I have long insisted that a kind of frontier ethic still informs life down here in the Lone Star State. The old American myth of rugged individualism and self-reliance and neighbors helping neighbors. But that doesn’t explain our overwhelming distaste for government.
Almost every conservative Texas politician elected in the modern era has won by running against perceived evils in Washington and Austin. The most successful of these anti-government outsiders have settled into long careers on the public payroll, with great government benefits like health care and pensions, which the regular citizens they serve have increasingly found difficult to acquire.
Texas’s attitude toward government has become deadly.
The winter storm that was too much for Cruz offers a clear example of the tragedies that can accompany policies that are too conservative to make sense, but calculated enough to make some people money.
Texas fancied itself as independent from the rest of the Union, so it built an electrical grid all its own. The entire purpose seemed to be avoiding federal regulation and keeping energy cheap. Washington would have no say about what we Texans did regarding fuel prices and service delivery. Nor would we stoop to buying or borrowing power from the rest of the country.
Until we do. Which is just another manifestation of anti-government, fossil-fuel-fixated conservatism that denies climate change.
Senator Sensitive will be performing his comedy act for at least four more years.
The people he left freezing in Texas were not.