A Heartbreaking Tragedy; A Dangerous Lawsuit 


(Image: Aaron E. Martinez/Austin American Statesman)

The family of a man shot and killed by police is suing APD.  

Alex Gonzales Jr. was shot by APD officers after pointing a gun at an off-duty officer and then driving away when the officer fired on him. After a brief chase, Gonzales stopped his car, at which point his girlfriend, who had been shot by the off-duty officer, exited the passenger side and began yelling for her baby—who officers later found in the back seat. Gonzales also exited the vehicle and, ignoring police commands to put his hands up and get down, went to the back door of his car, and reached in. At that point, several APD officers fired, killing Gonzales. The child in the back seat was unharmed. 

The family’s lawsuit states that Gonzales’ wounds “compromised his physical and mental functions and his comprehension.” It says that APD, in particular the officer who first fired on Gonzales, Gabriel Gutierrez, should have known that Gonzales was no longer a threat.  

However, a gun was found in the car after Gonzales was shot. 

While I cannot imagine the pain of the loss Gonzales’ family is experiencing, Austin must stand firm against this lawsuit.  

I fully support the rights of Texans to carry firearms and use them to defend themselves, however, what we know of the initial incident would mean that Gonzales had unlawfully brandished his weapon. Gutierrez, the off-duty officer, says that he was turning into an intersection when Gonzales sped around his vehicle and cut him off while pointing a gun at him. 

 In no way would this be a legal, justifiable brandishing of a firearm.  

Even if Guitierrez had not seen Gonzales’ car, and had cut into Gonzales’ lane, Gonzales would not have the right to aim his firearm at another motorist. 

Again, Gonzales acted in an unjustified manner.  

Furthermore, when Gonzales had stopped his car, there was no way that the police could reasonably confirm Gonzales’ intent. They knew he had driven recklessly and pulled a gun. And that’s not even counting his evading pursuit—which could be theoretically dismissed since Gutierrez was off-duty in his personal vehicle, Gonzales may not have known he was being pursued by police until Gutierrez’s backup arrived. What the officers knew at the moment they fired on Gonzales was that he was unpredictable and armed. He had committed a felony by pointing his weapon at another driver.  

Police are not hired to be mind readers. They are not expected to understand every nuance of a perpetrator’s behavior. They cannot assume the best intent on the part of every person they encounter. They are heavily trained and the longer they are officers the more experiential knowledge they can apply to the actions they need to take in the moment. While in hindsight, it may sound as though Gonzales had been, in a state of shock, unaware of the police’s commands and was seeking to comfort the child, police knew he had a gun—which again was recovered in the car—and reasonably believed that he was seeking his weapon to fire at police.  

It is always a tragedy when a young person dies. This man was the same age as I a.. He, like all of us, was a wellspring of potential. But he committed a crime. He persisted in his crime. He had threatened lives. 

In doing so, he put his own life at risk. 

Should the City of Austin settle with this family, it will be yet again sending the message, that APD is not to be trusted; that it should receive no benefit of the doubt; that every police shooting should be treated as a murder in which the defendant—the officer who pulled the trigger—is presumed guilty and must prove his or her innocence.  

That is an unsustainable process. We will lose more officers. Our remaining officers will hesitate in protecting themselves and others; this will cost lives. Police will continue to pull back, leaving Austin a more dangerous city.  

The City of Austin must stand its ground and fight this suit.   

A Heartbreaking Tragedy; A Dangerous Lawsuit 

South Austin News | SARC

“This morning, Austin Energy had around 3 dozen homes without power, but around by 5:25 a.m. that number jumped to 7,772.” FOX7 “People were seen fighting over food in the dumpster at an H-E-B store in South Austin on William Cannon and I-35 yesterday.” FOX7 “A residential development containing 375 units and rising up to seven floors at the…

America’s Mass Shootings: A Few Problems Confused with One Name 

(Photo: Live 5 News)

(Photo: Live 5 News)

In our last post, we examined the role of guns—specifically semi-automatic rifles—in crime.  

Today, we will specifically look at mass shootings, trying to understand what exactly they are. By striving to understand the horrors that rock our headlines all too often, we may gain insight into how to prevent them.  

