No, the storm will not change politics in Texas

This is what Texas wants.

  1. Texas knew about this risk and did nothing to prevent it. A similar storm in 2011 should have changed the industry or the regulators or even the public’s mind, but nothing changed.
  2. The politicians who are responsible and the political parties they represent will shift any blame. This has already begun. They will blame the Green New Deal. They will blame socialism. They will say that government regulation caused the failure to modernize, insulate, or to prepare. We will hear stories that no one could have predicted this so why spend money on it? None of the politicians will take responsibility for the past decisions nor take responsibility to fix it for the future.
  3. Even if change is attempted, it will be diluted in details and bogged down in committees. Much will be said, but little will be done. This is intentional in a state where the weakest and most vulnerable live a precarious existence.[i] Increased taxes are needed but no one wants them.
  4. Once the immediate problems are fixed where water and power are restored people will be distracted and pre-occupied with more important issues. Soon the attention will focus on whatever it is that occupies the public instead of the public infrastructure. When the warm weather arrives, people will turn their attention to other things and the storm its effects will be forgotten. Hook ‘em Horns!
  5. This is Texas. We are not going to let anyone tell us how to live. We know best. As former governor Rick Perry said during the storm. “Texans would be without electricity for longer than three days to keep the federal government out of their business” [ii]
  6. Enough will be done to placate the public so that they can move on with their lives. People will be told they should not litigate the past. If they want a positive future, they need to stop pointing fingers and assigning blame. They need to support their government and stop complaining.
  7. There is no desire to change because those that benefit from the status quo see no need to change. They have survived the storm and they see no need for any change to a system that has worked and will continue to work once it is fixed.

The status quo to resist change is powerful in Texas. What you face is a situation where the powerful elite who are insulated from these events will only do enough to placate the public and ensure the problem is diluted, deferred, and diverted onto others to avoid the serious requirements for change. If Texas had wanted a different outcome, they could have voted for it or they could have argued for it in 2011 but they didn’t.

Perhaps 2021 will be a point where something changes. I doubt it. The storm will not be a factor in 2022 or in 2024 because the status quo is too powerful in Texas.


[i] https://www.governing.com/archive/gov-maternal-infant-mortality-pregnant-women-texas.html

see also those who need health care coverage https://stateofreform.com/news/texas/2019/08/new-report-finds-texas-ranks-in-the-bottom-percentage-for-health-care-coverage/

and the elderly https://familiesforbettercare.com/index.php/news/bottom-10-texas

[ii] Former Governor Rick Perry summed it up https://www.republicanleader.gov/whats-up-in-texas/

About lawrence serewicz

An American living and working in the UK trying to understand the American idea and explain it to others. The views in this blog are my own for better or worse.
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