Greg Abbott could lose in Texas — but it feels like Democrats don’t believe that





After Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, successfully fielded off a primary challenge on Tuesday night, his campaign spent the next morning reminding people that their strategy of attacking marginalized Texans has only just begun.

when asked about the Abbott campaign running on the notion that gender-affirming care for trans children is equivalent to child abuse, David Carneya New Hampshire based consultant who has worked with Abbott for years now, said, “That is a 75-80% winner.”

“I don’t believe even O’Rourke would think that if a parent cut off the hand of their kid, that would not be child abuse,” he continued.

After defeating challenges from ex-state senator Don Huffines, former Florida congressman Allen West, and Chad Prather, a conservative entertainer, Abbott will run against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, the former congressman and 2020 presidential contender.

Abbott has spent much of the last two years effectively trying to troll his way to reelection. This includes issuing executive orders banning mandates for masks and vaccines, ordering thousands of National Guard troops to set up along the border, restricting abortion access, signing laws allowing Texans to carry guns without permits, issuing bans against the teaching of critical race theory, passing draconian voter ID laws, and, more recently, attacking trans healthcare for children. This is a man who drowns himself in the misery of others for political expediency.

There are at least three known reports of abuse that have already been leveled against parents of trans children, and according to a new suit filed by the ACLU on Tuesday, that includes an employee of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. That employee has reportedly been placed on leave and had an investigator sent to her home from her. The fear this instills in families cannot be understated.

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“Investigations are really terrifying — these are people who are coming into your house and have the power to remove your children at any time,” Kelley Fong, an assistant professor at Georgia Tech who has studied how such practices actually prevent those who need it most from seeking aid, explained to Slate.

The Texas foster system is notorious for its bad conditions. In January, the Texas Tribune reported on a Michigan facility housing Texas foster care children that went without a front door and indoor heat for 24 hours when it was 28 degrees outside. Other reports speak to the system being in crisis, to the point where both staff and children are in danger. This is the system that Abbott wants to place trans kids in for no other reason than their parents accepting their child’s right to define themselves rather than be defined.

This is not just “troubling” as the White House indicated last week, but downright cruel. It’s also part of a larger plan.

Carney admits as much in a comment to another reporter: “All of this wokeness is great. Quite honestly, the people you work with on the editorial pages, the columnists, think this is a terrible thing. Tsk, tsk, tsk, as they drink their white wine with their masks through a straw.”

“Woke” and “wokeness” are now devoid of their original meaning after white folks like David Carney got a hold of it, but these days, when it’s not a misnomer for “Black,” it often just applies to anyone who isn’t white, male, and Republican.

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I’m a native Texan, Black man, and member of the LGBTQ community. I don’t want to see my rights trampled on. A lot of people take too long to understand how the cruelty displayed to one marginalized group can be extended to another.

When Greg Abbott left many Texans like me to freeze as the state power grid collapsed — in some cases, to freeze to death — then went on Fox “News” to lie about the cause of the crisis and to troll about climate change, it made clear to me how far he would go for power. Yet, he remains the clear favorite to win. And now I’m more concerned about whether Democrats will try to remedy this at all.

Despite its conservatism and its history in rank prejudice, Texas in 2022 is an incredibly diverse state. In my opinion, it remains a “red state” because not enough Democrats have seriously tried to win it. It’s possible, with a bit of courage, to break that cycle — but the Democratic Party seems endlessly unwilling to put in the work.

That does not describe Beto O’Rourke, who, to his credit, has more forcefully challenged Abbott time and time again. But his race of him is not one often spoken about in terms of the possibilities. Few are being bold or optimistic enough to even speak the words: Abbott can actually lose.

Perhaps that will change, but it won’t if he doesn’t get more of a real push from his party. It would make for good practice against a 2024 run against Donald Trump, bigotry’s biggest and most popular spokesperson, or Ron DeSantis, a discount version of Trump who is no less hateful but slightly younger and more energetic.

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If not, the terror many are feeling now in Texas will continue to spread, and, presumably, so will the right’s list of targets.




www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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