Generally, when we talk about mass shootings, we are referring to events like those in Uvalde, Buffalo, or Parkland. The term immediately conjures a pretty clear picture in our minds; a lone gunman entering a school, place of worship, or store and killing many defenseless people for no clear reason beyond psychiatric disturbances. However, given a bit more time to think, we begin to realize there are other types of mass shootings. There’s workplace violence, once so common in America’s Postal Service, that violently lashing out at your co-workers became colloquially known as “going postal.” There are shootings that occur in larger areas such as the Vegas shooting (the largest mass shooting on record). There are clear incidents of terrorism in which the attacker chooses a firearm rather than a bomb or vehicle, such as the Fort Hood shooting

Even still, these examples do not account for anywhere near all of the mass shootings that occur.  

So, what is a mass shooting? 

Believe it or not, there’s no one answer.  

Some organizations define a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot and killed. 

Some define it as an incident in which four people other than the gunman are shot and killed. 

Others define mass shootings as incidents in which four or more people other than the gunman are shot—regardless of how many people died.  

The FBI does not even define mass shootings, instead, defining an event in which four or more people are killed—regardless of the weapon used—as a “mass murder.” 

To understand any topic, we have to choose a definition, so for the purposes of this article, we will be going with the broadest definition; a mass shooting is an event in which four or more people, other than the shooter, are shot.  

It’s important to understand how broad this definition is. This definition combines events like the Uvalde shooting with gang-related gunfights like this one in Providence, Rhode Island, in which two groups of individuals shot at one another.  

However, if we were to try and limit the definitions to exclude cases in which victims of a shooting fired back, we would discount any case in which, say, church security shot the gunman or an armed vice-principal stopped a shooting.  

Given this, the media and political leaders rely on data of questionable value when discussing waves of violence.  
Consider these headlines:  

The Washington Post

Both of these appeared on major outlets, and both articles specifically call out the Buffalo and Uvalde shootings. However, neither makes any attempt at clarifying, as we have done in this piece, that parsing out gang-related violence is extremely difficult when looking at mass shooting data. 

These stories are rarely run after horrifying shootouts such as this one in St. Louis, last year or this shooting on June 30th in Colorado in which multiple police officers were shot executing a search warrant. 

We are left with the impression that marauders are entering our schoolyards and places of worship daily and committing unspeakable acts. The reality is that we are in the midst of a large spike in violent crime in America, which started in 2020.  

This distinction is extremely important to understand.  

As the headlines above noted, there have been over 250 mass shootings in the United States in 2022. There have been 27 school shootings. That means that if every single school shooting were a mass shooting—and not all are, as in some cases, the number of victims is fewer than four—they would only make up 10% of the total. It should be clear that we cannot hope to prevent a school shooting in the same way that we would prevent gang violence.  

The type of person who shoots school children has a different profile than the individual who joins a gang, for example. The difference that’s easiest to identify? School shooters are almost always extremely socially isolated. Gang members, on the other hand, by definition, identify with a group of people and have strong bonds with that group.  

While both of the youth in these cases would certainly benefit from healthy socialization, in the case of a gang member, one would have to ensure the safety of the youth that one is trying to break out of the gang; a difficulty simply not present in the profile of a young school shooter.  

That’s just one example.  

There are numerous profiles of shooters; some are nihilistic, and some are true believers in a twisted ideology. Some are acting alone, and others choose to be the vanguard of a movement.  

But all of them cause mass casualties, tearing families apart, and staining communities.  

We must find new ways of identifying these crimes, rather than simply relying on the term “mass shooting.” It is so broad that it blurs the nature of the crimes involved.  

This may lead many to say, “what they have in common is the gun. Target their guns!” 

While at first blush this makes sense, we covered the nature of American gun crime in our previous post. Simply put, most guns used in crime are acquired illegally; if every single legally obtained gun were removed from criminals’ hands, it would account for about 10% of the total.  

Instead, we must treat these problems as different as they appear.  

We must create a better method for discovering potential school shooters. At the moment, school resources are stretched beyond their limits in attempting to find any potential mass shooter. 

We have to better fund anti-gang forces in local law enforcement, while also providing clear alternatives to those already trapped in gang life.  

We have to secure potential targets of mass shootings, to ensure that when the systems fail—as they inevitably will—the targets of a shooter are better prepared and safer.  

In a later post, we will detail what these solutions might look like.  

