As hard as it is to believe, Texas is on the verge of becoming a purple state. The staple of American conservatism, the “California of the right,” is suffering from inept leadership within the state Republican Party, scandals in the state legislature, and a growing number of members on Capitol Hill who are retiring. The 2020 election will determine whether or not Texas retains its status as a safely red state.
One man wants to not only protect Republican control in the state but also bolster constitutional conservatism within the ranks of the GOP itself. That man is retired Lt. Colonel Allen West. The former representative from Florida has made Texas his home, and he doesn’t want to see his backyard painted purple.
There are many factors at play that are working against conservatism in Texas. Rampant illegal immigration coupled with voter fraud helped Beto O’Rourke get a million more votes in the 2018 midterm election than Senator Ted Cruz’s previous opponent. Meanwhile, feckless leadership within the party has acted too cautiously amidst allegations that House Speaker Dennis Bonnen offered press credentials in exchange for attacks on his political foes. Current Texas GOP chair James Dickey has done nothing but try to figure out how to mitigate the damage while West has called for Bonnen to step down.
As Texas goes, so too does the nation when it comes to Republican politics. If Texas turns purple in 2020, it will be because not enough conservatives hit the polls. Despite their appreciation of President Trump, dissatisfaction with the GOP at the local, state, and national levels could bring a lukewarm response from voters. If that happens and Texas turns, the repercussions will be felt well beyond the Lonestar State.