This is a guest post by Luis LaRotta
Four years ago, conservatives across Texas were dealt a gut-wrenching blow as liberals gained
an unexpected advantage on the heels of Beto O’Rourke’s failed senate race. The aftermath left
an impressionable scar among conservative Texans as numerous down ballot seats were lost to
liberals in one fell swoop. Today, Americans are experiencing a similar wake-up call as liberal
politicians and their agendas expand across our country. For the GOP, a November victory
seems tantalizingly within grasp, however, dominant factions seeking to purge the party of
voters who aren’t in perfect theological or ideological alignment will continue to impede the
party’s ability to gain any substantial ground with independent voters beyond 2022.
As a former candidate for Texas House District 148, I campaigned door-to-door in the
community where my family lived in Houston. In many of these inner-city blue-collar
neighborhoods, I came face to face with the reality of how astonishingly disconnected the
Democratic Party had become and how starkly ineffective the Republican Party remained. What
I realized was that the American dream was still alive for the hardworking families I met, but for
many, the promises made by entrenched politicians to deal with surging crime, lack-luster
education and diminished economic opportunities had given them little to be optimistic about.
How could this have happened?
If you ask the Republican voters how our side has dealt with the endless barrage of cultural
warfare, few will say that we are winning. Between the mainstream media, social media, and our
educational system, conservative voices have primarily been reactionary to the headlines made
regularly by liberals that cast our views as insensitive, misogynistic, racist or worse. In many
cases our voices had been canceled with no justification, a threat that should have alerted free
speech advocates on both sides of the aisle. Yet, it’s the conservative values that have made
Texas a haven for freedom and opportunity.
In this author’s opinion, the GOP’s quest to refute every accusation that has been hurled at
conservatives, has laid a trap that we have fallen victim to repeatedly. The consequences have
been devastating and broad, as entire demographics that are not typically thought of as
Republican, yet voted for Donald Trump, have remained notably absent. Rather than finding
commonality among Republican and Independent voters, the narrative that’s been laid out
ahead of us turns these voters against one another in a regressive exercise to exclude potential
allies in the causes we care about.
In spite of these self-defeating efforts, conservatives of all types have found ways to support
one another from the vicious attacks coming from leftist cultural warriors seeking to stall our
Disenfranchised voters from all walks of life suddenly began to gravitate to conservative groups
and their organizers came to find that aside from a few differences, they were stronger together
against the left’s rhetoric. These groups, aligned by virtue of their steadfast beliefs about the
role and nature of government, led to even greater collaborative efforts that dismantled the
basis for the identity politics being touted. As an alliance forged between the Republican Liberty
Caucus of Texas, the Texas Young Republicans, and the Log Cabin Republicans of Texas, a
coalition of Freedom First Republicans formed into the strongest trifecta for liberty in the state.
The coalition was a formidable counterstrike to the radical Democratic agenda, and a beacon to
all liberty-minded Republicans and conservatives, be they in our inner cities, or in the most
remote rural areas of our state.
Although the Freedom First Republicans Coalition may be gone, the values and ideals that
brought these organizations together are now the immutable founding principles of the Texas
Conservative Liberty Forum, an organization led by Marco Roberts. He is joined by many
conservative leaders (including myself) who are intent on advancing the conservative cause for
ordered liberty through principled leadership, collaboration, and perseverance.
Some will ask if our group represents or is focused on the concerns of any particular
demographic? The answer is ‘no.’
In my view, the only affinity required is that members share the core beliefs that made the
coalition between all liberty-minded conservatives of every stripe stronger. The Texas
Conservative Liberty Forum will bring forth a new vision of the conservative movement, one that
is competitive, fearless, and effective in defeating the progressive Democratic agenda. One that
doesn’t answer to the left’s cultural wars – rather, one that reframes these constitutional issues
and posits new questions. One that brings all people together, under the common belief that
America is a place of freedom, opportunity and unity.
What happens next in Texas has implications beyond our state. Our elections reverberate
throughout the rest of the country and even the world; and as everyone watches how Texans
vote, we must demonstrate that the liberty movement has not retreated to the confines of
conservative sanctuary districts when our country needed us most.
It’s time conservatives reframe the false narratives, redirect our focus and advance united in a
common cause in support of freedom of speech, religious liberty, freedom of conscience,
freedom of self-defense, freedom of self-determination, and all our other constitutionally
guaranteed rights which are in real peril. Families have lost businesses they spent a lifetime
building for merely exercising their First Amendment rights. Parents are being villified for daring
to question school officials’ policies on curriculum, sexual education and gender modification
without their parental knowledge or consent. Americans of all walks of life are being silenced in
public and private institutions in the name of a liberal political ideology that claims to be for
diversity, equity, and inclusion, but instead delivers division, envy, and intolerance.
It’s time we stand our ground with those who will stand with us. As Americans flee failed,
oppressive liberal states in hopes of a brighter future, let us show them that in Texas we stand
together for the true liberty, justice, and equality under the law for all promised in our US and
Luis H LaRotta
Texas Conservative Liberty Forum