In the meantime, remember; that America’s mass shootings are not all the same. Treating them as such makes our efforts to save lives less effective.  

America’s Mass Shootings: A Few Problems Confused with One Name 

South Austin News | SARC

“Roughly a dozen families living at a mobile home park in South Austin who received 60-day notices to leave will be able to stay for the time being after a Travis County judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday.” KUT 5 Fun Things in South Austin – DO512 “A 25-year-old man has been arrested for…

Are We Rewarding Failure? | SARC

Austin City Council voted to increase their pay by 40% last week by an overwhelming margin. Out of the eleven members, only three opposed this egregious hike in pay; Paige Ellis (D8), Vanessa Fuentes (D2), and the redoubtable Mackenzie Kelly (D6).

Together We Have Hope | SARC


By Dallas Emerson, SARC Senior Communications Director & Data Analyst

“There’s just no hope.”

How many times have you heard that sentence, while someone sullenly shakes their head? A lot of times that sentiment is followed with, “That’s why I’m moving; this city’s just too crazy.”

I get the sentiment. Austin is growing rapidly, getting more expensive, and frightening more dangerous. I can’t tell you what’s best for you or your family but, I can tell you there is hope. Hope is an odd thing. When you’re without it, you almost guarantee the worst outcome—because everyone stops striving for a positive outcome. When people are without hope for a greater cause, they seek out ways to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. They turn away from the fight; they flee the city. In many ways, conservatives in Austin, remind me of Christian monks as the Roman Empire collapsed. Seeing that the people wouldn’t accept their messages, and watching as society spun down the drain, many monks left the cities for secluded monasteries, retaining knowledge that would have been lost otherwise. But without the monks’ learning and wisdom, society’s spiral accelerated in Rome. Now, we’re not the Roman Empire, and the Vandals aren’t burning everything down. Well unless you were downtown last summer.

But we are in a position where hope is faint—when we see it at all. We can all feel it. The city is on the verge of… something. If the Left continues its previously nearly-unopposed march, then its on the verge of disaster. But it may just be on the verge of a new beginning. If leftism hasn’t yet reached its high-water mark, its certainly approaching it. The City Council finally has a commonsense conservative in Councilwoman McKenzie Kelly. Mayor Adler and far-left Councilman Casar are both term-limited out of their seats at the end of next year. Austinites overwhelmingly supported Proposition B. The Democratic Socialists of America were stunned when dozens and dozens of concerned citizens called into the City Council to demand refunding of our police academy. Our police forces are training new recruits, and while the training may not be the best, we are adding new officers to our rosters for the first time in months.

“I’m a young man (though increasingly less young). I cannot afford to lose hope in the future.”

By Dallas Emerson, SARC Senior Communications Director & Data Analyst

Influential, free-thinking individuals are beginning to flock to Austin, as we see Joe Rogan and Elon Musk choose to move here. We can expect more of that soon. Tesla’s new factory will bring a combination of high-tech and manufacturing to Austin that is certain to be a boom. And if you’re reading this, you’re participating in a new, grassroots movement, to remake Austin. I’m a young man (though increasingly less young). I cannot afford to lose hope in the future. I refuse to believe that our best days are behind us. As our little club has already proven during the police class refunding debate, we have the ability to affect change in our city. So many of us watch the news and see the country sliding into something ugly. We see the city sliding faster. We want to win big, and turn the country around by working for and donating to big, federal office races.

“I’m here to encourage you to do two things; don’t lose hope and fight for your city.”

By Dallas Emerson, SARC Senior Communications Director & Data Analyst

We want to win the country, but we lose the city. I’m here to encourage you to do two things; don’t lose hope and fight for your city. When you board an airplane they tell you in case of emergency, “put your mask on first.” You need to be healthy enough to help those around you. Well, ladies and gentlemen, let’s put our masks (oxygen, not cloth!) on first, fight to make Austin a truly competitive, bi-partisan city, and show the country it can be done.

Together, we have hope.  

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More from SARC…

The Silent Patriots | SARC

By Sarah Jessica Fields

This was my view of the Capitol from a hotel room. We were in Austin for several days. I am home now and I am physically and emotionally exhausted. I think that some Americans have a skewed idea of what all patriots look like. When you think of a patriot, you think full battle rattle…. maybe you think about marching, and rallies, and giving public speeches about how we need to stop the left from taking over and stepping all over our constitutional rights. I’m here to tell you, that’s not what all patriots look like all the time.

