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Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:04 AM

What Makes Texans So Different Than Let's Say...Californians (politically)

I'm determined to know the answer to this question because I think it would further my understanding of the Right in general. I want to believe that we all (RW and Libs) operate in "good faith" and I gotta believe that the Right is not fully absent of "reason." Yet, there is no limit to the examples of RW antics and political positions that keep convincing me that they are a completely different breed...hard-wired to think like they do.

Still searching.

-Paige

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Response to WiffenPoof (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:11 AM

1. Texas seems to believe more in negative liberty while Cali seems to believe in positive liberty.

But I think this is the ideological divide that affects most of the Nation.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:12 AM

2. Indeed...

I hadn't thought of it in positive or negative terms. Excellent point.

-P

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Response to WiffenPoof (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:16 AM

3. Of course I feel a bit shallow for chalking it up to just those 2 things because

it definitely goes deeper, but I think it's a starting point. The RW has just taken the concepts to the extreme. But if I could guess where the root is I would begin there. Of course many people have a combination of the 2, but it seems the RW doesn't.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_liberty

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_liberty

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Response to WiffenPoof (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:31 AM

4. You mean like Michael Savage vs. Ann Richards?

Julian Castro versus Ronald Reagan?

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:44 AM

5. Irrelevant

 

OP was asking about voting habits, not random politicians and media personalities who either haven't been relevant in well over a decade or have yet to win a statewide or national election. OP was not south-bashing, so there is no need to remind us that Richards and Castro are more liberal than a guy from california who happened to be President 25 ago.

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Response to WiffenPoof (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:44 AM

6. Which Texans?

We have a bunch of people from Texas here on DU. Are they the people you're talking about? There are plenty of right-wing crazies in California, too. It is not a simple, regional thing. Not at all.

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Response to WiffenPoof (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:04 AM

7. Texan here...

The differences are more environmental than anything else. However, here are some factors:

* Remember, this has been the land of Tom DeLay, a homegrown poison who stopped at nothing get whack-a-loons into office, starting right here at home. Texas therefore was at the forefront of that special late-20th-century wingnuttery, and that's what has become the new normal. Many Texans don't remember what it was like to have sane, functioning politicians.

* Education, education, education. As in, TX is no place to brag about it. In many areas, critical thinking is a dirty word. Add to it that one of the favorite GOP places to poison the well has been school boards, and you've got a mess.

* TX is a culturally libertarian hotspot, though not right or left. However, Rethugs are great at playing to that demographic even though they are anything but libertarian.

* Culturally, Texans, even left Texans, are something of a different breed. We see a rural/city divide among Dems in other states too, but here it's far more a universal rural mindset - in part because so much is rural, and in part because a lot of Dems even living in or close to cities own guns, hunt, ranch or farm or are connected to those who do, etc. Property and water rights are also huge here, culturally, whether among the right set who want gub'mint out of their land and Medicare, or among the left folks who are trying to keep fracking out of their back yard, run off the land tax leeches (and they're BAD here - got a field so overgrown with cedar that you can't even afford to yank it out and burn it? They'll be happy to hit you with timber taxes for all that "valuable" wood, dontcha know!), etc.

* The massive oil, gas, and chemical industries here are politically as well as environmentally toxic. Mix that with a volatile job market in those industries and execs who love anti-regulation propaganda, and you have a lot of brainwashed workers.

* A population that's as widely/thinly spread as there is in TX, with little access to news (for example, even in my area only 45 minutes from a major city, there are a lot of places where you can't get phone or cel service, cable, or Internet) and having mostly poor quality news (my area has a 4-page paper covering local news and sports published once a week, and you have to PAY in many instances to insert any opinion or wider-ranging pieces), becomes an echo chamber of misinformation, rumor, exciting but false conspiracy theories, and tempting propaganda. But there's a lot of radio, and who has the most channels and strongest transmitters? Christian and right-wing talk. If people talk to the same 8 people every day for years at a time, and everyone has a 9th grade education, and nobody has a flipping clue about what's really going on, what do you think will happen?

