The GOP Red grew up with is a distant memory. Actually, it barely existed in Red’s Texas youth. Sure, there was John Tower and “Eugene Locke Should be Governor of Texas – the Governor of Texas Should be Eugene Locke.” Red loves a good tautology. But until Bill Clements came along there really wasn’t much question about who ran the State. It was the conservative Democrats who hung on even in the face of Nixon’s southern strategy. The conservative Democrat era last in Texas longer than elsewhere probably only because of Lyndon Johnson. If it was a Texan who pushed through real civil rights for “Negroes” (as would have been proper until Black became the appropriate rubric), then maybe it wasn’t all bad and in Texas maybe we hadn’t been quite as racist as say Alabama because we had gotten fairly used to living with the Mexicans and the leap wasn’t quite so great. Now Red isn’t condoning that worldview, but it might have made things a bit easier in a lot of Texas where the African-American population wasn’t over about 10%. Nonetheless, Red remembers the first time he saw AA’s at his church and at the Luby’s, and how at the local barber shop, the proprietor talked about forming a club so that he wouldn’t have to serve the “N-words.” To which even a young Red wondered, why would they want you to cut their hair?
But with the coming of Reagan and his tag-along G.H.W. Bush and especially the landmark election of Bush the Younger as Governor, the GOP has ruled Texas for about 25 years. And while the economy overall has done well thanks to oil and sunshine and open spaces for development (with your occasional real estate bust), the State has made little or no progress in El-Hi education, public health, improvement of infrastructure beyond more highways, and lags most of the nation in many categories of civic well-being. So in the eyes of the GOP, Red is a Texas hater who should go back where he came from – which would be Travis County.
But what is the GOP now? What does it stand for beyond worship of Trump? Red knows there is always the pro-life/anti-abortion wing for whom not much else seems to matter. And there is the Democrats are coming to take away our wives, children and most importantly guns wing who believe firepower is essential to freedom no matter what the cost in lives. And there is the big (or small) business class who will seemingly suffer any indignity in order to have a few less regulations to deal with and a considerably bigger number of dollars in their pockets.
But after that, what is there? The hard core racists/white supremacists – and there is no doubt that they view Trump as their MAN!. Those who are fearful of a socialist takeover that would remake into a dreadful Western European hell where workers might actually have some rights and benefits – Heaven forbid!
And then there are the folks who really want an Asshole for their president.