So what kind of state is Rick Perry's Texas? We're number one in executions, and in the top ten in teen birth rate, toxic and cancerous manufacturing emissions, clean water permit violations, percentage of the population that goes hungry, and percentage of people without medical insurance. Hot damn! How about that Texas miracle?
A more complete picture comes when you see in what categories we're in bottom ten: percentage of eligible voters who go to the polls, percentage of poor covered by Medicaid, average hourly wage, per capita spending on public health, SAT scores, and high school graduation rates.
But if you really want to know what kind of state this is, get in your car and cruise our wild Metroplex freeways of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. There you'll discover the Wild West isn't dead. Hell, it's not even wounded.
What you'll experience is near anarchic conditions where rednecks with "Finally! We have a face to go on the food Stamp" (sic) bumperstickers and little chrome fish -- driving their weapons of choice -- mainly, SUVs, 2-ton trucks, and Hummers -- careen through traffic like the Visigoths after they sacked Rome.
The redneck hordes' driving mirrors their Neanderthal, Ayn Rand, Darwinian, survival-of-the-fittest, I've-got-mine-screw-you piece of caca we've all had to endure for far too long. Yes, these are manly men who equate patriotism with believing everything every Republican President (or Republican governor) says and cheering from their Lazyboys as we attack yet another impoverished third world backwater.
Yes, they'll sacrifice for the war. They bought a magnetic yellow ribbon to put their truck, didn't they? Just don't ask them to pay any more in taxes. It is their money, after all.
And as you're tooling down one of our 8-lane sprawl producers, why don't you check out our non-denominational, mega-Bible churches with their 21st century multi-media services and 19th century Rapture-waiting, holier-than-thou exclusivity.
But look closely because the dirty little secret is these kinds of churches are not really Christian in the traditional sense. Sure, they mention Jesus or the Lord every few seconds. But their Jesus is a God-in-a-box, who, not so strangely enough, always calls them to ever more power and wealth, not something as pitiful and old-fashioned as self-sacrifice or god forbid, brotherly love. In reality, their religion is based less on Jesus, a 1st century Mediterranean peasant revolutionary, than on American exceptionalism and consumerism.
And as you continue to drive, pay attention. Notice how the neighborhoods you pass are as stratified by class and race as any caste system. They ring our Texas cities like Dante's circles of hell. If it ever existed, our much-touted egalitarianism is an anachronism, a relic we've collectively tossed into the weeds on the side of the road, like so much fast food trash.
And finally, notice our Texas downtowns. In the Middle Ages, what were the tallest buildings in Europe? The Gothic cathedrals that rose like folded hands in prayer represented the Catholic Church in all its power. Now what are the tallest buildings?
The glass and steel cathedrals of transnational corporations -- watch them as they gleam in the unforgiving Texas sun, and know, my fellow Americans, we're in trouble and that starts with a capital T and rhymes with rubble.
The truth is that in our state democracy was long ago trumped by rapacious rednecks who buy politicians like most of us buy toilet paper, in bulk. And they don't care about me or their fellow Texans. They care about only two things: themselves and money.
Notice how Perry said that he was offended if Michelle Bachmann believed he was bought for a measly $5000; that's chump change to the man from Paint Creek, who became a millionaire as a "public servant." It would be funny, if it were not so sad and typical of my state.