We are seeing a bending toward democracy worldwide, and tast night a tectonic movement came to the Texas Legislature. Just as the protests in Turkey are not just about saving trees in Taksim Park, last night’s overwhelming protest was not just about reproductive rights and Senate Bill 5. Last night’s protest was part of an inevitable movement against political machines bent on amassing power for the benefit of the few at the cost of the many.
These machines have no political philosophy of their own other than self-interest. Political philosophies are borrowed and discarded out of convenience. For instance in Texas, we have genuine Libertarians who want cost-effective government that stays out of their personal business. And we have committed Christian Conservatives who want government to mirror their morality. But, the Texas Machine does not share power much less philosophy with these inherently conflicted factions. It merely borrows their philosophies to justify its acts of self-interest and maintain its grip on power.
Senate Bill 5 is a vivid example of the cynical opportunism of the Machine. The Machine borrowed Libertarian philosophy throughout the regular session to justify protections for the business interests that fund it. Then, in the special session, the Machine abandoned genuine Libertarians to play up to committed Christian Conservatives by delivering a package of anti-abortion regulations that couldn’t pass in a regular session with a decidedly Libertarian flavor. Senate Bill 5 will be immediately litigated at great expense, playing into Libertarian fury over the cost of government. The Machine believes both “bases” will be “energized” to protect it in the next election cycle. But, the crowd last night is an early harbinger that the Machine has overplayed its hand.
The crowd and the social media that came with it shone a spot light on manipulations and philosophical bankruptcy of the Machine. The crowd was not there for a single issue or even a single party. They were there for a single philosophy – that government should be of, by and for the People. I saw people from Williamson County, Bastrop County, from across the State. Most were Democrats. Some were Republicans. Some were Libertarians. I saw a State Trooper filming the crowd with his cell phone because he wanted to save a piece of history. I saw another State Trooper whom I had met during the House hearings Thursday night. He thanked me for being there again last night saying that the behavior of our Legislature was worthy of protest.
Keep the momentum going! Thank Wendy Davis, Jessica Farrar, and Leticia Van de Putte for standing up to the Machine. Stand up for Wendy, and elect her Governor. And, search out and support candidates at the local level who demonstrate the independent thought necessary for true Democracy so that the Machine will not rise again.