Many of the Republican officeholders in Texas are very upset with the grassroots. The politicians are mad that citizens aren’t being appropriately appreciative of what we are “getting” this session.

One person even suggested to me conservatives should just be “grateful for something rather than nothing.” Such defeatist notions might explain why the Texas GOP is in the place it’s in; party loyalists have enslaved themselves to the tyranny of low expectations, held captive to the politics of personality.

Rather than deliver fully and completely on their promises, too many politicians expect voters to rally around vague notions of party “unity.” I’m all for unity… around real things. The best kind of unity arises when elected officials deliver without excuse on the promises they have repeatedly made. No one has an obligation—moral or otherwise—to unify around stale table scraps.

It’s as though the Red-Elephant-Team cheerleaders have missed the nontrivial fact that the Texas GOP has commanding majorities in both chambers of the legislature and holds every statewide office. Conservatives should be getting a lot more than “something.” After two decades of control of state government, the GOP base should have everything they want.

Instead, the implication by some in the crony-wing of the Republican establishment is that voters should be grateful long-promised policies are being killed by “friendly” Republicans rather than mean Democrats.

If one lives under a medieval monarchy or dictatorial oligarchy, then perhaps gratitude for benevolent neglect from the current regime is an appropriate response for the serfs. It could, indeed, be worse for them.

Fortunately, we live in a constitutional republic in which the self-governing people are sovereign. Rather than preen about as our “leaders,” elected officials and government bureaucrats are supposed to be our servants. Supposed to be.

The obligation is for them to deliver on our expectations and their promises. It is not the citizens’ obligation to seek reasons to heap praise on politicians after they fail to perform.

Rather than pretend table scraps are a delectable meal, political activists must have high standards for – and expect real results from – our elected servants. Otherwise, we can not be surprised when our fellow Texans start looking for new servants. The wrong response would be to replace bad Republicans with worse Democrats; but that isn’t the only choice.

Consider this: 82 percent of Texans do not participate in Republican Party primaries. They have no loyalty to the “party.” So it is safe to assume they don’t care much about the “unity” of the political party, either. They are, however, very concerned with actual, practical results they can see for themselves and their families.

Our reaction to the faithlessness of politicians shouldn’t be to let our frustrations pull us deeper into the soft tyranny of the left. Instead, we should redouble our efforts to set high expectations for our public servants… and find better replacements.

The answer isn’t to replace Republicans with Democrats, but to swap out self-serving Republicans for those who will fight unceasingly for the principles on which their party has campaigned.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

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