The supe­ri­ority of Texas has long been accepted as a fact by those fit to judge. And of course, the only such people are Texans.

I have several acquain­tances who, when trav­eling in Europe, prefer to identify them­selves as Texans rather than Amer­icans. Upon their returns, they tell me that far from being treated as annoying, arrogant tourists, they became the center of attention instead.

You’d be right to think I am pur­pose­fully being con­fronta­tional. Any Texan worth his salt who, when trav­eling outside the Promised Land, doesn’t brag about his state commits a major crime. Or does he?

Though a vast majority of Amer­icans can’t stand Texas arro­gance, it appears that the fact of the state’s greatness has gained a tacit admit­tance. That’s right, every day a thousand Amer­icans move to Texas. When com­bined with an influx of immi­gration from the nation’s southern neighbor, these numbers have caused a 25 percent jump in the state’s pop­u­lation since 2000.

I truly am proud of this fact, but am in no way happy about it. Actually, the thought only brings sadness.

The state’s size, former inde­pen­dence, oil booms, and cowboy ide­al­ization have not only fos­tered a pro­found sense of state pride but have allowed a unique culture to flower.

But Texas culture is under a sus­tained assault. Driving through the state, I’ve often noted signs of change. Out-of-state restaurant chains opening up, Cal­i­fornia-style suburbs being built, and class­rooms in which only half of the stu­dents are native Texans. Every­where I see culture rot.

I find it dis­con­certing that a culture which has pro­duced a great business and social climate is attracting out-of-staters who in turn are changing this culture into an amalgam of the very ones from which they flee.

The business and pop­u­lation boom has led to some great devel­op­ments, mind you, Austin’s bur­geoning film and music scene among them. But is it worth it if in fifty years Texas culture resembles that of Cal­i­fornia?

There are several means by which Texans are fighting to pre­serve their culture. They have made it mandatory that all stu­dents take two full years of Texas History, a policy fol­lowed by most private schools as well. In addition, out-of-state college stu­dents are required to take a semester of Texas History. Stu­dents are also required to say a Pledge of Alle­giance to the Texas flag after they say the American one. Most out-of-state parents are sur­prised at the Texas loyalty dis­played by their children. Indeed our indoc­tri­nation tech­niques are par excel­lence.

Despite its size, the state largely remains unified in sharing Texas culture. In my mind, part of this stems from the large amount of    intrastate trav­eling Texans do, as well as their out­going and hos­pitable nature toward each other.

I hold fond mem­ories from high school when, after a long week, my friends and I would hop into one of our cars and make the five-hour drive to San Antonio for the weekend. Or, on Senior Skip days, driving to the ocean where we’d park on the beach and stay till evening. I don’t remember ever being asked to chip in for gas when in another’s vehicle.

As of the latest census only Cal­i­fornia, Arizona, Col­orado, and Florida have a lower per­centage of native-born inhab­i­tants than Texas.

This sta­tistic is not a cause for worry in-and-of itself. However, the fact that most of the new­comers regard state pride as quaint or ridiculous rep­re­sents a har­binger of things to come.

State pride should be encouraged in every state. I feel as if the largest neg­ative effect of the Civil War was to make the practice of state pride an act of impro­priety. The Fed­er­alism designed by the founding fathers hinged on the exis­tence of such pride. It is easy to trace the decline of state pride with the decay of our con­sti­tu­tional system. The problem escaping most con­cerned cit­izens is that electing con­ser­v­ative Repub­licans won’t prove suf­fi­cient to change the nation’s tra­jectory.

  • Josh

    Yeah people move there for the jobs. There’s a lot of jobs there (only because of it’s size) but when we get there we realize how rude and arrogant people really are. Why we are here doesn’t mean we like it here. That little poll fails to mention whether or not people are happy. We live here because we have to not because we want to.

  • d wayne

    Don’t mess with Texas. The fact is Texas is a model for the country and if the fascist BO and his oba­ma­trons would learn to read they would dis­cover why it is that Texas leads the country in all cat­e­gories and all this with absolutely no per­sonal or business income tax.