In my never-ending attempt to bring the students of CSU all the news worth knowing, I traveled to Texas this past weekend to do some in-depth reporting. I wanted to experience first-hand the response to last week's inauguration of President George W. Bush and decided that the former governor's home state would be a great place to start.
Well, actually I was just there because the rugby team was traveling through the state for a couple of early season matches. Either way, I spent about 36 hours in the Lone Star State getting a feel for the reaction to re-election.
To be perfectly honest, I was a little surprised by what I found. A few of my peers and I had spent most of the 18-hour drive down joking about Texans and how much they love the president. In Dallas we even saw President George Bush Parkway. We assumed that this was probably in honor of the first President Bush but took it as a sign of things to come.
The first disparity I noticed in my theory that "Texas is the Mecca of Bushism" was the lack of pro-Bush bumper stickers. On the five-hour drive from Dallas to Austin I counted a single "W'04" sticker, whereas five hours of driving in Fort Collins would produce dozens of these postings. The second thing I noticed was the dirty old man that stared at me belligerently and shaking his head as if his hair was on fire. What does this have to do with Bush support? Well, this vagrant hadn't even acknowledged my presence until I mentioned to a friend that G Dub's inauguration speech "kicked ass." I guess the guy isn't on the bandwagon.
It was at this point that I began to suspect that most of the people in Austin might not be on the Bush bandwagon. Maybe the city of Austin was just an anomaly, a hive of liberalism in the middle of one of the reddest states in the union. My suspicion was confirmed when I met one such liberal while partying with the University of Texas rugby team Saturday night in Austin. Her name was Liz and she told me exactly what I expected to hear: She and many of her classmates hate President Bush. She also informed me that the residents of her hometown near San Antonio were all stout Republicans.
"It's not easy being a Kerry fan in Texas" she said, "but it's a lot easier here in Austin."
So there you have it. Because of my research, it can now be deemed a fact that there are liberals even in the great state of Texas, and quite a few it now seems. By "quite a few" I mean about 40,000 (the number of students at UT), but this discovery has led me to develop an even more acute hypothesis. I will soon set out to prove that every state has one such area, one city that serves as somewhat of a "liberal leper colony" if you will. I mean Colorado has Boulder and Texas has Austin, so maybe it isn't that out of this world. I look forward to updating my results in future columns, so read the opinion page and stay updated on my journey through Bush Country.
Ryan Chapman is a junior marketing major. His column runs every Wednesday.