Friday, December 20, 2013

Life In God's Country - Local Politics Version

Reason #287 Why I Love Living In The Texas Hill Country
Democratic candidates are a rarity in the Hill Country, and that longstanding political fact was freshly illustrated by party primary filings of those seeking election next November to county posts there.

Nary a Democrat declared for local races in Kerr, Gillespie, Kendall, Bandera and Comal counties.
I'm proud to say I live in one of those counties.
“It's hard to get people to run if they know they're going to lose just because you're a Democrat,” said Brenda Harrison, Democratic Party chairwoman in Kerr County, where only two Democrats have run locally in the past decade, both unsuccessfully.

“There's just not enough Democrats for anybody to get elected to a countywide office in these hills out here,” agreed Fred Mabry, the Democratic Party chairman in Bandera County.
That's because most folks out here take education seriously, work for a living, and don't collect welfare or food stamps. We also hunt, fish, and help our neighbors who need it. Contrast that with the values of democrat strongholds such as Detroit or Chicago.*

(H/T Doug Ross)

Republicans see their strong presence in the Hill Country as an endorsement of their party's platform and values, which they say has grown despite a Democrat occupying the White House.
“A lot of people in the rural areas don't support Obama, and that deters people from the Democratic Party,” said Spencer Yeldell, communications director for the Republican Party of Texas.
That's because we're racists...
It's even been tough finding a landlord willing to rent property for campaign offices, (Robbi Boone, Democratic Party chairwoman in Comal County) said.
That's because landlords don't want to incur the added expense of fumigating the property after the democrats move out.

* In all seriousness, this part of Texas was settled in the mid-1800s by a group of Germans known as the Freethinkers. Their influence was profound in establishing the area's philosophical underpinnings and values - it's Weltanschauung (a particular philosophy or view of life; the worldview of an individual or group). Those traits have been passed down through the generations and still are strongly held by many today.
Between the years 1845 and 1860, a large contingent of German Freethinkers immigrated to the Texas Hill Country. Unlike the thousands of Adelsverein-sponsored German farmers immigrating to the United States and Texas to escape overpopulation and economic problems, the Freethinkers, being ardent advocates of democracy and freedom from religion, were fleeing primarily from political and religious tyranny. They came to the United States seeking freedom from dictatorial monarchies and clerics.

The Freethinkers refused to accept political absolutism and the authority of a church, religion, or its supposedly inspired scripture...

Besides being well educated, many of the Freethinkers had been quite affluent while living in the German states. When they immigrated to Texas, they brought with them not only clothes and guns, but books, linens, china, paintings, musical instruments, and especially, a new philosophy. As a matter of survival, these intellectuals rapidly engaged in the effort to master the art of pioneer farming. For this endeavor, they drew on the expertise of the Comanches and some local Mormons who taught them how to raise the crops best suited for the Texas climate and soil.

They quickly learned to clear land; build cabins, cabinets, wagons, and fences; cut trees; split shingles; shoe horses; distill wine; roll cigars; hunt and fish; and raise corn, cotton, tobacco and cattle. However, their time was divided between fields and education. Higher ideals, classics, and cultural affairs were studied, discussed, and debated. Their children early on were schooled in these areas.

Education was of paramount importance to these intellectual immigrants. They built schools and libraries which also served for defense against occasional renegade Indian attacks. They educated their children to be independent and self-reliant, and with minds free from prejudice. They strongly encouraged a skeptical outlook on the pronouncement of others in their own study of right and truth. Very important in their education was the development of a spirit which would sustain the courage of their convictions without regard to personal consequences. Girls, as well as boys, were strongly encouraged to pursue their highest potential level of aptitude. (emphasis added)
The Texas Hill Country is a beautiful place, both spiritually and visually. I can't imagine living anywhere else.


Old NFO said...

Well said, and too bad your area is an anomaly...

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Tim. My all-time favorite part of the great state
of Texas, especially feeding the deer out of our hands at Kerrville
State Park, and Frank McCarthy's art in the Cowboy Artist's Museum.

A special bit of Heaven, that!

Joe Harwell

Harper said...

Thanks for rubbing it in. Someday I will live in one of those counties, though my current county is solidly red.

CenTexTim said...

NFO - Yeah, it is. Funny how most of the big cities vote dem, and most of the small towns and rural areas go repub. Says something about who lives where.

Harper - Of course, life here isn't as idyllic as I portray it, but I still wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

CenTexTim said...

Thanks, Joe. I'm glad you liked it.