Texas has been front and center in the national debate over the last year, for a myriad of reasons. The Lone Star State has weathered a devastating hurricane, a horrific church shooting, historic wildfires, shaky trade negotiations with Mexico, and a controversial bathroom bill.
In response to Texas’s perpetual position in the national consciousness, The Washington Post has published five myths about Texas, in an attempt to set the record straight about the Lone Star State.
The first myth is that Texans are all obsessed with guns. A June Pew poll found that Texans’ views on gun regulation are actually in line with those in the nation at large.
The second myth is that Texas is “the buckle of the Bible Belt.” While Evangelicals certainly play a role in Lone Star politics, the state is home to a widely varied religious tradition. Catholics make up the largest religious population, Texas has more Muslims than any other state, and the Speaker of the House is Jewish.
Myth three is illegal immigrants are hurting the state. In fact, immigrant communities have lower crime rates than the population at large. And Texas currently has its lowest unemployment rate ever, which means if anything the state needs more inflowing labor.
The fourth myth is that Texas is turning into a blue state. Texas has been a majority-minority state for ten years, and urban populations have been booming for decades. Yet Democrats haven’t won a statewide election in almost a quarter century.
Finally, there’s a myth that Texas’s fortunes depend on oil. Actually, the state’s economy has been diversifying for decades. In fact, in the post-NAFTA age the state’s prosperity is far more closely linked to globalist forces and international trade than it is to oil prices.