There are those who are tirelessly banding together in small groups. Visiting representatives and senators offices. Pushing and fighting to have our voices heard. We memorize bill numbers. We memorize language from each bill we want to advocate for, or bills we know are bad news for the American people. We eat crappy food. We skip meals. We walk all day for miles in that capitol building trying to build relationships so we can push good bills through committees and into floor votes. We sleep in the back of our cars. We don’t get paid. And sometimes, we have to sit by ourselves in a private spot of that house so we can get a hold of ourselves because of how much our cause means to us. We are met with evil, and we are many times met with demonic atmospheres. We have trash thrown at us. We have people screaming in our faces because while we may want to protect innocent lives, and protect children, some believe we are “messing with their rights” to teach critical race theory to our children, mutilate children’s body parts and tear down statutes from American history that offends them. And then we come home.

We hug our children. We cry over them because we worry about their future. We go to the grocery store and pick out buckets of grapes that aren’t bruised. We cook dinner and clean our houses. All the while trying to simply decompress from the evils that stood in our paths the whole time we were absent. That is patriotism. That is activism. That is advocacy. Sometimes it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. But it is always valiant. There are some absolutely amazing patriots who work outside these capitol walls. Patriots who rescue men, women and children from sex traffickers. Patriots who fight for our country and place their lives on the line every single day. Patriots who have rallies and spread awareness throughout our beautiful country. I work with some of these amazing people and I am so honored to be in their inner circles.

But please don’t forget, this house is The People’s house. We have people on the inside as well who are advocating for constitutional rights so as to keep The People free from tyranny. This week was a hard one. Many bills that we (Texas Freedom Coalition) worked extremely hard for such as stopping medical child abuse, advocating for constitutional carry and making sure parental rights are prioritized by DFPS, have been killed or are in the process of dying; because of the corruption inside this building. Yet, bills that will invade our freedoms during an emergency, are well and alive. (HB3). But we go home. We take a breath. We rest. We start again. Patriotism has many roles and is seen in many ways. But we all have the same patriotic blood running through our veins. I am honored to be a patriot.

Release: South Austin Republican Club Takes Official Stances on May 1st Propositions

Charter amendment regarding binding arbitration 

Proposition A: Shall the City Charter be amended to give the Austin Firefighters Association, Local 975 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, the authority to require the City to participate in binding arbitration of all issues in dispute with the Association if the City and the Association reach impasse in collective bargaining negotiations? 

Vote: Yes! Given the city’s reckless behavior regarding public safety, protecting the our fire fighters is a necessary step.  

City Code amendment to prohibit certain activities 

Proposition B*: Shall an ordinance be adopted that would create a criminal offense and a penalty for sitting or lying down on a public sidewalk or sleeping outdoors in and near the Downtown area and the area around the University of Texas campus; create a criminal offense and penalty for solicitation, defined as requesting money or another thing of value, at specific hours and locations or for solicitation in a public area that is deemed aggressive in manner; create a criminal offense and penalty for camping in any public area not designated by the Parks and Recreation Department? 

Vote: Yes! Austin has seen an increase in homelessness, in fires, and in crime related to the homeless population. While the city should be working harder to help those in need, “camp anywhere” has failed dismally. 

Charter amendment regarding Director of Police Oversight 

Proposition C: Shall the city charter be amended to allow for a Director of Police Oversight to be appointed or removed in a manner established by City Council ordinance, with duties that include the responsibility to ensure transparency and accountability as it relates to policing? 

Vote: No! The city has cut the police budget and is taking advice from numerous anti-safety groups. Adding another entity to control police activity, and the added bureaucracy that will follow, is unwise.  

Charter amendment to change date of mayoral elections 

Proposition D: Shall the City Charter be amended to transition the election for mayor from gubernatorial election years to presidential election years, providing that the mayor elected in 2022 will serve a 2-year term and then mayoral elections will occur on the same date as presidential elections starting in 2024? 

Vote: No! By moving the elections to presidential elections years, partisanship will only increase in what is supposed to be a nonpartisan race. 

Charter amendment to create ranked choice voting for city elections 

Proposition E: Shall the City Charter be amended to provide for the use of ranked choice voting in city elections, if such voting is permitted by state law? 

