Texas is a place where you can put down roots. The friends one makes there are often friends for life. Again, it's difficult to explain this to people who have not been baptized into Texas. A brief visit won't do it.
When I first moved to Texas to work at a Houston TV station, one of my colleagues had fun asking me to pronounce the names of various streets and towns. I got most of them wrong, because Texans don't pronounce a lot of names and words the way they are "supposed" to be pronounced.
Oh, and anyone who thinks chicken-fried steak has anything to do with chicken (except for chicken broth in the gravy) is clearly a "foreigner."
Texans enjoy laughing at themselves, but they don't take kindly to other people laughing at them. Aggie jokes have been popular for a long time and students or alumni from other Texas schools mostly tell them. The jokes are supposed to highlight the alleged intellectual deficiencies at Texas A and M University. Of course, students and graduates of A and M are not stupid, but the jokes are funny. For example: Did you hear about the Aggie who won a gold medal at the Olympics? He liked it so much that he decided to get it bronzed.
If the elites want to understand Texas, they have to do more than engage in drive-by writing assignments. They should live there, as I did. I still miss much of what Texas offered my family. Rick Perry revives the warm feelings I have for the state. Maybe that's because I finally understand the language.