If Democrats want to be the future of Texas, then Democrats need to represent the values of our rising generations.
Now, Democrats love a big tent.
But Senator Eddie Lucio Jr’s continuing alliances with religious right Republicans, and the Texas Democratic Party’s continuing support of him, doesn’t make the party a big tent. It makes it a mockery.
Yesterday, Senator Lucio came out as a supporter of SB 6, the heinous bill which would codify discrimination against transgender people.
Senator Lucio bucking the party isn’t new. In prior legislative sessions, he has rarely hesitated to oppose bills that would guarantee Texans’ access to abortion care.
The argument for opposing SB 6 is simple: if we believe that all people are created equal, then we need to act like it. We need to grant people autonomy over their own bodies, and respect them for exercising it.
It is exceedingly rare for a sitting Democrat to draw a primary challenger in Texas politics these days. It is also exceedingly rare for a Texas Democrat to win election to a seat not already held by a Texas Democrat.
It is time time for the words “rare,” “statewide,” and “Democrat” to stop appearing in sentences together.
This habit of not encouraging primary challengers has not served us well. It does great harm, in fact, when we allow an elected official like Senator Lucio to deny fundamental rights to entire groups of people and continue to call him a Democrat.
Texas is not a red state. Texas is a non-voting state. The population of people who lean to the Democratic side on social justice issues but do not vote because of their disgust with the system is growing.
If we fail to engage these disenfranchised younger Texans, then shame on us.
Let’s identify a true champion of women’s rights and trans rights, of public education and public health, of safe water and safe air, of affordable housing and public transportation. An honest to goodness progressive Texas Democrat. Or we might as well just yield that seat and the senate and the moral high ground.
That would be a damn shame. As a wise woman once said, I will not yield. Neither should Texas Democrats.