Dallas radio personality Mark Davis shares the secrets of Texas’ success story in his new book “Lone Star America: How Texas Can Save Our Country.”
Townhall: Why did you write “Lone Star America?”
Davis: There have been a lot of books written about Texas, some by people who like us, some by people who don’t like us. This strikes me as a period of intense attention to my state, as some of the solutions that we have undertaken here in Texas seem particularly appropriate to solving a lot of the problems in America.
We have a huge spending problem in America; we try to handle that in a sane way here in Texas. We have a lot of issues from gun rights to religious freedom, and they’re all playing out in Texas under an umbrella of conservative governance that is working very well and is proving very popular. We are the state that is singled out as having been most successful, not just surviving, but thriving under the onslaught of the Obama era.
So it just goes to follow that there would be some solutions and strategies in the Texas examples that could be very valuable to other states and to the nation as a whole.
Townhall: You write that “for a growing child, a small business, or a megabank, failure can be instructive.” How do you think Texas has embraced that mindset and how has it been instructive for the state?
Davis: Times have not always been great here. We have had an oil boom and we’ve had an oil bust. We have had a real estate boom and we’ve had a real estate crash. We were not immune to the recession of 2008-2009, and then thereafter.
In example after example, Texas individuals and Texas businesses did not run around begging for some government solution to spare them the down-size of the marketplace. The best businesses and the strongest citizens, here in Texas and elsewhere, are the people who sit down and say: ‘OK, this is what’s happened. Maybe it’s my fault, maybe it’s not. Let me learn from it, get stronger, get smart.’ That is something that is bred through our history, bred through our culture, and bred through the way that we do business today.
Townhall: Can you give a few examples of how other states could benefit from adopting the solutions and policies that Texas has implemented?
Davis: It breaks my heart to look at magnificent states like New York and California, with so many natural resources, so many human resources, so many great people with so many great talents, and to see high taxes, over regulation, and a ponderous legal system cripple opportunities for individual growth and business success.
A state like California, with its amazing landscape, amazing culture, amazing people—the people of California deserve better. And the horrendous government that they’ve received for the last couple of generations, there is a reason why U-hauls and moving vans are loading up from California and moving to Texas. There’s a reason why Gov. Rick Perry can go up to California and pick businesses like plums to come here to Texas, because they know that they will be taxed less, they will be regulated reasonably, that we have a tort reform that works, we have an incredibly attractive cost of living, and so we’ve just been a magnet to these other states.
I would love for Californians, and New Yorkers, and people in these struggling big cities like Chicago and Detroit, to be able to have some of the success that we have had, so that they can brag like we do. They say it’s not bragging if it’s true, well, in Texas it’s true and I’d love for it to be true everywhere.
Townhall: What do you think are the first steps, or initial actions, toward allowing Texas to save the country?
Davis: The first thing that Americans need to do is look at Texas with a clear eye and see what we’ve done. And see that under the ill effects of expansionists, collectivist government with an Obama administration and a Democratic Senate, that we have had conservative governors and conservative legislatures that have given us solutions that are more along the lines of the way the Founding Fathers saw the country operating.
With a strong but a limited government with more emphasis on individual liberty, individual talents, and getting the government out of the way of the citizens so that the citizens can excel to the extent that their gifts can take them. If every state were to do this, and if the country were to elect national leaders with that kind of mindset, it’s stunning to think of the way in which America could not only dig itself out of its current hole, but return to the kind of prominence, and return to the kind of prosperity that we say we all want.
That involves electing leaders who will create that kind of government around the individual. It involves electing leaders who are willing to do what is antithetical to what a lot of government leaders want to do, and that is to be in people’s lives more, to provide all the solutions, to say “I’m the guy who solved this problem.”
Every state, and in the country in general, needs leaders who know that the best way to solve problems is to allow individuals and businesses to solve them for themselves with a minimum of government interference. That has been the soundtrack of the Texas success story, and for any state willing to take courage to undertake it I could guarantee that it will improve them over where they are now.
Townhall: What was your favorite part about writing this book?
Davis: I obviously enjoyed delving into some Texas history, I enjoyed providing some statistics to back up the points that I make, but anybody can do that, and anybody should do that in any book that they write about the state.
The things that I enjoyed the most are things that nobody else could do. Stories that are straight from my life. In talking about some of the Army National Guard guys that I’ve been able to associate with who have been deployed to the War on Terror. The opportunity to be in close contact with people like Rick Perry and Ted Cruz. To tell people what it’s like to hang out with people like Ted Nugent.
The opportunity to take the portions of my life, that I have lived, that I have done, and apply them to some of these principles that are found in the chapters. That’s what I think makes it different than anybody else’s book that anybody else could ever write, and that’s what I hope helps it stand out.