It has been reported that a staffer for the Bexar County Republican Party severely criticized “Christians” for the “No Confidence” vote against Texas Speaker Joe Straus last Monday, July 10. This appears to be part of an effort to divide the GOP into social conservative and fiscal conservative camps, and to isolate the social conservatives as out-of-step, politically incorrect, religious fanatics.
Straus has said the called the “Bathroom bill” and other conservative legislation “horse manure”, and his supporters have rally to support him by saying the bills are unnecessary and they will hurt Texas economically.
Straus Supporters say he is a "fiscal conservative", and his opponents are "social conservatives". They claim religion has no role in politics, and social issues divide the GOP as well as hurt its ability grow with certain groups.
But social issues don’t hurt the Republican Party. Let’s remember that Wendy Davis, the Democrat candidate for TX governor was a social liberal who supported abortion and same sex marriage. Davis she lost large numbers of Hispanic votes, including losing the Democratic primary in several south Texas counties to political a nobody.
Furthermore, GOP operatives fond of saying (when asking Hispanics for their votes) that Hispanics have conservative values such as family and religion that fit in with the GOP. If that’s true for Hispanics, why are those values good for the rest of the GOP?
Let’s also remember that Straus’ supporters are not above using the “religion card” when times get hot. In 2016, when Straus was in primary fight with challenger Jeff Judson for his House seat, the liberal San Antonio Express wrote an opinion editorial accusing Judson of being anti-Semitic. That wasn’t the first time the religion card was used.
When Straus first ran for speaker in 2009, his supporters claimed that his opponents were against him because he was Jewish. The religion card is used just like the race or gender card, when it’s convenient and play victim.
However, just like border security and immigration law enforcement is NOT about Mexicans or other Latinos, the opposition to Straus is not about religion. It is about Straus not supporting conservative legislative issues and the Texas GOP Platform that was crafted by grassroots Republican activists.
All Democrats claim they support lower taxes, but if there is anything that separates Republicans from Democrats publicly, it is social issues such as public funded contraception and abortions, same sex marriage, and unisex bathrooms. Political will results from moral conviction, and moral conviction is founded in religious believe and principles.
Christians, who are the majority in the Republican Party, are not the problem for the Republican Party of Texas. Disingenuous politicians who care about being re-elected and will say anything to be re-elected are the problem.
The Texas GOP Platform is work of the grassroots activists who represent a majority of the Party. It is the work of a majority of Party activists, and as a platform all candidates should stand on it. Straus, other elected officials, and state party leaders should respect and support the Platform…or perhaps they should join the other team.
Straus needs to understand that the defense of personal freedom and liberty starts in our neighborhoods and in our precincts, not in Austin or D.C. That's why it's called a "government of the people".