By Jo Early
While walking to my car on election day I could overhear the conversation of the couple who had been in front of me in line at the polling station. The husband boasted “I just went through and marked Republican for everything. Doesn’t matter who it is, Texas is red!”
He was right. I knew it at the time, and it was confirmed 12 hours later when Greg Abbott was re-elected as governor over Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke.
Driving through Amarillo in October, the scariest yard decorations were the shrines declaring themselves for Abbott despite his actions leading to hundreds of deaths during the winter storm of Feb. 2021, despite the heartbeat bill he passed which possibly started the chain of events that led to Roe v. Wade being overturned and despite his resistance to gun-control legislation even in the wake of the deadliest school shooting in Texas.
Uvalde itself turned out for Greg Abbott. Uvalde county has historically been red, which highlights the main reason why Beto was unelectable from the start.
Texas is red.
Beto lost the moment he started talking about gun control. While over 40% of Texans showed up to support O’Rourke and his policies for safe and legal immigration, expanded Medicaid and gun safety, O’Rourke failed to coddle the trigger-happy majority and promise to keep anti-choicers safe from other people’s abortions.
Living in Texas during election season feels like being stranded at an airport with a flight that keeps getting further and further delayed. You look out the window and get your hopes up with each approaching plane, but wind up disappointed every time. There’s nothing you can do about it other than sit and be frustrated and commiserate with your fellow hostages.
It’s easy to feel like your vote doesn’t count, especially when a candidate you like is against someone who seems so clearly corrupt. It’s also harder to cope in Texas where there is no gubernatorial term limit. What we can hope for when we cast our ballots is that our voices will be heard and hopefully echo with enough force to create a resounding change. The results of this election say that we need a more moderate candidate who doesn’t frighten the Republicans away in order to have the slightest hope of turning Texas a little more purple.
In the meantime, we Texans can resign ourselves to the usual promise of thoughts and prayers.