At the Resurgent Gathering, The Honorable Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, sat down with Erick Erickson to discuss various topics in front of an engaged audience. Summary points follow:
Is Texas overrated?
Mr. Abbott notes the main comparison is between California and Texas, as the demographics and the general population of both states are similar. However, those two aspects are the only commonalities of both states. The main different between the two states are the concepts of capitalism and socialism. Texas is pure capitalism, while California is pure socialism.
Point 1: Texas is the leader of the national movement for capitalism, while California is the leader to try and bring the socialism movement to the rest of the country. From a common-sense perspective, California’s socialism will fail, both in the movement and for the state itself.
According to Mr. Abbott, what makes Texas number one are attracting businesses and individual liberty. To compare, California is number one in poverty, and is number two in the high cost of living (Hawaii is number one).
Point 2: Texas is growing: 1,000 people are moving to Texas every day. Many are from liberal areas of the country. Jokingly, Mr. Abbott states that Texas will use the state’s own money and budget to build their own wall, except that the wall will not be to the South, but will be to the West at New Mexico to keep California out J
The interesting part of this is when folks move from liberal areas of the county and reside in Texas, their philosophies assimilate to the great individual liberty focus of Texas. Mr. Abbott mentioned an antidote that many liberal persons move to Texas, mature, and end up owning guns and enjoying the gun range.
Point 3: Discussion on the natural disasters:
As an inspirational example, Mr. Abbott told of his accident. Mr. Abbott persevered and has become stronger due to his challenges and pain. He mentioned his personal story as a basis for what Texans do every day, and especially so during natural disasters (e.g., Harvey) and evil doers (e.g., Santa Fe school shooting). What happens? Speed to those in need, and support them no matter race, ethnicity, politics, religion, etc. The point is to help one another, no matter what, so that neighborhoods, businesses, churches, and communities heal and are up and running again, as soon as possible.
What is the key? Resilience. Texans are dedicated to fostering a unique resilience to respond. How? Through faith and trust in God.
Mr. Abbott explained the thousands of people who, after Harvey, looked at the roads that were now rivers. So many of them, with no government request or requirement, took their boats and looked for people to rescue. This is another big difference between Texas and California. In California, everyone expects each aspect of their lives to be controlled by someone in the government.
Point 4: Overall, GA “Texas has the best workforce in the US.” This is the response from many of the companies that decide to come to Texas, including Apple. Presumed sentiment for businesses moving to Texas would be that regulations are realistic, empowering, and encourage business, both large and small. In addition, Texas taxes are low, especially as compared to California. With these great business aspects, the overall sentiment is still the solid Texas workforce. What do employers look for that Texas people have?
- An internal drive for self-reliance and success
- Having a “can-do” job
Point 5: Connecting these thoughts, the conversation turned to the great variety of businesses that exist in Texas. Austin, the location of this robust Resurgent Gathering, is considered a technology hub and is in solid competition with Silicon Valley. For example, beyond Apple and Dell, Oracle opened a 27-acre campus nearby the location of this conference. Quickly after the ribbon-cutting, Oracle executives realized expansion is needed. The technology focus extends to Dallas, as well being the location for the highest concentration of financial sector workers. Houston has first class medical facilities, conducting cutting-edge research and providing patients with the newest options in clinical research trials. Not to mention the oil and gas boom, where there are not enough people in Midland, for example, for the number of jobs that are available. These jobs are well-paying, such as petroleum engineers and geophysicists.
Point 6: The conversation turned with the liberal pipe dream of Texas turning democratic. Mr. Abbott, not missing a beat, stated “Texas is going to stay red.” Understand this as conservative red, not communist red.
Point 7: How does GA balance the differences between conservatism vs republican? Mr. Abbott’s response was adamant with confidence: “pretty easy”. Texas has a foundation of conservatism, and he outlined five key components as the foundation:
- Keep taxes low and continue to find ways to cut taxes at every opportunity
- Cut regulations and reduce the burden on businesses
- Right to work
- Enforce the rule of law; uphold the 10th amendment
- Continue to develop a quality workforce
Point 8: Related to this, Erick asked how this conservative foundation is upheld in liberal areas like Austin, the location of this Resurgent Gathering. Once again, in a confident manner Mr. Abbott states, “Easy. We don’t tolerate it.” He then outlined several examples of keeping common sense in Texas:
- Austin: No longer a plastic bag ban
- Austin: Overrode a ban attempt of Uber and Lyft
- Denton: Overrode a fracking ban attempt
- Throughout Texas: banned sanctuary city policies
In closing, many thanks were exchanged. Mr. Abbott noted the foundation of Texas is independent of who is governor. It is the people that makes Texas great. His last note to all future governors? “Don’t mess it up.”
Watch the exchange via twitter #ResurgentGathering.
Thank you for reading.