I guess I don't buy this story that Texas has gone conservative/libertarian/Republican because it has become southern rather than western. Just as in the South, so in much of the West there has been a big switch from supporting Democrats to being very Republican. This has happened in states like Utah, Arizona, Idaho, and others, if not necessarily in ultra-progressively green New Mexico.
I think the forces at work in this shift are also at work in Texas, not some big identity shift of Texas from western to southern. Barkley Rosser On Tue, 29 Sep 1998 12:51:01 -0500 (CDT) J Cullen <reporter at eden.com> wrote:
> I don't remember that story in The Nation either, but populist historian
> Lawrence Goodwyn, a former associate editor of the Texas Observer now a
> professor at North Carolina, wrote "Texas Oil, American Dreams: A Study of
> the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association" (Barker
> Texas History Center Series, No. 5). Goodwyn wrote the book for TIPRO but
> it was published in 1997 by the Texas State Historical Assocation (you can
> find it at amazon.com). I have not read it but it might have good
> information on this topic. People outside the oil patch may not realize
> that independent oil operators have no love for Big Oil.
> I agree with you that the best parts of Texas have to do with its western
> heritage, not its southern heritage -- and there is a progressive populist
> streak in Texas that is often overlooked, which elected and re-elected
> Ralph Yarborough to the Senate in the 1950s and 1960s but got overcome by
> the reaction to the civil rights movement in the late 1960s.
> Since then many of the conservative Democrats have become Republicans but
> progressives managed to elect candidates such as Jim Hightower, Jim Mattox
> and Ann Richards in 1982, '86 and '90. Unfortunately, Richards proved to be
> a disappointment as governor and her move to the center contributed to her
> defeat in 1994. But Mattox, who gained his stripes taking on corporations
> as attorney general from 1983-1991, is now the only Democrat leading in
> polls for statewide office.
> I agree that the Sons of the Pioneers are classical music, but they were a
> California group. Bob Wills, of course, was the King of Western Swing.
> If you do find the Nation story, I'd like to see a copy.
> -- Jim C.
> > Dear Jim,
> >Back in the mid 80's someone wrote a two part story for the Nation
> >entitled How the Democrats Lost Big Oil. No one at the Nation remembers
> >the story, which I thought was quite good. It really explained why Texas
> >has become so southern rather than western. I really miss thinking of
> >Texas as a western state. I really like Joe Bob Briggs and the Sons of the
> >Pioneers are my all time favorite c&w group---I like classical music.
> >As far as this religious business goes...most of these "pastors" never got
> >to the back of the book. They know a lot about smitin' and smootin', but,
> >no much about anything else. Although I do think that the execution of
> >that crazy woman in Texas not to long ago may have registered a little
> >with Falwell, Robertson & Co.
> >Sincerely, Tom
> >J Cullen wrote:
> >According to one longtime Texas political observer I checked with,
> >Richardson and Murchison were only partners in one deal, to buy the
> >Pennsylvania Railroad. I don't know what happened to that. As far as the
> >oil bidness, they may have had some business dealings but in the main they
> >operated independently.
> >My source confirmed that Murchison was the more conservative of the two;
> >Richardson was mainly pragmatic and any of his dealings were on a quid pro
> >quo basis.
> >-- Jim Cullen
> THE PROGRESSIVE POPULIST
> James M. Cullen, Editor
> P.O. Box 150517, Austin, Texas 78715-0517
> Phone: 512-447-0455
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-- Rosser Jr, John Barkley rosserjb at jmu.edu