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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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July 30, 2013 - 9:16 am

Writing at RealClearPolitics, Heather Wilhelm says that she’s moving from Chicago to Austin, Texas soon. Howdy and welcome! Her move has generated the usual liberal reaction — “Oh, good, because Austin is TOTALLY DIFFERENT from the rest of Texas.” Implying, or often outright stating, that the rest of Texas is a relic of the Neanderthal era with a strong dose of that old time religion that liberals fear and loathe so much. The reaction amuses her, as it should.

This deep-seated fear of the ills of religion is intriguing, given that in both books, said ills don’t significantly play out in reality. Texas, as Thompson writes, may be “batshit religious crazy,” but, as Grieder reluctantly notes, “the typical Texan doesn’t, for example, seem unusually homophobic, even when you leave the liberal enclaves such as Austin. Even in the eastern part of the state, which is conservative and heavily religious” — watch out, humanity! — “Texans have pushed back against the worst displays of bigotry.” Oh. OK.

That would be East Texas, where black conservative Republican James White recently drove out the last Democrat in the region’s state House seats.

This fear of religion is also rather ironic, given that the supposedly superior, more sophisticated blue-state model is, if anything, built on the craziest type of faith — the kind that persists in spite of direct evidence to the contrary. I hate to break it to the haters, but Austin is a smashing success largely because it’s a part of Texas.

Indeed. Austin is a great town to live near, not necessarily in. Its politics are insane, but the food and music can’t be beat.

Yes, it’s a fun, liberal city. It embraces progressive stances on banning plastic bags (which, let’s face it, just collapse in the back of your car, letting all the groceries tumble out), promoting sustainable energy (solar panels actually work down there, by the way), and banning smoking in parks (as an aside, I often infuriate my libertarian friends by professing my love of public smoking bans, and I shall do it again here). But Austin, like the rest of Texas, also has a friendly business climate. It does not have a personal income tax. It also happens to be governed by a guy named Rick Perry.

The plastic bag ban is unsanitary and stupid. It’s driving some business in north Austin out into the saner enclaves of Round Rock and Cedar Park (Austin’s motto is “Keep Austin Weird,” while Round Rock’s is “Keep Round Rock Mildly Unusual”). Those red county towns are happy to benefit from Austin’s blue moonbattiness.

There’s a fact about Texas that ought to unsettle liberals. Barack Obama’s economic performance as president would look a whole lot worse without Rick Perry’s economic performance in Texas. Texas’ size means its low unemployment rate greatly impacts the national rate. Take Texas out of the national picture, and just what kind of numbers would Obama have? Barack Obama needs Rick Perry and his successor next year to keep Texas strong. Push blue policies here and you’ll wreck the national jobs picture.

Here are some more facts that ought to unsettle liberals. If Texas were its own country, it would easily be in the top 20 world economies. Because it shares a border with Mexico, it already has foreign policy chops. Texas is the only state with its own complete power grid. Cut us off from the rest of the country, as many tolerant, loving liberals would love to do because they hate how we live, and the lights will stay on. Texas is also capable of building its own nuclear weapons. You can mine the uranium here and you can build the weapons in Amarillo. Guess where an outsize chunk of the US military comes from? If you guessed Texas, you guessed very well.

US_enlisted_recruits_by_region_map

And look which regions aren’t pulling their weight in our nation’s defense: the coastal blues. The same regions that are broke due to liberals’ religious zeal for statism and centralized government control by unionized bureaucrats.

The biggest fact that really ought to unsettle liberals: Washington needs Texas a whole lot more than Texas needs Washington.

More: Michele Samuelson says Austin couldn’t exist without Texas, and it’s essentially Texan in attitude despite its blue politics.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
Thinking of moving to Texas? Think about leaving behind your blue-state, coastal, Democrat values.

If you can't do that, don't come here. If you're already here, leave.

Srsly.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (15)
All Comments   (15)
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Been in TX all of 8 weeks and I am loving it - although I haven't had the time to see alot due to my work schedule. Got to sell the house in "Zimmerman land" before I can complete the transition, but outside of a few crazed tailgaters in Houston I have nothing to complain about and look forward to enjoying everything this state has to offer: even the bluest part of Austin. (everyone needs good music)
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would add that if you come to El Paso you may not recognize it as part of Texas either. Well, some of the characteristics are there and I love it but it is more like Mexico. The city is very liberal and elected officials do a lot of stupid, stupid things. Oh yes, I must not forget-corruption in government and institutions-it is EVERYWHERE. But I already mentioned it was liberal.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Last month, I took vacation to Texas from NJ. I must have stuck out like a sore thumb because, throughout the trip, many people would ask where we were from. One day I found myself at a BBQ place in Houston. A gentleman, upon hearing that I was in from NJ, let out a good-natured chuckle before bellowing "Well, welcome to America, son!" I laughed out loud. I will live in Texas someday!

ps. I did spend 2 days in Austin and must admit to having a great time.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
What about the scorpions? That what keeps stopping me, I don't want to deal with scorpions.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hate to argue with MJSamuelson (well, not really) but Austin is NOT Texas. Texas is not music (since the close of the Armadillo World Headquarters), and I would remind him/her that Dell is in Round Rock in Williamson County, not Austin or Travis County.