* A very strong military presence means strong support for anything military-related.

Lots of other factors as well, but I have to stop somewhere. However, XT could turn blue. When you talk actual values with a lot of people here, they're libertarian left. But they're so conditioned to think of themselves as GOP or Conservative Lib, they are horrified at the thought at first.

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Response to Daemonaquila (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:39 AM

10. Of course California has no oil or gas resources to speak of, and only a token military presence

 



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Response to slackmaster (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:47 AM

12. Your point is???

Texas is not unique in ANY of it's factors. It's the mix of all of these that creates its peculiar political culture. Or is the point to argue for the sake of arguing? I don't see any alternative analysis you're proposing.

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Response to Daemonaquila (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:54 AM

15. I was just chuckling at your statement about Texas having a "very strong military presence"

 

...as if in contrast with California which has more major bases. Maybe you didn't mean it that way but it struck me as humorous considering that it's almost impossible not to be within sight of at least one military facility here in San Diego. I can see structures at the 32nd Street naval base, the home of the Pacific fleet, from my home.

The states have about the same percentage of their populations either in or employed by the military, so there are a whole lot more in California.

I've lived in California for more than 50 years. I can assure you that the military is a very big deal here, and has been for a long time.

http://www.prb.org/source/acf1396.pdf

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Response to WiffenPoof (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:34 AM

8. One of the redest of redest counties in the US is located in northern Cal

so your point is?

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Response to WiffenPoof (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:37 AM

9. IMO its deeply engrained cultural differences. Texans have a tradition of individual self-reliance,

 

...so their government is based on a hands-off, low tax, low service model.

Californians traditionally rely on communities for support, so we have a high-tax, high-service (in theory) model of government.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:45 AM

11. I always thought that 'self-reliance' thing was being touted ironically.

Texas was founded by people who wanted other people to do all the work for them. The reason white Texans (who hailed mainly from the American South) wanted to break from Mexico was Mexico's ban on slavery.

So, even though I was born in San Antonio, home of the Alamo, I never really bought that 'self-reliance' howdy-do. When Lincoln abolished slavery, the white Texans had to get up off their lazy asses and put in an honest day's work for a change. They haven't calmed down since...

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Response to WiffenPoof (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:52 AM

13. Let Me Apologize to My Friends in Texas

It certainly was not my intention to bash Texans. I assumed I wouldn't have to explain that. I would hope that you could see that I am not referring to everyone that lives within the borders of Texas. But apparently I needed to be more specific.

My point was a more general one...questioning the Right's mindset. A question that is asked here in many forms in almost every post. It was my mistake to specify a particular region of our country.

Paige

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Response to WiffenPoof (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:53 AM

14. One word: racism.

..

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Response to WiffenPoof (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:15 AM

16. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't fervently want to..

protect my California Coastal environment. That is my driving force to get politically
involved in my community, region, state and country.
I will stand up and fight any big business and any conscripted ideology to protect this land.

This is one Californian's take on the subject.


Tikki

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Response to WiffenPoof (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 05:11 PM

17. As a Texan, I don't think it is practical to compare Texas to California.

For a starting point, I would compare it to Georgia, North Carolina or Florida.

Sure Texas is large like California, but other than perpetual water shortages and being on the border, the two states don't have much in common.

As to why Texas has turned "redder" in the last decade or so is an issue that I can't wrap my head around. It could be random events. It could be that Texas dominated national politics via the Republican party.

I'm sure the national connection with Republicans, Dubya et al, helped Texas line its coffers.

Maybe Texas having low unemployment combined with being a "right to work" state may have reinforced popular right wing myths?

On the other hand, Arizona has become more red in the last decade too. New Mexico has turned more blue. Nevada has turned more blue too.

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