Together we are strong

Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, argues that outside forces trying to divide the Texas House have only served to bring real leaders together

As the dust settles from the tumult of another Legislative Session and as the punditry class begins to opine on the winners and losers of our grand, biennial, Texas conversation, it seems clear to me that when we work together, find consensus and abandon our rigidly-held ideological proclivities, we are able to strengthen, fortify and enhance the Great State of Texas for the betterment of all Texans.

My father is an airplane mechanic, with access to all kinds of interesting tools and materials that are necessary for his craft. I was always fascinated by epoxies – which he often brought home to fix a broken chair leg or a cracked dish. Epoxies are essentially two benign resins that, when mixed together, cure into an extremely strong bonding agent. The cast of characters for this year’s session reminded me a little of my Pop’s epoxies.

At the beginning of the 84th Legislative Session, there was a palpable sense that the internecine squabbles between the newly empowered, movement conservatives and the business-focused, establishment wing of the GOP would limit our ability to advance the agenda of Texas. Based on the harsh rhetoric of a divisive election cycle and the vestigial animosity that permeated the early days of the Session, there was real concern that Republicans would be unable to work together to address the many challenges that our state faces.

But, similar to the epoxy resins, which strengthened and hardened when mixed together, Republicans, of all stripes, learned that when we worked together to find agreement, we were all empowered.

We witnessed this dynamic play out over and over again in critical junctures of the session: during the open carry debate, during the judicial bypass debate, even during the budget debate – in each case, movement conservatives were able to provide meaningful input into the legislation, while the final product would be polished and colored by the majority, establishment conservatives. While neither group could claim complete victory, all stakeholders would come away from the process knowing that they had provided a material contribution to the adopted legislation.

For far too long, Republicans have focused on what divides us rather than on what brings us together. Reagan taught us that our 80% friend is not our 20% enemy. If we continue to work together on the 80%, we will continue to have conservative successes like we did in this 84th Legislative Session.

Make no mistake, our movement conservative friends (be they from the Tea Party, the Liberty Movement or the Grassroots) should be given full credit for moving the needle this session towards a more muscular, conservative approach to many of our State’s challenges.

But we must also give credit, where credit is due – to the establishment Republicans, who marshaled in thoughtful and effective border security funding, business tax relief, transportation financing, a fiscally-conservative budget and a new Pre-K initiative for our little ones.

These types of big-ticket initiatives are not organic. They must be carefully cultivated and delicately fostered to bring to fruition. But with the leadership of Governor Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick and Speaker Straus, we were able to accomplish these goals within the constitutionally-mandated 140 days.

When we work together, we are able to achieve things that have heretofore been impossible. I recognize that I am not blameless in these intra-party schisms. But I will be the first one to lay down arms if it means we can continue to advance the cause of Texas.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was right when he said in his inaugural speech “It’s a new day in Texas!” It most certainly is. And it has been built upon the bedrock strength of a politically-diverse elected class who have worked together to keep Texas conservative and great!

God Bless Texas.


© 2015 TexasGOPVote  | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy