The Right’s Dark Vision for Texas

We’re often reminded just how extreme the right is in Texas. On Monday, for example, the religious-right group Texas Values sent out a fundraising email suggesting that the Republican-controlled Texas House is a hotbed of “social justice” liberalism. That’s laughable, but the right’s dark vision for the future of Texas is frightening.

The fundraising email talks about ending “the liberal Republican era in the Texas House.” Seriously. Their goal is to replace supposedly “left-leaning” leaders like retiring conservative Republican Speaker Joe Straus and “anti-family-values point man” Byron Cook (another conservative Republican) with “pro-family conservatives.”

“Liberal”? “Left-leaning”? Hardly. Here’s just some of the right-wing legislation the House has passed over the past decade:

  • Draconian anti-abortion laws that have made it difficult — almost impossible in some cases — for many women to obtain safe, legal abortion care in Texas
  • Massive budget cuts for women’s reproductive health care services, leaving tens of thousands of low-income women without access to the care they need
  • An appalling law that allows adoption and foster care agencies to use religion to discriminate against LGBT parents and children
  • A reckless “show your papers”-style law that threatens the civil liberties of immigrants and virtually anyone who simply looks “foreign”

Of course, what bothers extremists on the right is the Texas House’s refusal to pass even more anti-abortion, anti-women’s health, anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant and anti-public school legislation. The Texas Values fundraising appeal demonstrates open contempt and hostility toward anyone who disagrees with its twisted, intolerant agenda:

“The Hard Left and radical LGBT advocates are desperate to make an example of Texas — to flood us with their California-style social justice lunacy more aggressively than in any other state.”

It’s no surprise that the concept of social justice worries them. After all, the group and its allies also:

  • Attack Supreme Court rulings striking down sodomy laws and bans on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional
  • Oppose anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations, even in public restrooms
  • Reject evidence-based sex education that protects the health of young people
  • Back defunding public schools with voucher schemes that divert tax dollars to unaccountable private and religious schools
  • Defend efforts by radicals on the State Board of Education to censor textbooks and push their personal agendas into public school classrooms

The dark vision the right projects is of a state that is less diverse, welcoming, healthy and educated. TFN has spent the past two decades fighting for a brighter future for all in Texas. And our Texas Rising program is training young activists and leaders across the state to help make that future a reality.