*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
There has always been a partisan divide in America because it is normal in a representative democracy. However, since the election of an African American man as President, the partisan divide is one group adhering to the nation’s founding document as the law of the land and another that opposes everything the Constitution, and America, stands for. Conservatives like to claim all they want to do is “take ‘their’ country back,” but the place they want the country “back to” never existed in America.
This absurd ‘take their country back’ mentality is particularly true among Texas Republicans. In what was reported as a nasty floor fight over secession at the Texas GOP convention over the weekend, one pro-secessionist speaker claimed that the “federal government has buried states’ rights at the bottom of a landfill under the bodies of murdered babies” – a remark that drew wild applause. Another secessionist proponent cited the absurd anti-transgender toilet war and proclaimed “Washington will allow pervert men into women’s bathrooms. Who better to represent the will of Texas than Texas? I say secede now” to even more crazy-wild applause and cheers.
A reporter for the Texas Observer said one “official looking” character confided to him that “the only solution to the current situation is for Texas to threaten to secede. Then Washington will take us seriously and start cleaning up its act.”
When a Texan says he wants Washington to “start cleaning up its act,” he means making Texas Republicans the federal government. What that likely entails is abolishing the Constitution save the Second and Tenth Amendments, enforcing evangelical Christianity as the state religion, banning people of color from America, and repealing each and every piece of civil rights legislation ever enacted over the course of the nation’s existence. In fact, after the raging floor scream-fest over secession, Texas Republicans set their platform that fundamentally does everything mentioned above.
These Texas Republicans are nearly impossible to call Americans, if for no other reason than they cannot fathom the nation is under purview of the United States Constitution. For example, just a few of the “official” Texas GOP’s planks demonstrate their lust to become a theocratic nation of white people.
The Houston Press reported that Republican 26-page platform “was approved unanimously by every Republican state delegate.” Under the heading “Strengthening Families, Protecting Life, and Promoting Health,” the religious part of the platform highlights how state GOP lawmakers will act to deny equal rights for the LGBT community and abolish abortion.
Yes, it is true that abortion has been a legal medical procedure in America since the 1970s, and until recently that “legal medical procedure” was protected by federal laws and a landmark Supreme Court ruling. It is noteworthy, as well, that it was a ruling founded on the document Texas Republicans refuse to acknowledge is the law of the land, the United States Constitution. The Constitution is in conflict with evangelicals and the Vatican concept of equality, and maybe more importantly, it does something evangelical Republicans will not tolerate; it protects women’s right to control their own bodies and reproductive health.
However, as one might expect from Texas Republicans, to punctuate their disdain for the Constitution, rule of law, and the Supreme Court, the most religious part of the platform stated emphatically that Texas legislators will enact legislation officially refusing (nullifying) to acknowledge federal laws and Supreme Court rulings. Not because they are un-American or unconstitutional, but because the religious right doesn’t agree with anything unrelated to their bastardized version of Christianity.
For example, in the section of the platform founded on “Americanized Christianity,” the Republicans stated:
We call upon the Texas Legislature to enact legislation stopping the murder of unborn children; and ignore and refuse to enforce any and all federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, and court rulings, which would deprive an unborn child of the right to life. We support the elimination of the use of public funding and facilities to advocate, perform, or support elective abortions, embryonic stem cell research, research on fetal tissue, or human cloning.
Texas Republicans wouldn’t be Texas Republicans unless they officially stated their contempt for the LGBT community. The Republicans claimed the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage was unconstitutional; apparently because it conflicts with the document evangelicals believe is the constitution; the Christian Bible.
The platform demanded that the “Governor and other elected officials of the state of Texas assert our Tenth Amendment right and reject the Supreme Court ruling.” Still adhering to theocracy, the platform states that any sexual education for students must consist solely of “Abstinence until marriage. And not include policies and curriculum that teach alternate lifestyles including homosexuality, transgender and other non-traditional lifestyles as normal.” Texas evangelicals will teach and define what is “normal,” and part and parcel of what Republicans regard is normal is forcing every American to adhere to their version of “an American identity.”
One of the more nefarious sections of the Republican platform demands that racial and ethnic groups abandon their various cultural identities and embrace what Texas Republicans dictate is “the American identity.” Specifically, the platform says, “We favor strengthening our common American identity, which includes the assimilation of racial and ethnic groups. We encourage non-English speaking students to transition to English within one year to quickly assimilate and succeed in American society.” The only thing the platform does not demand is that racial and ethnic groups “transition to Caucasian” or get out of the Texas Republicans’ America; it is likely why Texans love Donald Trump.
It is getting to the point that maybe the government should let Texas secede; they (Texas Republicans) certainly do not belong in a nation, or with a society, that they have no respect for. What is telling is that nearly everything in the Texas GOP platform is embraced by Republicans across the nation and in Washington. In fact, the preponderance of neo-conservatives oppose accepting anything about America whether it is cultural and racial diversity or the Constitution and Founding Fathers intent to prevent a nation of laws founded on the Christian religion. The Texas Republicans even bitched and moaned about the Constitution prohibiting mandatory prayer in schools, and it likely is another reason a fairly large number of the Republican delegation demanded that secession be placed at the top of the platform.
Decent Americans have had just about enough of these sick malcontent Texas-type conservatives that have no use for America, people who aren’t evangelical fanatics, or citizens who happen to be an ethnic minority. They certainly have no use for the Constitution and it is primarily because it protects the rights of women and gays and forbids theocracy as the law of the land. What is not surprising is that like the majority of Republicans, Texas Republicans are more than willing to pass legislation taking away constitutional rights of any group that does not fit into their concept of “the American identity.”
That fact should terrify each and every citizen in every state because if Republicans ever gain control of all three branches of government, that nasty Texas GOP platform will be the law of the land and anyone who thinks that is not enough to work tirelessly to defeat Republicans in November is most certainly a Texas Republican.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.