Whoever photo-shopped this picture perhaps thought he or she was cracking wise.
In fact, it ain’t funny.
The Texas Legislature and the state’s governor, Greg Abbott, are turning the state into the butt of jokes that won’t make many of us laugh out loud.
The state has enacted three laws that took effect at the start of the month that give me the heebie-jeebies.
One of them is the so-called “constitutional carry law” that allows any Texas resident — with some exceptions — to pack heat openly without ever having to be tested to determine if they know how to handle a firearm. They can’t be convicted felons, or convicted of domestic abuse or be a dishonorably discharged military veteran. But … still.
Another of them sets strict voting restrictions aimed primarily at voters who live in heavily Democratic communities. It bans drive-in balloting, restricts vote by mail and gives partisan poll watchers more power to snoop at what voters are doing at polling places.
Then we have this law that effectively makes abortion illegal in Texas. It says women cannot terminate a pregnancy earlier than six weeks … when most women don’t even know they’re pregnant!
I suppose I should note that these laws are being driven by Texas Republican pols.
A couple we know well once moved out of Texas and settled in Virginia. Part of the reason they made the move — and this was years ago — was because of the wacky political climate that was developing in this state. The husband half of this couple, a retired journalist, told me bluntly that the state was going bonkers and he couldn’t stand to be anywhere near the state where he came of age as a young man. This couple was ahead of their time.
Accordingly, I get asked now and then, “Why do you live in that state?” Well, we live here because we came to Texas more than 37 years ago because I wanted to pursue my career as a print journalist. We are staying here because we love watching our granddaughter grow up.
As for the politics, I am going to compartmentalize all these political matters. I pledge to not let them get me down. It’ll be a tough task, but we do have a good life here … even if the politicians who write these laws are trying mightily to pi** me off.