Justice Maki, TEXAS _ e ariti the n,ouel Lonesome Dove, Gus and Woodrow visit one of their old haunts, the Buckhorn bar. Once hailed as heroes every time they swaggered through the door, this time they were treated like unwelcome relics of another age. The Texas of the late 1800s had little use for the uncouth and aged Texas Rangers, even if a faded photo of them still hung on the wall. Their sense of obsolescence is one of the reasons they decide to drive their cattle to the Montana wilderness. As we enter the 21st century, many Texans share the same sense of bewilderment that those old cowboys felt. Texas is changing, and many wonder whether or not they are being left behind. They worry about what the Next Texas will hold. You can see it in the eyes of the Tea Party activists, and the furrowed brows of small-town Texans. You can sense the unease experienced by some Anglos when they hear Spanish spoken all around them. You hear it in their voices as they protest another new construction project on what was once a farmer’s field. Change is a tyrant, and it rarely delivers what we desire. In this issue we try to imagine Texas between 2030 and 2040. Prognostication is a tough business. Rarely does anyone get it right, but those who do often profit handsomely. What makes it tough is that even using the best available data, there is always a chance that something will come along that will disrupt the established trends. The Texas Observer ends 2010 offering these predictions with the deepest, most heartfelt hope that our friends and neighbors will do something to make sure the worst-case scenarios don’t come to pass. We have the power to buck the trends and fight the tyrant. We look forward to a more diverse Texas, but we fear the growing economic and educational disparities. We embrace globalization, but we also love our regional flair. We value our history, but we know honesty is imperative. We love our state, but we worry about our current trajectory. In this issue, consider the current trends and where they lead. Think about the alternatives. Know that what we offer here is just one possible version of the future. In keeping with the seasonand with apologies to Dickenslet us be your Ghost of Texas’ Future, and know that, like Scrooge, it’s not too late to change. -CIIRIS TOMLINSON
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