Texas Political Culture Essay Papers

Texas Political Culture and Immigration essay

Political culture has a considerable impact on the development of the nation as well as local communities. Texas is one of the states with a distinct political culture that has a considerable impact on the worldview of the local population and policies conducted in the state. In this regard, the current paper focuses on the study of Texas political culture to understand its key principles that uncovers policies and decisions taken by policy makers. Texas has a considerable impact on the national politics of the US because it is one of the main states that opens the way for local politicians to enter federal political elite. This is why the understanding of Texas political culture will help not only to understand better policies conducted in Texas but also the national politics as well.

Political Culture

Elazar distinguishes three types of political culture: traditionalistic, individualistic and moralistic (Foner & Garraty, 2011). The moralistic political culture holds society to be more important than an individual. The moralistic political culture tends to develop a positive view on the government and states with this type of culture view the government as a positive force that often leads to the wider government interference into economy and wider government regulations concerning economic, social and other aspects of the state life (Foner & Garraty, 2011). States with the moralistic political culture stand on the ground of serving the community as their priority even at expense of individual interests.

On the contrary, the traditionalistic political culture stands on traditional political and cultural values and focuses on the minimal intervention of state into economic and social life (Foner & Garraty, 2011). The traditionalistic political culture limits the role of the government to the role of the actor responsible for the maintenance of the existing social order, which helps communities to maintain their traditional social systems. This political culture adheres to conservatism as the core of its political philosophy.

Finally, Elazar distinguishes the individualistic political culture, which prioritizes the individual initiative and put needs and interests of individuals above those of communities as long as they match principles and norms of basic human rights (Foner & Garraty, 2011). The individualistic political culture restricts the role of the government to the role of facilitator of individual initiative and does not admit the extensive government regulation of social life, economy or regulations in private matters of individuals.

            As politics and society are dynamic, the political culture of certain states, regions or nations can change that contributes to the shift from traditionalistic to moralistic culture, for example, or emergence of a blend of cultures, such as traditionalistic and individualistic ones. Therefore, in some states, it is possible to trace the blend of different political cultures, which though are closely integrated but may change in the course of time and dynamic development of the political life and social norms, values and beliefs. For example, the political culture may change under the impact of profound demographic changes, which may occur in case of the rapid and substantial increase of the immigrant population. As a result, such demographic changes can bring changes into the political life and change the political culture of the state but such changes take normally a long time to be fully completed.

Texas political culture

                        Traditionalistic aspects of Texas political culture

One of the distinct features of the Texas political culture is the dominance of one political party. Within the last thirty years, the Republican Party, which is associated with traditionalist policies and conservative ideology, has held control over the state’s politics. At this point, it is possible to refer to table 1, which shows the results of Presidential elections in Texas with only two wins of the Democrats in nine cases of Presidential elections.

Moreover, Texans have not elected Democrats to a statewide office since 1994, while Democrats can gain support from minority groups mainly in East Texas and South Texas and from some urban voters in Beaumont, El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston (Foner & Garraty, 2011). The dominant position of the Republican Party is the distinct feature of the traditionalistic political culture and Texas maintains this trend for decades. This is why it is possible to estimate that Texas has a historical inclination to the traditionalistic political culture.

In fact, a distinct feature of Texas political life is the low voter turnout that is a characteristic of the traditionalistic political culture according to Elazar (Foner & Garraty, 2011). Voters turnout remains stable and, more important, voters tend to have the similar political preferences and do not change them much for decades. For example, Texans prefer voting for the Republicans and they vote for them over and over again, regardless of changes in policies and situation in the state.

                        Individualistic aspects of Texas’ political culture

            Texas politics tends to support private business with the minimal interference of the state government and authorities into the economic life of the state (Foner & Garraty, 2011). The non-interference government stance is typical for the individualistic political culture. In the case of Texas, this trend is very strong since the state government traditionally avoids direct interventions into the economic life of the state. Instead, the government focuses on the stimulation of individual business initiative and emergence of small businesses. Texan legislation is favorable for business initiatives and current policies create favorable conditions for starting up a business in Texas (Foner & Garraty, 2011).