Texas, unlike Austin, is independence, freedom, a stand for private property rights, a way of thinking. Austin is big government, big taxes, big social engineering, big everything liberal. If we Texans could, we would ship Austin, lock, stock and barrel, to California and be done with it. Including UT which is nothing more than a indoctrination station. Anyone who claims Austin is representative of Texas in any way, is just flat out wrong.

Now, to the plastic bag ban. Once again it shows just how clueless the Austin City Council is. Because no other bags are offered (you have to buy them if you don't bring your own) people are shopping in the outlying counties. And shop lifting is out of control. People, bringing in their own bags are walking out not paying for what they are shoving in them and basically stealing the stores blind. Why? Because all the greenweenies in Austin are too lazy to recycle those bags in bins provided in all the stores including HEB and Wal-Mart. So Austinites are punished for a bunch of lazy hippies.

Want the best Texas bar-b-que in the nation? Go to Lockhart, not Austin. Green energy? Well, that didn't work out too well when businesses had the option of going strictly green and saw their electric bill skyrocket. Schools? Stay out of the AISD. It's run by whacko liberals. Housing prices? Highest in the state and a short 20 mile drive into another country saves tons of money on housing.

If you want to be bombarded by the granola crowd, with their protests and radical city government, move to Austin. It really is the San Francisco of the Southwest.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks for the welcome and the post, Bryan!
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I loved your column, and you'll love Texas! Well, other than the heat.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
As Bryan noted - live near; not in. I don't mind an occasional day trip, but I limit my contributions to your economy.

Here's a good anecdote from last time I was in Austin with a group of young people. After 6pm, we found a great small city park a few blocks from the Capital for the kids to get active and have some down time. First thing we noticed was that all the restrooms were chained and locked and the water fountains were turned off. All parking was metered and a 'friendly officer" stopped by to write us tickets for "expired parking" which wasn't expired. He was also very nice to yell at the kids that their neatly collected bag of empty water bottles had to be taken away with us because of recycling ordinances. So much for "encouraging" use of green spaces.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks for the link back! To expound a bit - Austin is increasingly a huge economic center for Texas. It has been Texas' Silicon Valley for quite some time, boasting not only Dell but also Samsung, Freescale, a large IBM presence, Google, Facebook, and bunches of techie start-ups and franchises beyond those. They come to Austin because it's younger on average (last time I looked at the census data, Austin's average age was 33, compared to 55 around the rest of the state) and because there are plenty of sleepier bedroom communities to offset the cost of living. Austin is home to one of the nation's largest universities. The city plays host to increasingly popular festivals (SXSW, ACL), races (on foot, bike, and car), and more. It does all this and still has the best music scene in the southwest and arguably the nation - a music scene that defines the "Texas music scene" in general. The state's best BBQ is either in Austin or within a short drive (commuter distance in most cases) depending on who you talk to. 'Friday Night Lights' wasn't set in Austin but it was filmed here and in nearby Travis County town Pflugerville - between that and 'Dazed and Confused', Austin more or less sets the visual tone for Texas in the way few other towns since 'Dallas'/Dallas. I could go on. But everything outsiders think of when they think of Texas culture can be found in Austin (short of a real rodeo, but even that's in the greater Austin area if not in the city proper). Austin is Texas, and Texas is the sum of its parts, of which Austin is a key feature.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
You forgot Apple. They're huge here and getting bigger.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hate to burst your bubble...BUT while most of Texas is on it's own power grid, there is a significant portion of East Texas that is not. I found that out when a station blew in Louisiana a few years back. Most of the Big Thicket is not on the Texas grid. I'm sure there are others.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
It sounds like you are beating the drums for secession. Given the deficit situation currently afoot in Washington I suspect that scenario may come about on its own without too much action on anyone else's part. The map on display above gives an idea of what a post-crackup America might look like. The thick white lines approximate where the new national borders would be drawn.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nope, I served in the United States Air Force and am not a secessionist. But it's useful to remind those blue staters who look down on us that we really don't need them and don't care for their opinions.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
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