Vote: No! Ranked choice voting has bizarre effects and many believe violates the “one citizen, one vote” principle of democracy.  

Charter amendment to change from a council-manager form of government 

Proposition F: Shall the City Charter be amended to change the form of city government from ‘council-manager’ to ‘strong mayor-council,’ which will eliminate the position of professional city manager and designate an elected mayor as the chief administrative and executive officer of the city with veto power over all legislation which includes the budget; and with sole authority to hire and fire most department heads and direct staff; and with no articulated or stated charter authority to require the mayor to implement Council decisions. 

Vote: No! By giving such strong power to the mayor, smaller districts, or districts which voted against the mayor, would have even less power than they currently doing making Austin an even more divided city. 
Charter amendment to add a geographic council district 

Proposition G: Shall the City Charter be amended to provide for an additional geographic council district which will result in 11 council members elected from single member districts? 

Vote: No! Without knowing where the district would be added, it would be easy for the current members of the City Council to undercut political opponents.  

Charter amendment to adopt voluntary public campaign finance program 

Proposition H: Shall the City Charter be amended to adopt a public campaign finance program, which requires the city clerk to provide up to two $25 vouchers to every registered voter who may contribute them to candidates for city office who meet the program requirements? 

Vote: No! This program takes taxpayer money and redistributes it. This means that effectively Austin taxpayers would be forced to help fund campaigns they disagree with.  

Voting Information

Travis County

Williamson County

Voting Locations

How We Can Help Our Community

By Dallas Emerson, SARC Deputy Communications Director

SARC has an opportunity to help our community!

One of the issues that brings us most together is the problem of homelessness in our city. This week, I’m sure those without homes will be more present on our minds than usual.
We are about to get hit with an incredible cold front in the coming week, with temperatures falling well below freezing soon. This means hundreds, or thousands, of people will be exposed to dangerous elements.

While we could use this as a moment to point to the failed policies of the City government, there is something much more productive we can do.
There is something we can do to help.
Front Steps, a prominent homeless shelter in Austin, has launched a blanket drive, and is requesting people purchase one of three specific blankets from Amazon and Kohl’s—you can find their list on this page.
Our club has already participated in a park cleanup as a part of our effort to improve the city. This is an opportunity for us to help our city confront one of its most pressing concerns.
As Conservatives, we champion the ability of free and independent people to take care of their communities without government direction.
As Republicans, we have often bemoaned the human cost of the housing situation in our city.
We shouldn’t pitch in to score political points. We should do it because it is right.

As we’ve moved into 2021, community outreach has been one of our foremost goals, and this is a moment where our community needs our outreach.
I encourage all of you—if it is within your means—to please purchase a blanket for Front Steps today. If you are a member of a church or other community group, please take a moment to encourage them to donate as well.
It just may save a life.

The GOP is Divided — and That’s Good

By Dallas Emerson, SARC Deputy Communications Director

The GOP is Divided — and That’s Good — let’s explore…

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in conservative conversation.
“Let’s start a new party. A party for trueconservatives.”

We’ve all heard some version of that.
The Republican Party is publicly fracturing. As President Trump leaves office, some of his own party are happy to see him go; others see this as the first step in the fall of the Republic.
I confess, I was never fully on board with the President. I opposed him in the primaries. I refused to vote for him in 2016, considering myself something of a Never-Trumper, but eventually decided to vote for him in 2020, fearing the madness of the Left. I have been on both sides of the Trump debate.
I’m here to tell you that if you love Trump or hate Trump, we have to share the party with those we disagree with, and that’s a good thing.

How can I say that? A divided party loses elections. A divided party struggles with messaging. A divided party spends too much energy fighting itself to convert persuadable voters.
Yes, but a party with intellectual diversity has the opportunity to refine ideas. Divisions in the party allow different messages to be brought to different populations and regions. Internal arguments can strengthen the ability to communicate.
True, the Republican Party is, at the moment weaker, for its division between Pro-Trump (the majority) and Anti-Trump (the decided minority).
It may shock you to know that both sides consider the others to have abandoned “true conservatism.” As though there was one version of Conservatism. There have always been differences in our movement—Trump just made them intensely personal.
Remember, the “anti-Trump” wing of the party encompasses moderates like Romney and hardcore Tea Partiers like Sen. Ben Sasse. The Pro-Trump wing has former Democratic moderates like Rep. Van Drew and unquestionable conservatives like Governor DeSantis.