            Texas turns out to be in the opposition to the political government and stands for the larger opportunity for exercising the principle of people sovereignty in Texas (Foner & Garraty, 2011). Texans and local politicians stand on the ground of the supremacy of people sovereignty over the authority of the federal government. This is why they oppose to the increasing role of the federal government in the field of public education. Similarly, Texans have a strong opposition to current health care reform, which contradicts to their principles and beliefs.

            Furthermore, Texas politicians and the public maintain a strong faith in individual initiative (Foner & Garraty, 2011). They put it prior to the government regulation. Instead, they believe that the government should just facilitate the individual initiative by means of non-interference and liberalization of the legislation to let individuals to implement their initiatives successfully. Such policy and political culture is traditional for Texas and these features are features of the individualistic political culture.

Texas Political Culture and Immigration essay part 2

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Unformatted text preview: Christopher Pham Texas Political Culture Political culture are broadly shared ideas about how the government should run and operate. Political culture is important because it establishes the backdrop against which politics unfolds. It establishes the outer limits of what is possible, or even probable, in the political realm. There are three main political culture categories which are traditionalistic, moralistic, and individualistic. These three cultures are different in many aspects such as how they developed, the focus of each culture, and how the government should run. Traditionalistic culture rooted in plantations which contain values of social hierarchy. The focus of a traditionalistic culture is focused on tradition and maintaining existing social order. Politics are engaged by the wealthy families. Moralistic culture is rooted in New England Puritanism. The common good is everyone’s concern. Government should promote the public good. The last political culture is the individualistic. The individualistic culture focuses more on commercial success. Individualistic cultures believe that government should provide order and protect property. They also believe that the bureaucracy is an interference. Individualistic culture also has less concern participation in politics. Texas can also be considered to have a mix of two cultures as well. Texas can be a traditionalisticindividualistic culture as well. Texas’s political culture can be hard to define for numerous of reasons. One reason is that Texas is undergoing many changes. Texas is also a large state making it hard to define the political culture of Texas. Texas is also diverse and has many political or subcultures within its borders. Texas is harder to generalize due to the historical origins and development of the state. There are large cities, borders, rural areas, and so on. Texas is also a one party state. The Democratic Party has dominated Texas for over a century. The problem with the political culture of Texas is that it may change overtime. One person may say that Texas is a traditionalistic culture, while another may say that Texas is an individualistic culture. Texas is Christopher Pham best described as a traditional individualistic culture. There are three patterns that make Texas a traditional-individualistic culture. These three patterns are Texas is a one party state, provincialism, and business dominance. Texas has been a one party state for many centuries. For a century after Reconstruction, the Democratic Party enjoyed electoral dominance on all levels of state government and in the Lone Star State's representation in the national government. The Democratic Party no longer dominates Texas. The Republican Party now dominates Texas. We do not know how long Republicans will keep dominating Texas. Another pattern of that makes Texas a traditionalistic-individualistic culture is provincialism. Provincialism is a narrow, limited, and self-interested view of the world. Provincialism is associated with Jeffersonian notions of limited government and rural values. The result often intolerance of diversity. The social services and education expenditures were low. Today we do not see provincialism instead there are expenditures for education and social services. The growing minorities, women, gays, and urbanization have cut provincialism. The third pattern that makes Texas a traditionalisticindividualistic culture is business dominance. There are rarely any labor unions in Texas only in the oil refineries. Consumer and environmental concerns not especially influential. Business groups are also play a key role in campaign contributions, interest groups, and lobbyist. Texas’s political culture can be defined as traditionalistic-individualistic based on three pattern which are the one party state, business dominance, and provincialism. These three patterns will either keep or change the political culture of Texas. Texas’s political culture is always changing based on these patterns and is one reason that makes it hard for Texas to have one political culture. These ideals and patterns of behavior develop over time and affect the political life of a state, region or country. The history of Texas politics also is, in part, the story of how the various strands of Christopher Pham Texas political culture have been combined to form periods of stability, as well as jarring, discordant moments of deep seated tension, rupture, and sharp change. ...
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