perry has bragged about bringing to Texas.
This dumbing down of citizens in the state of Texas has been apparent for quite some time now. It was becoming clear as the nation and the world watched with astonishment as the man from Crawford, Texas who occupied the oval office at the time invaded Iraq after creating the largest deficit to date by draining the budget surplus to give taxes to the wealthiest Americans. It would become crystalized however following the actions of the Texas State Board of Education.
In 2010 some of the troglodytes on that commission wanted to make some changes in Texas school books that demoted the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, while elevating the sociopath of the 1950’s “Red Scare” era, Joseph McCarthy. Texas was sending strong signals to the world that stupidity was in vogue.
This low-brow thinking is not taking any holidays either. In fact, it appears to be a badge of honor by conservative office holders. Just recently the U.S. Senate voted on renewing the 1994 Violence Against Woman’s Act (VAWA) and it passed, despite the fact that 22 Republican men voted against it. It will come as no surprise to learn that two of those men made up the Texas delegation to the Senate; new Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz and two-term Senator, John Cornyn.
Their reasons for opposing the bill have been trumpeted by ultra-conservative political and religious groups which include the Heritage Foundation and evangelist James Dobson’s creation, the Family Research Council. But the arguments lack substance based on the research of an exhaustive VAWA fact sheet .
The fact that all of the other U.S. Senators, including all of the women, voted for it would indicate that people like Cornyn and Cruz who voted against it did so because of their strong ties to organizations that poll heavily against anything suggesting government oversight or that even hints at “feminism”.
Violence against women gets worse every year as this study done by the American Public Health Association revealed.
Femicide, the homicide of women, is the leading cause of death in the United States among young African American women aged 15 to 45 years and the seventh leading cause of premature death among women overall.1 American women are killed by intimate partners (husbands, lovers, ex-husbands, or ex-lovers) more often than by any other type of perpetrator.2–4 Intimate partner homicide accounts for approximately 40% to 50% of US femicides but a relatively small proportion of male homicides (5.9%).1,5–10 The percentage of intimate partner homicides involving male victims decreased between 1976 and 1996, whereas the percentage of female victims increased, from 54% to 72%.4
The majority (67%–80%) of intimate partner homicides involve physical abuse of the female by the male before the murder, no matter which partner is killed.1,2,6,11–13 Therefore, one of the major ways to decrease intimate partner homicide is to identify and intervene with battered women at risk. The objective of this study was to specify the risk factors for intimate partner femicide among women in violent relationships with the aim of preventing this form of mortality. SOURCE
But clearly the lack of critical thinking by Senators Cruz and Cornyn have lived up to the ambitions of their state Party leaders. Apparently a woman needs a little physical reminder every now and then to help her remember her place in the traditional social order for some here in Texas.
Sorry ladies. You’ll have to develop some high levels of testosterone if you want to avoid this in the future. But we have made it easy for you to purchase a pair of equalizers. We’re a firm believer in violence begets violence.