Conservatives across the nation have been given an incredible opportunity to prove the viability of our ideals. In the November election Republicans gained nearly 700 state legislative seats, a number of Governorships, a majority in the US House and a near tie in the Senate. Democrats were held to the smallest freshman class of any party since 1915.
Many lessons can be derived from this veritable landslide. First and foremost, don’t let the fact that Republicans were allowed to carry the banner of conservative enthusiasm to fool you into thinking this was an old-fashioned Republican Party victory. Democrats have been the worst enemies of liberty in the last years and so they held top spot on the political target list. Liberal Republicans are next.
American’s are giving conservatives and Republicans a chance but at the first sign of failing to follow through on promises or weak knees in the face of opposition they will look elsewhere. We have to prove that the conviction we shouted about during the last few years is actually worth fighting for. We were brought to power to do something; not just mark time.
In past cycles (regardless of who is on the offense) the out of power party rails on those in control as power-hungry degenerates that are just going about “business as usual.” They pledge to “drain the swamp,” or some such line, but upon ascension to the seats of power they maintain the status quo because it’s more comfortable. Their new peers admonish them to “work within the system” and not rock the boat. Little changes.
Republican officials have a clear choice in what kind of future they are going to fight for and nowhere is that choice being better demonstrated (or so close on the heels of this historic election) than in the race for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.
Next week the Texas House will come into session and each member will quickly define the tone of their legislative session with a critical vote for Speaker of the House. In the past this choice has been the epitome of inside-baseball politics. In fact, for about thirty years it was illegal for regular Texans to have a voice in the decision.
Now times have changed but politicians, fond of the perks that haggling with their vote brings, are fighting this new paradigm tooth and nail. Several have told their constituents straight up that they simply know better and that the constituents should butt out. Others have lied to their constituents and some have gone the route of obfuscation.
Put simply, you can’t call yourself a representative when on the most important vote of the legislative cycle you tell your constituents to screw themselves. I also don’t recommend crying foul when they talk about running a more trust-worthy individual against you in the next year’s primary election if you take that route.
My call to action has three parts. To my fellow Texas conservatives, keep working. The upcoming caucus vote is a step in the right direction and is promising for us. Make sure your Representatives know how you want them to vote. For those of you in other states, make sure that your friends and family in Texas know the importance of this race. Several of us on Redstate have been writing about this for the better part of two months so there is plenty for them to read in the way of education.
Finally, to the members of the Texas House: What you are playing with in this Speakers race is not just a question of whether you will have a primary challenger this time next year. It’s not just a question of if your constituents will hold this against you. You are bearing the standard of the conservative victory here in Texas and by proxy much of the country. Our state will be where people look for the answer of what conservatives and Republicans will do when they are given power.
If you choose the status quo and put Joe Straus back in power it will be an early admission of the weakness with which the Republican majority intends on promoting the conservative agenda. The other choice is Ken Paxton. Paxton has an unquestionable conservative track record. He’s ready to use the Republican majority to execute the will of the Texas people and keep the trust they gave to conservatives on November 2nd. Few legislators have so impressed me on a personal and professional level as Rep. Paxton.
Stand with Paxton and Texas in this critical vote. Prove your mettle as a Representative by voting for what is right, not just what is easy.