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Liberals don’t understand Texas

I am an eighth-generation Texan, and if my accent doesn’t give me away, that is the first fact I will volunteer about myself in conversation. Name me another state where eight generations win you immediate legitimacy. But I'm also liberal. And this makes me no less proud of my home state.

Let me explain. You'd be hard-pressed to find a state with more pride, unsurprising for a territory that was once a sovereign nation. Texas is diverse and sprawling, born of many different backgrounds and melded together with its own swagger. Our bouffant-haired culture and hospitality have seen many portrayals in the media, but it’s hard to describe our peculiarly accented je ne sais quoi to someone who doesn't understand why Texas Monthly needs a barbecue editor or hasn’t seen the landscape change from forest, to desert, to mountains in a day’s drive.

I've since adopted Austin as my home, seeking refuge in the liberal oasis and protected by its bubble of progressive ideology. Left-leaning politics are not an anomaly in Texas' capital city, but the six weeks of debates that led to the passage of restrictive abortion legislation were a painful reminder of the ideology that lay outside of Austin's city limits. Gov. Rick Perry called two special sessions to ram through the controversial bill, which will all but guarantee the closure of 42 abortion clinics, leaving only five designated as ambulatory service centers to accommodate a state larger than France.

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