Issue-based caucuses dominated Friday’s schedule of the Texas Democratic State Convention in Dallas, where attendees gathered to address a specific topic.  Issues included unions, the environment, women, fair trade and racial groups.

Despite the stated agenda to address an issue, the speakers were mostly politicians. Virtually every meeting consisted of a pre-arranged line-up of candidates and officials.  Unsurprisingly, their three-minute stump speeches offered little more than empty rhetoric.

The lack of substance makes perfect sense, of course, if one fully understands both the left’s belief system and their abnormally high acumen for political effectiveness and expediency.

To many in the Democratic Party, your individuality is not paramount.  Rather, you’re only a member of a special interest group more broadly defined by your income, your profession, your gender, or your skin color. On Friday, attendees were treated like lemmings at the many campaign rallies, anxious only to cheer on the baseless talking points advanced by their political leaders.

The format also made it easier for slick politicians to organize factions of their party for political expediency.

Stated differently, by organizing the teacher’s unions, labor groups, environmentalists and racial segments in separate rooms, politicians were able to deliver short, effective, rhetorical statements customized for each audience.

Since there were six to ten politicians queued-up to speak at each 30 to 60 minute segment per “issue”, the entire ticket was able to advance shallow, but issue-specific rhetoric without any single candidate being forced to dig into substantive policy specifics.

There were standouts among the dross worth noting.  State Rep. Poncho Nevarez (HD 74) made a very specific racial attack when addressing the Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA), in regards to controlling the growth in education funding during the 82nd Legislature, “It wasn’t a coincidence that the first time that we had more Hispanic children in public schools was the first time in the history of this state that they [Republicans] cut the budget, it was the first time, and it’s not a coincidence.”

Apparently, Pancho believes Republicans were punishing all kids in an implied effort to target Hispanics who now represent a higher number of students. Nevarez’s accusation is as cynical as it is implausible.

Wow—there is no making this up.

Less offensive, but equally non-compelling, were statements made by Sam Houston, Democratic candidate for Attorney General.

“This race [against Ken Paxton] is between a Tea Party candidate and a real Democrat’, Houston said. “We have to go out and tell our neighbors that it’s time to take back Texas.”

His platform consisted of a few basic planks.  First, “the Tea Party is bad”.  Second, Paxton has “ethics issues”.  Thirdly, “Paxton is wrong on all the issues”.  Interestingly, although Houston spoke to several audiences throughout the day, he failed to mention what any of those were.

In regards to Abbott, Houston maintains he hasn’t run the office with enough oversight.  Houston also alleges that Abbott wastes money on “unnecessary lawsuits”, presumably against the federal government…Houston didn’t specify.

Simply put, Abbott also has “bad ideas.”

As for Houston, he has “good ideas”.  In fact, according to Houston, Democrats are ”right on the issues; the Tea Party is wrong”.  Just when Houston appeared to advance drivel somewhat resembling a legal argument on the hotly debated issue of public education funding, he said, “It’s time to take this out of the courts, and return it to where it belongs; the Legislature.”

After all, Houston clamored, “The Texas Constitution says the Legislature should fund schools”.  Case closed.

Never mind the fact that the legal debate has not centered on whether or not the Legislature should fund public education, but whether or not the “Robin Hood” funding formula satisfies the efficiency requirement outlined in the “efficient and free” clause of the state constitution.

Maybe Democrats will offer specific policy proposals on the final stretch of the campaign trail prior to November’s elections?

Then again, perhaps they’ll continue to rely upon baseless racially-motivated conspiracies, divisive tactics, and empty rhetoric.

Nothing to see here.

Ross Kecseg

Ross Kecseg was the president of Texas Scorecard. He passed away in 2020. A native North Texan, he was raised in Denton County. Ross studied Economics at Arizona State University with an emphasis on Public Policy and U.S. Constitutional history. Ross was an avid golfer, automotive enthusiast, and movie/music junkie. He was a loving husband and father.