In many ways “pro” and “anti” Trump are better understood as style, rather than policy, differences.

I encourage each and every one of you to consider that the large majority of people you disagree with on the subject of the President came to their opinion in good faith, following their understanding of the facts, and their own upbringing. Try to bring others to understand your ideas all you like; tell them why you think they’re wrong, but please remember we on the Right have a lot more in common than it feels like at the moment.
And we’ve never exactly been a monolithic movement.
Soon, however, the debate within the GOP will move beyond Trump. It has to.
He won’t be President, and Biden, with backed by narrow majorities in the House and Senate will be striving to accomplish everything he can before his political capital is entirely spent.

As a party, we are not going to suddenly come together in unity. Instead, we will return to some version our older arguments: establishment vs. grassroots, nationalist vs. libertarian, intervention vs. isolation. Trumpism is difficult to define, again maybe being a style rather than ideology, but it will be added to our numerous internal disputes.
We’ve had these debates for generations and we’re better for it.
In its founding days, the Republican party argued about how best to combat slavery.
In the Cold War, it was Republicans who sought to strike the appropriate balance of assertiveness and restraint.

The Left has a single answer to all questions that face our society: government. Lots and lots of government intervention.

By remaining the party of argument, the GOP can remain the party of ideas.
So, when you run into another insufferable Never Trumper, and when you encounter another die-hard Trumpist, remember, we’re not a party that revolves around a single man, but around a complex set of ideas.

We need each other, we can’t win without each other, and we’re better off arguing with one another than just sitting around talking about how much we all agree.

Top 2021 Political Podcasts| SARC

I grew up in a small town in Kansas. I was raised to love learning and to embrace every opportunity to learn more about the world I live in. This has grown into a deep love for learning. As a result, I really appreciate when others share their knowledge with me.

Today, I will share with you some of my favorite channels of learning with the top political podcast to follow in 2021. Enjoy!

The Austin City Councilmen – Brad Swail

Mack On Politics – Matt Mackowiak

Ben Shapiro Show – Ben Shapiro

The American Story – Christopher Flannery

The Buck Sexton Show – Buck Sexton

John Solomon – Just The News

Jay Sekulow Live – Jay Sekulow & Associates

C-SPAN Washington – C-SPAN

We Holds These Truths – Dan Crenshaw

The Trey Gowdy Podcast – Trey Gowdy

The American Mind – Claremont Institute

Verdict – Ted Cruz

We The People – Jeffery Rosen/National Constitution Institute

Happy Listening!

The Changing Face of The Republican Party | SARC

By Dallas Emerson

Americans aren’t used to complex election results, and the 2020 election was complex. Despite winning the Presidency by a relatively comfortable margin, the Democrats suffered defeats across the country in the House, and failed to win the Senate outright as had been predicted. Republicans held their own in state legislature elections, and continue to hold the governorships of most states. 

It’s little wonder that both parties seem to be cracking up afterwards. Staring down the prospect of divided government and trying to figure out what went wrong for their respective defeats, both parties’ internal struggles are becoming increasingly public. 

Something else that has become more obvious—the Republican party is changing. Donald Trump performed better with every demographic…but white men. That’s right, after 4 long years of accusations of “white supremacy,” African Americans, Latinos, and Asians were all more likely to vote for Trump than in 2016.  

This suggests a few things about the American populace.  

First and foremost, doubling down on identity politics helped the Democrats mobilize middle class white voters—particularly those in the suburbs—while it did nothing for them among minority voters.  

Texas is a perfect example of this dynamic. Joe Biden won the longstanding Republican stronghold of Williamson County, something no Democrat has done since Jimmy Carter. Meanwhile, Donald Trump won Zapata County—a reliably Democratic county, which is largely Hispanic.  

Ironically, with these large changes throughout the state, the 2020 results were almost identical to those of 2016. In both cases, Donald Trump received just over 52% of the vote.  

Similar changes could be seen in Florida, where Republicans flipped two House seats in Miami—a decidedly diverse city.  

The next thing these odd changes suggest is that we truly don’t know what causes voters to turn out.  

Many pundits on the Right have said that Donald Trump’s “populism” has transformed the Republican party into a multi-ethnic, working-class party. But that’s conjecture at best.  

