12th S , EF BOOKS lea/Ye . Jekla4 oat 0/frw it 827 West 12th Street Austin, TX 2 blocks east of Lamar Monday-Saturday 10-6.512.499.8828 Made in Texas, continued from page 5 culture in the state. Lyndon Johnson was most influenced by the Germanic culture that the exploiters muscled out. It requires a bit of a stretch to get from plantations to the oil patch, but Lind gets you there, observing that “oil is a mineral, like gold and silver.” Like their aristocratic Spanish predecessors, Anglo-Southern fortune hunters and oilmen set out to quickly acquire “fabulous wealth by plundering precious metals rather than by patient effort.” The Bushes, Northeastern aristocrats, came to Texas not to work but to acquire. So W Bush ends up where his culture intended him: as a Texas oligarch and member of the plundering class. The Texas tradition and culture the oligarchs displaced was that of the hardworking, pro-Union, Hill Country Germans, founded by “liberals and socialists who had fled Central Europe after the Revolutions of 1848.” These “Texas Germans for the most part opposed slavery, found Southern culture abhorrent, and voted against the secession ordinance in 1860.”The state, the region, and now the nation are the worse for it. It’s that simple. Even simpler. “To summarize the history ofTexas from 1836 until the 1960s in one sentence: the biggest tribe, the Anglo-Celtic Southerners, expropriated the Tejanos, deported the Indians, crushed the Germans, and exploited the blacks.”This Anglo-Celtic oligarchy resisted industrialization and clung to labor-intensive farming, only to be dragged toward modernity by the state capitalism that Sam Rayburn, Lyndon Johnson, and Wright Patman brought into the state. The risk, of course, lies in oversimplification and generalization. Yet most of what Lind writes rings true. And you don’t have to buy the argument to buy the book. It is a fascinating work filled with Texarcana: lynchings in Waco; a Cadillac that right wing Texans sent as a gift to Senator Joe McCarthy; Gertrude Himmelfarb’s auto de fe at Baylor University; Lester Roloff’s faithbased concentration camps for kids in South Texas; Maury Maverick Sr.’s lone Southern vote for anti-lynching legislation in the United States Congress; Hondo Crouch proclaiming himself mayor of Luckenbach, which he declared “a free state of mind.” And an homage to O’Neil Ford, whose work in a pure Texas vernacular makes him one of the state’s and nation’s greatest unknown architects. There’s even a smart riff on the premillennial dispensationalism that informs George Bush’s worldview \(although it’s not likely that he knows strain of contemporary Protestantism back to John Nelson Darby, an Anglican priest from Ireland who founded a sect in the 1820s. Darby concluded that Christian prophecy could only be fulfilled after “Israel is destroyed in the battle of Armageddon, in which an international confederation … will be led by the Antichrist, whom many fundamentalists believe will be an apostate Jew.” \(Contemporary evangelicals believe the international confederation will be the United Nations or Euroto deal with the Antichrist. Most Jews will be killed, except for the 144,000 who will convert to Christianity. And Christ will rule as a benevolent dictator for the next 1,000 years. Most bornagain Christianslike the president don’t know who John Nelson Darby is. But his thinking has real and profound influence on what they profess. And on our foreign policy. I know the current Bush book buzz is all about David Frum’s half-hearted kiss and tell. [The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W Bush] But who takes chances on big thinking books these days? Give me a writer who thinks. And who is ecumenically vicious with dangerous right-wing extremists, Gentile and Jew, who exploit the sacred to achieve the profane. I can’t help myself, I just love this who can write the following deserves to be read: The gun-toting, Bible-thumping Anglo-Celtic Texan in former Mexican and Indian Territories, with his admiration for the Hebrew patriarchs and professed devotion to the Ten Commandments, is remarkably similar to the guntoting,Torah-thumping Israeli settler in the occupied Arab territories. The “sabra” ideal of a certain strain of Zionismmacho, militaristic, pious is a cousin of the Southern/Western “redneck” or “cowboy” down to the contempt for the disposable “Canaanites”blacks and Mexicans in Texas and Arabs in Israel. Like present day Israel, Texas before the Civil Rights Revolution was a Herrenvolk \(master within the majority ethnic nation with the state enforced subordination of ethnic minorities. “It’s no coincidence,” Lind concludes, “that the products of two similar Herrenvolk societies, George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon, appear to be most themselves when waging war on behalf of their tribes or relaxing on their ranches.” Lou Dubose is a former editor of the Observer. His most recent book, written with Jan. Reid and Carl M. Cannon, is Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Brains Behind the Remarkable Political Triumph of George W. Bush 16 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 2/14/03
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.