What possibility is there that states like Texas may drift to the left? Texas is a large Southern State, renowned for it’s conservative attitudes. Although Texas may seem conservative from the outside, it is from the perspective of immigration and the education system that cracks begin to appear. I have with my own eyes seen some a college instructor openly denigrate the Republican Party, and I had only one openly conservative liberal arts teacher at college, who was in the English department. It is in the English department that leftism is most obvious in the views of the department. We can also see potential problems regarding the issue of immigration. Although the mass immigration of Mexicans into the U.S. is not something accepted by most Texans, and we have had very few problems with immigration, it is still possible that things could change in the future, as more and more immigrants arrive from México, and it is possible that leftists and liberals could capitalize on this. Texas is not immune to the problems of California or Massachusetts. There are threats in both the English department and the immigration system, but there are solutions to be found in those areas as well.
There are many theories of literature that are dominant in the academy today. Formalism is the theory of literature that was dominant from the twenties until the sixties and is the most conservative in it’s political inclinations. Although is still at the head of the list and is considered the foundation of modern literary theory, there are other theories that are more popular and more dominant. They are often more likely to be founded on leftwing principles. There is Gender and Queer theory, where literature is analyzed through the lenses of gender and sexuality, with an emphasis on sexual minorities. There is also feminist theory, with it’s perspective, as well as several Marxist theories of literature. There are some others that are slightly more neutral, such as New Historicism, but even it is often considered to be morally relativist, and many consider it overly deterministic, since it treats the specific historical conditions of the author as dominant.
These problems in the English department may affect few Texans today, but more and more people are going to college, and almost everyone who obtains a teaching certificate will be taking English classes at a community college. If they absorb the opinions of the teaching departments and begin to repeat these beliefs in front of the children they teach, even those who do not attend college will receive the teachings of leftwing college professors. And there are many people who would argue that community college is the new high school, and may soon be common for all people to attend it. I have personally seen many students accept these teachings, and I am afraid that many will internalize these beliefs if teachers begin to teach them.
There are also possible hazards from the southern border. Our immigration so far has been reasonable, and has not tilted Texas significantly towards the left. However, that may change in the future. Our immigration difficulties are not as bad as the ones experienced by Arizona, but that doesn’t mean we are immune to having our state changed by immigration. California was certainly changed by it’s immigration. The influx of a disproportionately poor population moved it’s politics to the left and led to the success of progressive Democrats. In our state we are still electing conservative politicians, but immigration may change things. Our Republican governor currently has no plans to attempt to enforce federal immigration law in the same manner that governor Brewer of Arizona has. Many feel that attempting to make any hard-line moves against immigration would upset the status quo and alienate some Voters. Although this course of inaction may seem prudent today, if it causes a weakening of conservatism in Texas it could lead to Democrats winning victories at the polls in the future.
We must remember that California entered the sixties as a conservative state, but as politics changed so did demographics, and the politicians used that to cause even more political change. The new immigrants were poor people, and had very little inherent loyalty to the broader community in California. They instinctually voted only on the basis of there personal welfare and that of their neighborhood, with little regard to what happened outside it. It is possible that politicians here in Texas will try to capitalize on this very same alienation and use it to transform politics and move the State to the left. It would be wise for conservative politicians to take steps to prevent this.
Dealing with the universities and colleges is a delicate matter, especially because of the demand that many have for a cheap education. Simply defunding the Universities would most likely be politically impossible, and regulations could be seen as a means of infringing on academic freedom. Placing curriculum standards in place would be one method by which the legislature could encourage a more balanced viewpoint in the colleges and universities. It may also be time to consider alternatives to the current trend towards increasing college enrollment. If more students began working directly out of high school that would mean less exposure to the public education system. It might be advisable to explore means of encouraging such behavior. We should remember that the current system of education is very new. 100 years ago few children in our country or any other advanced past elementary school, yet countries like the United States and Great Britain were nevertheless the most powerful countries in the world. It is not necessary that the education system continue along it’s current path. We can find better alternatives.
One of the simplest ways of dealing with our immigration problems would be to follow the model of Arizona governor Jan brewer. We should limit foreign immigrants in Texas only to those who are willing to obey the laws of the United States and Texas. If Texas takes steps to discourage illegal immigration, that will help keep our immigration limited only to those who are willing to follow immigration procedures. Immigrants who believe in the culture and society of Texas have not harmed it, and should be welcomed, but those who come here only to earn income and do not believe in the traditions or laws of this country should be rejected.
Although some in Texas may feel we are clear from the social transformations that have rocked other parts of the country, we can see that is clearly not the case. If Texas is to remain a bastion of Conservatism actions must be taken to defend it’s society and beliefs.