This week The New Yorker published an extended essay about Texas, calling the Lone Star State “the nation’s bellwether” and pondering if the future of the United States might look something like the current situation in Texas. The author of the essay is Lawrence Wright, a Pulitzer-Prize winning author and long-time Texan.
Wright notes that Texas is catching up with California and may eventually overtake the Golden State. But as the population of Texas grows more diverse, more urban, and more multicultural, the state’s politics have made a heavy swing to the right. Wright’s essay paints a picture of an epic battle between business-minded traditional conservatives and far-right zealots.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is drawn as a frothy-mouthed ideologue, while Wright describes House Speaker Joe Straus as a voice of reason.
In the end, Wright concludes that the election of Donald Trump “has poured kerosene on the already volatile world of Texas politics.”