A strange sense of fanaticism and allegiance lingers in the Texas heat in light of the Cruz/Dewhurst runoff.
The Ted Cruz campaign labeled his opponent as “Moderate David Dewhurst,” which is another way of saying weak, incapable, and incompetent. As far as smear tactics go, this was a bareknuckle boxing match.
Still new to Austin, I needed to find out where to vote for the 2012 U.S. Senate runoff. I reside in Travis County. It took me a little over a half-hour of web browsing and misleading phone calls to locate the Travis County Clerk’s Office as the place to vote. I said misleading, but that was probably due to me grabbing the wrong number- Gov. Rick Perry’s office. The secretary wanted my name in order to find a polling depot. As I explained, I wasn’t registered yet but, I wanted to go and check out the scene and see what the turnout was like. My community-based enthusiasm didn’t move her at all. Back to web browsing. Secretary of State Hope Andrade’s homepage also provided little if not confusing information. I finally found a downloadable PDF with every county in Austin. I went by street names to find the closest place. It may sound like whining right now, but here is the problem with politics. It is a private club for all to join, oxymoronic yes, but true.
The Texas heat is unrelenting, maybe 105 degrees. I arrived at the clerk’s office around 4pm with the intent on seeing the voters who were coming from work to vote. The parking lot was full, which is a good sign. As I make my way past the inattentive security guard at the front desk, I keep walking, looking for a sign that says voting here. I followed an elder hippy sporting the appropriate Hawaiian button-down, white bucket hat, and a pair of sunglasses. In my confusion I remember asking myself, “Why else would this old hippy be at the county clerk’s office?” Finally a sign: “Vote Andrade.” A very small sign, tucked in a corner of the leading hallway. Inside, a crew of eight seemed to be handling the voting machines. Laptops, printers, and the murmured laughter heard in a doctor’s waiting room greeted voters.
There was a sense of eagerness on the faces of those that came out to vote. It was inspiring to see. The older-rich white women troop dominated the scene at this hour. Also, slowly flowing in with folders and notebooks was the over-40 Black cluster. Which way will that vote go? Presumably Dewhurst. The Tea Party isn’t seen as very moderate in regard to race-relations.
For a summary of the results of Tuesday's runoff election, see here.