Localism and Hypocrisy

The Texas legislature has attracted considerable scorn for its effort to reign in local governments intent on violating property rights. According to one critic, “It does this by kicking respect for democracy to the sidelines and squashing municipal initiatives like a bug.”

Democracy means unlimited majority rule–the majority may do what it pleases simply because […]

A Clash of Cultures

Much is being made of the Texas legislature’s attempts to reign in local governments. From “bathroom ordinances” to ride-sharing regulations, from plastic bag bans to tree regulations, local governments are increasingly infringing on property rights. The state government is properly putting an end to many of these regulations.

But the state’s local governments aren’t happy […]

Cronyism to the Left, Cronyism to the Right

In recent years, individuals from across the political spectrum have condemned cronyism. Former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, once remarked that she felt sad “for the American people, who have had their lives affected by the culture of cronyism and corruption that exists in Washington.” Current Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, similarly denounced […]

Protecting Fairy Tales

A recent piece in the Chronicle raised the question: What is a sincerely held religious belief? The question was raised in the context of the Legislature’s ongoing efforts to protect religious freedom. The article offers no answer, but instead illustrates the problems that arise when one attempts to protect fairy tales.

For example, the article […]

The Ideology of Texas Republicans, Part 5

To Rick Perry, and many conservatives, Progressive policies are guided by the “shifting sands of moral relativism.” Moral relativism, he has written, “would remove any mention of God from the public square, would sanitize our society of bright lines dividing right and wrong, and would elevate doing what ‘feels good’ as a moral imperative higher […]

The Ideology of Texas Republicans, Part 4

Many on the right, including Texas Governor Rick Perry, argue that the economic examples provided by Texas will ultimately sway voters to reject an intrusive, interventionist government. As he writes in Fed Up!,

In order to find like-minded people, under federalism Americans can exercise true liberty and ‘vote with their feet’—choose to leave a climate […]

The Ideology of Texas Republicans, Part 3

The Texas Republican Party platform of 2010 called for an outright ban on pornography: “We urge more stringent legislation to prohibit all pornography including virtual pornography and operation of sexually–oriented businesses.” While expressing support for the principle of free speech in theory, Texas Republicans seek to limit free speech in practice.

Free speech means exactly […]

The Ideology of Texas Republicans, Part 2

In Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, the United States Supreme Court overturned a Texas anti-sodomy law that banned certain voluntary, consensual acts between individuals of the same sex. The “Homosexual Conduct” law made it illegal for an individual to engage in “deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex.” The statute had been […]

The Ideology of Texas Republicans, Part 1

Republicans have dominated Texas politics for decades. During that time, Texas Republicans have developed a reputation of being in favor of free enterprise and limited government. But is this reputation deserved? Are they really defenders of individual liberty, or are they something else. This week, I will look at the ideas that dominate the Texas […]

False Alternatives

Last week, the Chronicle lamented the death of the Democratic Caucus of the Texas Senate. Because Democrats accepted the budget put forth by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the paper believes that Democrats have become irrelevant.

The editorial notes that Texas has fallen from the state with the nation’s lowest unemployment to 26th earlier this year. […]