What has happened to the Democrats in Texas? There was a time when a Democrat in this Southern state was not much different than a Republican. They were in fact called “Blue Dog Democrats.” After the 1980 election which brought Ronald Reagan to the Presidency, they were called Reagan Democrats because these blue dogs voted in mass numbers for President Reagan. In reality they were conservatives who identified themselves with the Democrat Party because of history. With the ascension of Barack Obama to the presidency, all of that changed as the party of the South lurched to left. Many of the old Blue Dogs had no choice but to join with the Republican Party if they were to vote their conscience. It was then that the historical link between the South and the Democrats came to an abrupt end. Texas became a reliably red state. Even during Barack Obama’s re-election run in 2012 when many states went from red to purple or from purple to blue, Texas went even more red.
During the 2014 Texas Primaries, I had a chance to read the propositions being considered by Texas Democrats. One of them was called, “A Living Wage for All Texans” as they call for Congress to pass legislation raising the minimum wage to 110% of poverty level. Texas Democrats passed this proposal with 89% supporting it. This is an extremely progressive proposal for Texas. As I read this very liberal proposal, I had began to consider the history of Texas and the Democrat Party. There is no way Lyndon Johnson, or Sam Rayburn or Lloyd Bentsen have ever proposed such a thing as a ‘living wage.’ They would have seen such a proposal for what it was–redistribution of wealth and another step towards socialism. These were all great men who loved Texas and loved the freedoms of America. To a man I believe they would have run from such a liberal proposition.
The very idea of a ‘living wage’ based on the poverty level is ludicrous on its very face. When wages are raised, costs go up for businesses. They in turn raise their prices in order to compensate for paying the higher wages. Higher prices in turn lead to inflation, a slower economy and more poverty. So, the wages are raised once again. This would become a vicious cycle with no end in sight. It is a stupid idea. And it will not work.
So…what happened to the Democrats in Texas? What brought the once proud party of Lloyd Bentsen and other historic leaders of Texas to support such a flawed proposal as the ‘living wage.’ The answer is……I don’t know. Texas is a red state and any politician who supports such a proposal is committing political suicide. As someone loves to study history, I can say with confidence that former Governor John Connally would turn over in his grave if he could see what has happened to his once proud party.
As a Republican the left turn by the Democrats gives me confidence that Texas will remain in our hands for a long time. As a conservative, the turn left by the Democrats do not generally bother me…..except their proposals would destroy the Texas I know and love. For that reason alone, I hope the Democrat Party remains the minority party. Who knows, they might come to see the error of their ways. …………….. It could happen, right?!