For the whole time I have frequented and later been a registered member of Daily Kos, the mission of this site and it's founder has been to "elect more and better Democrats". I met Markos Moulitsas at a book signing in Austin many years ago and he inspired me to get out and educate people. To educate them about how the left community is the reality based one, it is the left community that avoids broad brushing and stereotyping and it is that left, reality based community that has the back of the working person. After that meeting, I set out to make Texas a better place to be progressive.
Don't get me wrong, there are many areas where we disagree. Everybody who spends any time at all here knows that I'm not a fan of the Affordable Care Act because it leaves the insurance companies in charge of our access to healthcare. I hope it succeeds because the need is there and it is great but I'll never be a cheerleader for it. But by far and away I agree with the vast majority of the opinion and content expressed by Markos, his writers and his readers. I firmly believe in the mission as stated and I think almost all of us are honest and open minded. I have a bone to pick with some others though, as you might have suspected by reading the title and for that, you'll have to follow me past the orangy squiggly.
As I've said, after my meeting Markos, I tried to make the effort to talk to people, to persuade and to cajole them into looking at the left beyond the stereotyping that they hear constantly from hate merchant radio or our equally hateful and dishonest politicians. I haven't always been the most active person in this regard and a long 28 months of unemployment kept me from being active much at all but I voted for Obama twice and I continued to talk to everybody I could, promoting a progressive philosophy and debunking right wing talking points. This is a task I take on with the working class of Texas because that's what I am and these are the people I know and are most in need of being disabused of right wing lies.
This effort has been made much more difficult than it has to be by a minority of users who seem to revel in bashing Texans and anything Texas. This is almost always done in a broad brush sort of way and usually without any real knowledge of the state. There is also almost always a suggestion included that the United States should "let" Texas secede, (or even force us from the Union!), and so forth. This makes my job orders of magnitude more difficult because I like to direct people to Daily Kos in order to read the truth of a given topic. But head for the hills and Mary bar the door if that topic concerns Texas or Texans because I can depend on a small but very rowdy group of people to come around and start hurling insults, epithets and opinions about how everybody would be better off without Texas. What do you think that does to people who have enough respect for me to give me the benefit of the doubt and read what I've recommended? More than once I've had people come to me the next day, more wingnutty than ever, citing hateful comments they've read right here in this bastion of tolerance.
Now, come on! I don't come to your job and piss in your antifreeze or shit on your report! I have yet to see anybody at Daily Kos, (or elsewhere, really), suggest that Maine, Wisconsin or Ohio should be forced into Canada or that sawing off Florida would make the average I.Q. of the country go up. I don't remember anybody saying that Alaska should go back to Russia or that without Arizona we could do so much better. The fact is that progressives in Texas have been fighting things like an off year redistricting plan, illegal gerrymandering, no access to alternative points of view from more traditional news sources, etc. Yes, Texas gave us George W Bush, (who was actually born in Connecticut by the way) and Rick Perry but it also gave us Lyndon Johnson and Ann Richards. Yes, there are and were teabagging wingnut pundits from Texas but so were Dan Rather and Molly Ivins.
41 percent of Texans voted voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and that's more than the populations of some states. Texas has 38 electoral votes in national elections and it is far from the reddest state in the nation. It occurs to me that if Democrats could sew up those electoral votes, the Republican Party would be out of Presidential luck for the foreseeable future. Now, is that worth satisfying your regional bigotry monkey for some short term satisfaction? That's up to you but if I may paraphrase a famous, (if probably mythological) figure, "Let he who is without wingnuttery cast the first stone".
There are many, many people who live in Texas either by choice or otherwise who are trying to make the nation a better place and we don't need biased and unfair broad brush commentary from people who are comfortably ensconced in blue states. Far from being unhelpful, it is downright hurtful and harmful to our collective cause. Please think before you post. If you must bash Texas politicians, then by all means do so. In many cases I'll be happy to lead the way but the constant aspersions thrown at all Texans' intelligence and the ubiquitous demand we leave the Union is stupid and counterproductive. Please stop.
9:53 AM PT: Thanks for the support and the rec list for those who gave it!