Looking at internal migration patterns in the USA, California begins to loom as a state facing its worst drought in recorded history. People are leaving that state, and the numbers are going to increase as time goes on and the drought worsens there. Where are they going to go?
Texas looks good to them. Cheaper houses, warm climate, not too many earthquakes… seems like the place to be. Austin’s gotten crowded, but there’s still stuff to do in Dallas and Houston and San Antonio, right? And what happens to Texas politics if there’s an influx of a bunch of them there libberul Californy-ans?
Texas turns blue, that’s what. As in, votes in Democrats to the the state and federal house and senate, puts a Democrat into the governor’s chair, and puts Texas’ 38 electoral votes into the Democratic camp. Republicans have a hard enough time winning presidential elections – they couldn’t possibly do it without Texas.
Ironically, it’s those Texas Republicans, with massive backing from the oil industry, that have been some of the most vociferous critics of the need to take action to alleviate the problems of global climate change. Now, while it looks like California’s drought woes are based upon an pre-existing cyclical pattern, it does seem like a kind of poetic justice that there’s a shot of a climate change leading to the toppling of those people that pooh-poohed the idea that the environment was something to worry about.
Because it sure is something to worry about when it changes your safe seat into a toss-up or a win for the other party.
I, for one, plan to hide and watch. This looks like it’ll be an interesting story to follow, given the upcoming election. Because the Republican’s haven’t had a convincing win since 1988. Bush II’s wins in 2000 and 2004 were near-run things. Moving Texas to the blue column would have produced Democrat victories.
Now, while I view the main political parties as basically different branches of a political elite that remains largely captured by special interests like AARP, AIPAC, defense lobbyists, and the federal employee unions, I still find the outcome of political contests to be as entertaining as a Super Bowl featuring two teams I don’t have an emotional attachment to. Win or lose, I can still enjoy to watch how the game is played.
And it looks like the GOP will have some heavy lifting to do, all thanks to Mother Nature.