Texas State Rep. John Bryant of Dallas says Democrats in the Texas House are not responding with needed energy and urgency to the anti-democratic threat of Texas Republicans.
Rep. Bryant returned to the Texas House after previous service in the House 1974-1983. He then served 14 years in the U.S. Congress.
Here is what Rep. Bryant said in Texas Monthly:
Texas Monthly: What made you want to come to the Legislature again? The pay's not great. Why come back, especially in this political environment?
John Bryant: Well, remember the filing for these offices is in December of the year preceding the election. So this was December 2021. It was only eleven months after the invasion of the Capitol. You know, there was a huge amount of talk—and there remains a lot of talk—about measures that would effectively bring about an authoritarian system. I just thought we could lose everything. And so, you know, I’m sitting here complaining about it, when I could just run again. Maybe I can put my finger in the dike for a while until we get things straightened out. So I did.
TM: And how’s that working out?
JB: No matter what about this authoritarianism, the absence of Democratic opposition in the House and Senate does a significant disservice to the state. You have to be willing to provide some leadership on the Democratic side. This is a state with thirty million people. We have major problems. Half our people don’t own anything. They have no assets. There is just an absence of Democratic opposition. Along with some other folks, I’ve tried to provide some this time. I think that’s important, and to that extent I’m glad I came back.
The point Rep. Bryant is making is very much what the Houston Democracy Project is about. Our Democratic Party elected officials are not fighting back in a way that meets the authoritarian challenge.
We cannot continue a Houston municipal politics of low voter turnout, special interest-funded, law enforcement union-driven politics. It doesn't offer meaningful opposition. It doesn't keep us safe. There is no public safety with democracy. There is no public safety without strong opposition to authoritarianism.
The leading Texas substack Lone Star Left recently wrote about a job fair held by far-right Texas Rep. Beth Van Duyne. Many elected Democrats signed up to be part of this job fair.
Here is some of what Lone Star Left says:
"...why would any patriotic red-blooded American who lives with the values of empathy and fairness want to be part of the same event as a women that once called a 14 year-old-child a "terrorist" on the Glen Beck Show. Why would any Democrat want to be part of anything Van Duyne does?"
It is more clear each day that it will be up to rank & file Democrats, and anybody who cares about democracy, to insist that the people we elect fight for our basic freedom and safety. Fight for a future where democracy can be extended to all.
This is the mission of the Houston Democracy Project. We must change the culture of elections in Houston. Please keep up with the Project throughout the '23 Houston election season and please consider donating.
I'm Neil Aquino