Last Sunday, Joe “Puddin’ Head” Biden came to Texas to visit the border for the first time since taking office. Americans were treated to visions of a sleepy and uneventful border tour courtesy of a federal government that gaslit its own people about the role it played in the fate of its 35th chief executive.

If the only thing you knew about the Texas border was what you saw Sunday, you might believe that the border is stable and reports of hundreds of thousands of illegals pouring across the Texas-Mexico border every single month were ludicrous. You might not sympathize with Governor Greg Abbott’s bemoaning of the “sanitized border” on Twitter. You might believe the lies your elected officials are selling you. 

And yet … it didn’t have to be this way. 

Imagine if instead, Americans had seen a U.S. president furious about being kept away from the border due to Texas forces actively maintaining operational control over the entire boundary with Mexico. We could have seen Biden frantic about a heroic Texas governor who had taken back the 40 percent of border lands condemned by the federal government. We should have seen evidence of the competence and determination of the Texas Military Forces, who had, in places, crossed the Rio Grande to prevent large caravans of illegals from crossing the river into Texas.

Instead, Americans should have heard a president telling the American people that Texas was a “threat to democracy.” We should have heard him stutter on about how the cartels no longer had free run of the border and that this was somehow a bad thing for America. We would have heard sage CNN anchors tell us that only days before, the commander in chief of the Texas Guard had provided clear rules of engagement that permitted Texas soldiers to use lethal force to stop coyotes crossing into Texas. 

Nationwide, Americans should have witnessed Governor Abbott signing a law that would increase the size of the Texas Guard to 50,000 troops, more than tripling the strength of the Texas Military Forces and ensuring our ability to sustain the border mission indefinitely. Biden would have railed about the unconstitutionality of a state with its own well-equipped military and the threat to national security that it presented. 

Word of the steely-eyed governor of Texas would have gotten out via Twitter and various right-wing media outlets. Americans would forget about the relatively minor victories of Governor Ron DeSantis in favor of the “governor that Saved Texas & America.” The outrage of the mainstream-media would not obscure the pride that would swell in the hearts of every American and Texan … to know that the American spirit was no longer dead. Our next generation would learn that Texans will stand for our home and our rights and are ready and willing to draw a line in the sand, refusing to surrender our state to the tyranny of an unchallenged invasion.

Sadly, none of those things happened. Replacing the dream of a border under control is the reality that Abbott’s invasion declaration has been, up to this point, largely rhetorical. Our actual border mission involves only a small fraction of our state military, and our rules of engagement do not allow troops to force illegals to turn back. Even worse, our military is relegated to a mission where they merely babysit illegals until they can be handed over to federal authorities, who move them into the hearts of our cities. Even Governor Abbott gloats about transporting illegals deeper into America, dropping them off in some location that he believes to be inconvenient to our federal adversaries.

As the daydream fades, we reflect that Texans missed a great opportunity to define the narrative on Sunday. And yet, we can only hope our governor understands he would be remembered by our posterity in the same vein as Davy Crockett if only he took some lessons out of the pages of Texas’ own history books.

Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion. –Calvin Coolidge

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Andy Hopper

Andy Hopper is a co-founder of Wise County Conservatives, serves as a warrant officer in the Texas State Guard, and has worked in the private sector and defense industry as a software engineer for the last 24 years.