OPINION: We must continue our fight as Texans despite election results

With disappointing yet unsurprising results, Greg Abbott was re-elected as the governor of Texas in the 2022 midterm election. His opponent, Beto O’Rourke, lost by a margin of 887,503 votes as the Lone Star State continues to face critical issues.

In the past few years, Texans have struggled with a wide variety of issues regarding gun control, the power grid, reproductive rights, immigration and more. Many were hoping that this year’s elections would turn the tide and push us into a more progressive future, but alas, that will not happen.

Abbott advocated for stronger immigration laws, tax reduction and continuing job growth in his campaign. However, during his time in office, he has also been responsible for instating a total ban on abortion (unless the patient is under threat of a life-threatening emergency), the failure of the texas power grid in 2021, and his appalling response to the Uvalde shooting when he said, “It could have been worse.”

In addition to Gov. Abbott’s re-election, 25 out of 38 Texans elected to the U.S House of representatives were republican candidates, ensuring that – once again – Texas is a red state.

To highlight the concerns that these election results should stir for many Texans, let’s take a look at the Republican Party of Texas’ platform that was amended and adopted earlier this year. The most concerning items in the document refer to education and LGBTQ rights, and the emphasis of religion’s role in those topics. 

Item 31 of the platform supports “prayer, the Bible and the Ten Commandments being returned to schools, courts and other government buildings.” Item 125 of tThe platform also outlines the official position of Texas schools regarding transgender issues:  “there are only two genders: biological male and biological female. We oppose transgender normalizing curriculum and pronoun use.” 

As for the platform’s stance on the LGBTQ community, item 155 states that “homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice,” and item 156 states, “we oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity.” Moreover, in items 210 and 212, the platform undermines marriage equality by supporting the definition of marriage as between one male and one female, and calling for the overturn of Obergefell v. Hodges, which set the precedent for gay marriage in 2015 .

In addition to those issues, item 29 is a call to action for the Texas Legislature to adopt a resolution to clarify that the Equal Rights Amendment was only valid through March 22, 1979. Item 176 calls for the repeal of hate crime laws and states that there are already ample laws to punish such behavior.

The results of the 2022 midterm elections, compounded with the Texas Republican Party platform, will continue fan the flame of white supremacist ideology that has been ingrained in the state of Texas since it was established. 

Governor Abbott along with other elected officials will have the power to propose legislation that aligns with the republican platform’s ideals and will have additional power of influence on the masses. This will increase social tension for marginalized groups and decrease the feeling of safety and freedom for many.

As we sit in the aftermath of this year’s midterm elections, it is important to continue to fight for LGBTQ rights, the separation of church and state, and reproductive justice. The next election cycle will have high stakes and high hopes, so let’s keep fighting, Texas. It’s all we’ve got.