It’s hard to avoid all the news out of Washington, D.C., regarding the continued battle over Obamacare and the most recent government shutdown. I’ve watched with interest the leadership of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in this battle—and not just because I was an early supporter in his race for the U.S. Senate.
This week he spoke in several places around Texas and has been received as a hero. This, of course, has really angered those in the media and Democratic Party, as they collectively seem to be trying to destroy him politically—with a little help from the moderates in his own party.
But the question remains: Why is he the target of so much acrimony and so many personal attacks and at the same time hailed as a hero?
I have an opinion on the matter. Moderates in the Republican Party argue that he could never have won the battle to end Obamacare so he should not have even fought any except symbolic efforts—those with no substance. His Democratic opponents say that he does not care for people and has uselessly caused the federal government to be closed, if only 17% of it and only for a couple of weeks.
His supporters hail him as a hero because he was willing to fight the battle even if the odds of winning were small. He was willing to fight in the face of personal attacks and angry rhetoric from even his own political party and he says he will continue to do so! It seems he is a “true believer” in the cause he professed when he ran for office.
In a recent poll that showed more than 50% of the public thought it was a bad thing that Republicans controlled the U.S. House, 33% of conservatives agreed. Many Republican voters are mad at Republicans who give lip service to their opposition to Obamacare but who are unwilling to fight aggressively to repeal the law. Senator Cruz has demonstrated by his actions that he is indeed serious about doing what he campaigned on in his run for office. That is why he is hailed as a hero in Texas. He is a True Believer!
This brings me to the point of this post. I have become disenchanted with some Texas Republican legislators who have for many years told me that they support home schooling and parental rights but whose actions tell a different story. What they really mean is that they will take no leadership on issues important to the home school community. They will sometimes support our efforts if it takes no political capital on their part—and sometimes only if they know that the bill they support will not pass for other reasons (such as a chairman in the House who will not allow the bill to come out of his committee).
The home school community needs advocates in the Texas Legislature who will make our concerns their own and work mightily to pass them into law or do whatever it takes to protect our freedoms. We need advocates like Sen. Ken Paxton, who filed SB 929 to require UIL to allow home schoolers to participate in extracurricular activities in public schools. Not only did he file that bill, but he and Sen. Donna Campbell worked hard to get it voted out of the Senate 21-7, with only two Republicans voting against the bill and the support of six Democratic senators. This happened because of the commitment and hard work of Senator Paxton.
In the same way, Sen. Donna Campbell sponsored the Texas Parental Rights Restoration Act, SB 1194 in the Texas Senate. She aggressively worked for the passage of that bill and against the passage of SB 1148 by Senator Royce West, the chairman of the Jurisprudence Committee, which would have gutted parental rights in Texas. We made more progress on this issue last session than ever before because we had Senator Campbell as an advocate in the Texas Senate.
Now is the time that many citizens are considering becoming candidates for office in the Texas Legislature. I hope and pray that more home schoolers will step up to the plate and run for office in the Texas House and Senate. We need more advocates like Ted Cruz, Ken Paxton, and Donna Campbell in government if we are to protect the rights of parents and home schoolers. We need True Believers.