Sunday, June 14, 2015

Texas Democrats - the party for sane Texans

Not too long ago the Republican governor of Texas added his gubernatorial credibility to the paranoid fantasies of extremists that the federal government was going to invade Texas under the guise of a military exercise. He seriously ordered the Texas State Guard to keep on eye on the U. S. Armed Forces to "protect Texans' rights and property," which brought up this mental image: 

This was just about the last straw in a huge bale of crazy for me. I created a new Facebook avatar and a bumper sticker:

I just wanted to remind the world that there ARE some sane Texans. I think there are LOT of sane Texans. In fact, I think there are more sane Texans than there are insane Texans. A lot of those sane Texans are Democrats, but believe it or not, there are sane Republicans as well. And certainly Independents. And all Libertarians think they are sane, right?

So when I was invited to speak to the Northeast Tarrant County Democrats on Flag Day, June 14, I decided to share my idea with them:

Let’s reboot the Texas Democratic Party as the party of sane Texans.

And here are my admittedly rough draft thoughts of what the Sane Democratic Party will do:

  • We will advocate for automatic voter registration upon a Texan's 18th birthday. 
  • We will work to make voting as convenient as texting – although we won’t let you do it while you are driving. 
  • We will support the police by holding rogue officers accountable, because one bad officer can undermine public confidence in police much faster than 50 good officers can build it up. 
  • We will work to eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline by working with school districts to keep police out of school disciplinary matters. 
  • We will opt out as much as possible of the incredibly wasteful expensive and useless War on Drugs, and instead put resources into education and regulation, much as we do with alcohol now. 
  • We will acknowledge that most Texans are people of faith. We won’t patronize or condescend to them. We will honor the First Amendment by keeping the state out of religion and religion out of legislative matters. 
  • We will proclaim that freedom of religion means the freedom to practice your faith and live out your beliefs. It does not mean the right to impose your religious beliefs on everyone else through the force of law. 
  • We will respect rural Texans, listen to them, and engage them in policy decisions while at the same time working with urban areas to meet their needs. 
  • We will acknowledge most Texans grew up around guns. We will talk sensibly about this but we won’t pander. The Second Amendment should be respected, not fetishized. Guns should be regulated as least as much as cars are – people have to pass a test to be licensed. Guns, like cars, aren’t appropriate in all places. More guns make us less safe, not more.