Can you imagine how difficult it would be to shop in a store where none of the products had labels? One Texas politician wants to bring that concept to elections.

The newest fad in corporate America is advertising campaigns that use feel-good leftist claptrap to pitch consumables. As part of the trend, Coca Cola has announced they will soon begin urging consumers to “imagine a world without labels” by dropping its own label from its soda cans. The new red cans feature Coke’s signature dynamic ribbon but not the words “Coca-Cola” and are, according to the company, “intended to promote open-mindedness and tolerance.”

State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff loves the concept, and wants to bring it to Texas politics.

Thomas Ratliff was elected to the State Board of Education as a Republican, though he is notorious for being “openly moderate.” In 2013 Ratliff challenged then-Senator Dan Patrick to a debate and was defeated on the issue of whether Texas schools should embrace the federal “Common Core” or “CSCOPE” curriculum.

Ratliff is the son of former Senator and Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff, who once described himself as a “51-percent Republican.” His brother, Bennett Ratliff, served one term in the House of Representatives in 2013, earning a 41 on the Fiscal Responsibility Index. He is attempting to unseat taxpayer champion Matt Rinaldi after he had the most conservative voting record in the House in 2015.

But would the world really be a better place if politicians didn’t have to adopt labels?

For politicians like Ratliff, who live in a Republican state but reject the party’s platform, his job getting elected would be a lot easier if he didn’t have to masquerade as a conservative around election time. Like candidates who run in non-partisan school board elections, rejecting party labels would empower dishonest candidates to get ahead by being all things to all voters.

Similar to purchasing a Coca Cola only to find that it contains Sprite, too many Texans find themselves going to the polls and voting for one thing and getting something entirely different when the candidates they elect assume office. Rather than removing labels entirely and leaving voters totally blind, we should instead ensure that the labels voters know are also labels they trust. This starts with removing so-called Republicans like Thomas Ratliff from office.

Tony McDonald

Tony McDonald serves as General Counsel to Texas Scorecard. A licensed and practicing attorney, Tony specializes in the areas of civil litigation, legislative lawyering, and non-profit regulatory compliance. Tony resides in Austin with his wife and daughter and attends St. Paul Lutheran Church.


5/28/24 Runoff Election Night in Texas!

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