Donald Trump’s Presidency, despite the tweeting and the maniacal press coverage, was essentially identical to that of a normal Republican. He cut taxes, raised military spending, and appointed conservative judges. The largest change from former Republican presidents was in foreign policy; he started no new wars. Even then, his greatest foreign policy successes—the peace deals rapidly spreading throughout the Middle East—are a reflection of Republican ideals. By providing consistent, even strident, support for Israel and deploying unbridled military power in the face of multiple threats, the President created an environment in which peace could be achieved for the first time since Israel’s inception.  

So the Republican Party can feel confident moving forward that it doesn’t need to undergo radical change to win over more voters. Its policies, under an exceedingly controversial leader, appeal to a more diverse group of voters than any since 1960.  

The true difference between Trump and previous Republicans is that Trump tried to reach out to minority voters. And it may be as simple as that.  

Republicans, armed with this knowledge should feel good about the future. Even though 2020 was a defeat, there were many small victories for Republicans to find throughout the country.  

The face of the Republican Party is changing, but its principles shouldn’t.  

The Hypocrisy of Mayor Steve Adler | SARC

By Dallas Emerson

Sometimes, everything seems almost normal—a blessed feeling in the bizarro world of 2020. Driving down the street, one can, for a few moments, feel like it’s an average day in Austin. Our traffic has mostly returned to Pre-March levels. Our cyclists are out in force. Our homeless are more prevalent than ever in their ever-growing camps beneath our overpasses.  

But those moments of normality are short lived. 

You’ll see movie theaters shuttered on one side of the street. On the other, a restaurant, representing someone’s hopes and aspirations, permanently closed. There’s now a running list of Austin restaurant closures if you’re interested. Signs on churches let you know how to tune into their services virtually. Our hospitals were never overwhelmed, but our doctors are struggling to make ends meet. Our young people—the least at risk to COVID’s very real threat—are facing a mental health epidemic. Our schools are caught in flux—with some in-person and some remote learning. If you have children, I don’t need to tell you how effective remote-learning is. You know it isn’t doing the job.  

At least our liquor stores are open.  

Now, before I go farther, let me say the virus is real. My in-laws are high risk, as is my father. I haven’t seen my Grandmother in months because I want to do what I can to keep her safe and healthy. I wear a mask to keep others safe, should I unknowingly have the virus.  

The virus didn’t destroy those businesses. It didn’t sneak in and close doctors’ doors. It hasn’t crawled into the minds of young people and plunged them into the depths of depression.  

The governmental response to COVID has.  

Austin has suffered, often nobly, in order to protect those we love. Our businesses have often been sacrificed. We’ve restricted travel and have tightened our belts. 

Then, preening in a Facebook video, Mayor Steve Adler reminded us all that we need to stay home. Did our mayor speak to us from his home, leading by example?  


He was in Cabo San Lucas. You know, the one in Mexico.  

He did this, following his daughter’s wedding, a relatively small affair, with only twenty guests. Which is ten more than our city government suggests under current guidelines.  

Evidently, only those of us who don’t have timeshares in other countries need to stay home. 

But this hypocrisy is pretty much par for the course with Adler, so I probably shouldn’t be surprised. I guess I’m still young and idealistic. 

How did he flee the city he should be leading? By private jet, of course. Despite having access to this luxury, he lectures about income inequality.   

Austin may be cutting its police budget, but Adler is keeping his security team. Also worth noting, Austin has set a new apparent record for homicides this year

We were told to stay home and stay out of church, while over the summer Black Lives Matter protests devolved into mob violence.  

Adler’s hypocritical vacation does a disservice to those who closely follow the regulations he helped put in place. It makes the lockdown skeptics look prescient.  

And his poor leadership is not just reflected in hypocrisy, but also in the increasingly hostile environment for businesses and families that Austin is becoming.  

Austin businesses are about to get slapped with a property tax hike.  

More of our people are homeless than ever.  

But why should Adler care about the decline of small businesses, our hurting doctors, the failing schools, the growing homelessness, the families that haven’t been united in months? He’s celebrating his daughter’s wedding as he relaxes on vacation in Mexico. 

Must be nice.  

Our city deserves better than this hypocrisy. Maybe he should just stay in Mexico and let someone who cares to lead in crisis step forward.