Abbott’s reelection as governor raises concerns

Illustration by Tj Favela
Illustration by Tj Favela

Not all villains have superpowers, some are just the governor of Texas.

Governor Greg Abbott was reelected into office for his third term during the midterm elections. The race for governor was close, with Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke trailing 11 points behind according to the Associated Press

The debate over abortion has been one of the hot-button issues on the table. Abbott has notably been in support of pro-life policies, passing the Texas Heartbeat act, more commonly known as the heartbeat bill, which prohibited abortion after six weeks. 

For many Texans, O’Rourke provided a beacon of hope during these trying times. O’Rourke opposed restrictions placed on abortion, and promised to restore rights for women and people with uteruses to have a say in their reproductive health.

Texas’ history as a red state did not make O’Rourke’s loss unexpected, but still equally devastating. Under Abbott’s reign, Texas is doomed to become unsafe to virtually everyone.

Exactly a week into his third term, Abbott announced on Twitter that he enacted ‘invasion clauses’ to protect the Texas-Mexico border. Part of the clauses included identifying Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations. 

In recent years, Republican politicians have furthered the idea that Mexican immigrants are a threat to America through derogatory rhetoric. Invoking these clauses unfortunately only further this racist and xenophobic mindset and erases America’s perception as a safe haven for immigrants.

Abbott has been known to lay down the law when it comes to immigration, with strict border laws, refusal to accept refugees and several recent stunts of sending buses of detained immigrants to a location with no prior warning. 

Using immigrants as a mere political stunt is extremely dehumanizing, and reflects the lack of care Abbott has towards the prospective citizens of America. However, Abbott has demonstrated on several occasions that the welfare of Texans will not deter him from passing legislation. 

Whether it is signing into existence a law that deems parents seeking gender affirming health care for their transgender children child abuse, or still refusing to create stricter gun laws to prevent tragedies such as Uvalde from ever happening again, Abbott’s concerns are not about the people of Texas

This seems quite unlikely. If anyone has proven it better, Abbott has surely shown actions speak louder than words, and his actions are ultimately creating the fear and hostility within so many Texans. 

Fearing whether they must die because the law prohibits abortions, even when the mother’s life is at risk. Fearing whether families must be separated at the border, since legal immigration is so ‘easy.’ Fearing whether your child will survive another day because of poor gun laws. Even fearing for their mental wellness because their gender dysphoria is so unbearable, but you are simply unable to help because your governor considers it abuse.

In spite of Abbott, we still must remain hopeful in the power of our vote. Gen Z was a large contributor to the Democratic vote. Though the future for Texas looks unpromising for many groups of people, we still have the power to affect change.

Many counties, such as Dallas, turned blue. The future isn’t completely bleak, and with the activism of Gen Z and continued efforts by politicians that care about Texans, it is possible to make Texas a land of acceptance.

The issues of this state will not resolve without individuals that see and comprehend the wrongdoing Abbott is doing to Texans and ultimately Americans.