“There’s no point in being a moderate in Texas,” State Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower has remarked, “’cause the only things in the middle of the road are yellow stripes and dead armadillos.”
It helps to keep that observation in mind when considering the meaning of the 1984 Republican landslide in Texas. Perhaps more than any other place in the nation, it exemplifies Michael Harrington’s thesis that Americans have been moving simultaneously to the left, the right, and the center. Over the years, the Lone Star state has produced some of the nation’s leading reactionaries, such as John Tower and Phil Gramm, as well as some outstanding liberals, such as Ralph Yarborough and Mickey Leland. Culturally deeply conserva-...
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