Driving around North Texas as I do damn near daily, I see street corners and highway intersections festooned with campaign signs promoting candidates for this or that public office.
It’s election time, after all.
One mantra is part of almost all the signs I see crowing for the benefits of Republicans seeking election this year.
They call themselves, almost to a person, “conservative Republican.”
I am compelled to ask myself: Is there any other kind of Republican?
Suppose you happen to be a Republican who, say, is pro-choice on abortion. You believe a woman should be able to determine — with advice and counsel from her partner, her doctor, her clergy — whether she wants to carry a pregnancy to birth. Does that wipe away any other conservative views you might have on, say, taxation, or gun-owners’ rights or government spending? What about same-sex marriage or whether schools should be allowed to display the Ten Commandments?
In this day of political rigidity, any variation from every conservative tenet labels one, apparently, a “woke” liberal, a squishy progressive who secretly believes in socialist economic policy.
When I see these “conservative Republican” captions on campaign signs, I am left to presume the candidate also adheres to the MAGA dogma promoted by the most recent POTUS. My presumption, therefore, allows me to believe that to be a “conservative Republicans” means you endorse the idiocy preached by the former POTUS.
I recall when a Republican president, Richard Nixon, endorsed the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. Another Republican POTUS, George H.W. Bush, promoted the Americans with Disabilities Act, which became law in 1991. Still another Republican, President George W. Bush, invested more public money to fight HIV/AIDS than the rest of the world combined.
On the Democratic side, some of you might recall that U.S. Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson was a staunch supporter of the Vietnam War effort in the late 1960s. That didn’t make him less of a Democrat than any of his colleagues who opposed the war effort.
“Conservative Republican” these days looks for all the world to describe just about anyone willing to run on the GOP ticket for public office. In North Texas, the political playing field is swarming with them.