Gail Collins, opinion columnist for the New York Times, loves research! The more the better. And she has outdone herself in this 2012 book, As Texas Goes…How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda.
The cover is a beautiful rendering of the Congress, the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument – with a huge white Texas 10-gallon hat on top of it. She began the book in the spring of 2009, when Rick Perry was addressing a Tea Party rally, and everyone was cheering the idea of seceding from the Union.
She leads us thoroughly through the tedious, banal and scary nightmare that is Texas politics, where nothing I believe is true, and everything I don’t like is cheered. And she shows us just how much influence Texas has had over this mess we’re living with nationally.
Texas doesn’t work. Yet, while hating the federal government, they are getting back from the feds way more than they put into it. Gail is a lot nicer – and a lot funnier – than I am about this. There’s lots to ruefully chuckle about. In education, mental health, global warming, financial deregulation and so much more… what happens in Texas unfortunately does not stay in Texas.
I love Gail, but, in spite of all her good evidence, I’m going to believe that America is going to throw off the infection of Texas ideas, and begin to move back to being the generous, smart and successful country I know and love. By 2024, we’ll be living in a better and happier world. Because if I don’t believe in a different reality, I’m likely just to be yelling straight on through from now until then.
This is a smart, funny, good book. I’ll be happy to lend it to you!