Our republic wasn’t designed for the convenience of a special elite. While we’ve been conditioned to think of it today as a vaguely uplifting political poetry, our Founding Fathers began the U.S. Constitution with three purposeful words: “We the people.”

The people are supposed to be in charge, with everyone operating under clearly stated laws equally applied. Similarly, the responsibility for the future of the republic doesn’t rest with presidents or mayors, governors or senators, but with each of us as citizens.

And yet… we have been distracted. For too long, too many of us have been lulled to civic sleep or pointed in the wrong direction. The citizens have been told to fight with each other over the table scraps offered by the self-appointed ruling elite.

In Texas, we’re approaching the 20th anniversary of complete Republican domination of the state’s political machinery. Republicans hold every statewide executive office, every statewide judicial office, and commanding majorities of both legislative chambers. Yet, government is more bloated than ever, and the property tax burden higher than when they took control.

A friend recently attended a meeting of the Texas Republican Party’s state executive committee. On the agenda was a proposal (that passed) for communicating publicly to lawmakers what the GOP grassroots expected the state’s GOP-dominated House and Senate to deliver in the coming legislative session. A sniveling apologist for the lawmakers fretted that the elected officials wouldn’t like being told what to do. That’s fairly typical.

When citizens raise these points, the elected class in Austin often raise their eyebrows in mock horror and tell of the dastardly deeds of the Democrats. Some, if they are edgy, might even lay blame on the “RINOs” – those Republicans In Name Only who conspire with the Democrats. 

But here’s the thing: Everyone in office is a Republican in name only until they prove otherwise with their actual record, delivering on their results.

The fact is, conservative policies are killed or ignored in Texas because Republicans allow it. When a Democrat is seen gleefully holding a bloody knife over a gutted GOP priority, it is because Republican lawmakers allowed it.

Citizens must understand the process and not be distracted by the self-serving fairy tales told by lazy legislators and their sycophantic cheerleaders. 

It begins by reminding ourselves that the responsibility for safeguarding our republic and advancing our priorities rests with each of us as citizens. We must not allow ourselves to be distracted by the public servants from our high calling as citizens.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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