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Op-Ed

Bob Ehrlich: The Tide Is Turning - Will the Rest of the Nation Follow Texas' Lead?

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Pushback from a silent majority (to borrow a phrase) is giving plenty of Americans a feeling that a real normal — as opposed to a new normal — may be in the cards.

Indeed, pushback is occurring on many fronts, all refreshing signs that while 2020 spun wildly out of control, things are looking more promising in 2021.

The most personal aspect of the pushback campaign is the return to normalcy represented by the absence of face masks. Here, the momentum is swinging so fast that not so far into the future it will be the people (still) wearing masks in Whole Foods who will be the oddballs. Talk about progress.

A second sign that the apocalypse may not be in our immediate future is the slowly emerging recognition in the media that the predictably disastrous “defund” movement has been one catastrophic and violent failure — that the dominant takeaway from cuts to big-city police budgets has been a dramatic increase in lawlessness.

And thanks to conservative media, we’re seeing more reporting on how vulnerable victims of big-city crime (and businesses located in marginal neighborhoods) are demanding more security — and more police on the street — from their elected politicians.

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Defunding those who protect us was never going to be seen as normal, but the results have been even worse than imagined. The early and violent breakaway republic of “CHOP” looks almost serene compared to the freefall into chaos currently being experienced in our largest cities. The criticism of this dumbest of revolutionary ideas will only get louder as more and more regular folks return to their offices and workplaces.

As the progressive left has made the classroom the next front in the American culture wars, so now have parents and a select few politicians begun to push back on the tide of woke “instruction.”

Note that parental resistance (and resentment) is not limited to red districts, white parents or public schools. In fact, huge kudos go to those parents in deep-blue precincts who are fed up with indoctrination rather than education.

A precious few have even been willing to go on popular Fox News shows to express their frustration. For these good folks, you can bet there is a price to pay for speaking truth to woke. And with Democrats in control of both the White House and Congress, you can make another bet that a radicalized education establishment will not go quietly into the night.

Do you think the tide is turning against the left?

Pushback also includes voter resistance. Voters have now experienced 15 months of a national lockdown and six months of Biden/Harris. They have seen the economy crater, inflation spike, energy prices rise, crime rates in our largest cities skyrocket and Beijing publicly embarrass us at the initial U.S./China summit.

But most important, they have watched what had been a quiet southern border spiral out of control. And so the voters of the most impacted state — Texas — have responded at the ballot box.

First, there was the special election to fill an open seat in the state’s 6th Congressional District, a race in which Republicans carried the top two spots, thereby denying Democrats any seat in the general election. When all the primary votes were tallied, all Republican candidates totaled 62 percent, while all Democrats tallied under 40 percent.

Just two weeks ago, Texas Republicans celebrated two mayoral wins in Democrat-controlled counties. One city, McAllen, is 85 percent Hispanic but provided a close win for Javier Villalobos, the former chairman of the local Republican Party. Republicans also maintained control of the mayor’s seat in Fort Worth.

And now Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has announced plans with widespread support for his state to begin building its own border wall, a response to the Biden administration’s inaction in the face of unprecedented illegal migration — unabated as I write — over the southern border.

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The bottom line: These Texas races continue the realignment of Hispanic voters as seen in the 2020 presidential election in which President Trump won many of the historically Democratic counties located on or near the border.

Note that these Hispanic Democrats are distinguished from GOP-trending Hispanics in Florida, many of whom escaped repressive regimes in Central and South America and are increasingly reliable voters for a decidedly anti-socialist GOP.

Texas-based Hispanic Democrats, on the other hand, are voting against uncontrolled, chaotic immigration sponsored by the Biden administration. Making border towns more dangerous is not what voters of either party signed up for. If this trend continues, the old (and getting more aged by the minute) Democratic goal of “turning Texas blue” will be further out of reach.

Pushback indeed.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Robert Ehrlich is a former governor of Maryland as well as a former United States congressman and state legislator. He is the author of “Bet You Didn’t See That One Coming: Obama, Trump, and the End of Washington’s Regular Order,” in addition to “Turn This Car Around,” “America: Hope for Change" and “Turning Point.” Ehrlich is currently a counsel at the firm of King & Spalding in Washington, D.C.




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