August in St. Louis typically feels like wearing long underwear in a sauna. It’s sweaty and sticky, and sometimes too oppressive to even breathe. Typically. But this August has been anything but typical. I would venture to call it downright lovely. Even recently, when temperatures did break into the nineties, I have found it hard to be all “holy-crap-Dante-must-have-written-Inferno-sitting-under-The-Arch.” St. Louis is a nice place to be, and I felt a little sorry for my husband when he called from his trip in Austin, Texas this past weekend to tell me how friggin’ hot it was down there. If there is typically anyplace worse than St. Louis to be in August, it’s just about anywhere in Texas.
So I found it a tad ironic that soon after talking to my husband in Austin, I heard this commercial on the radio:
Exsqueeze me? Did I hear Governor Rick Perry correctly? Did he really just create a radio spot to be played specifically in Missouri where he uses his patronizing politico voice to tell us that our state sucks in order to poach our jobs? Because I think he did. And I’m all kinds of annoyed about it. (We know how I get when the awesomenasity…yes, I invented a word for it…of my home city or state is called into question. Remember this…and this…and this?)
I’m not going to try to debate the economic climate in my home state. I’m not an economist; I get most of my current events news from Jen Myers’ Entertainment Schmig on Y98 while taking my kids to school; and it’s pretty obvious things are tough, especially for small businesses. But this whole idea of trying to poach locally owned businesses and enticing them to move to Texas seems a bit counterproductive in the grand scheme of things.
Let’s just say that
Dr. Doofenshmirtz Governor Perry was successful in what is obviously a maniacal plan to take over the tri-state area and beyond (sorry, I’ve been watching a lot of Phineas and Ferb lately). Our local businesses would all set up shop in Texas, but where would that leave Missouri? If we are already struggling, let’s just go ahead and decimate us. Makes sense. But don’t stop there, Governor Perry. I see you have already cast your greasy net into places like New York, California, Illinois, and Connecticut. Before long, Texas will just be a throbbing hot spot of power and money, and the rest of the country will be the wannabes waiting in line behind the velvet ropes, hoping the bouncer in the ten-gallon hat will grant them entrance. But Perry will have taken care of his own…so much so that maybe voters outside the state of Texas will have that in the front of their minds when it comes time to choose the Republican candidate for the 2016 Presidential election. You know, the election that chooses the person who is supposed to take care of ALL of the states. Just sayin’.
Maybe Governor Perry missed that day in History class when they learned about Patrick Henry. United we stand, divided we fall? It seemed to work well for the founding fathers.
I understand that Perry is looking out for his home state. That is what a governor is supposed to do. But it shouldn’t come at the expense of other states. I think what angered me most about his radio spot is that after encouraging us listeners to feel bad about our home, he goes on to act like he cares about us and our well-being. As if I am going to believe he spent all this money simply to tell me he is worried about my future here in Missouri, and that all he wants is for me to succeed. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is classic cult leader material. I call his bluff. Politicians don’t do anything that isn’t self-serving. I also smell a bit of a sneaky partisan war here, as all of the states he has targeted have Democrat governors. If he really cared about Missourians and our economic future, he would be finding ways to work with politicians of both parties to light a fire under this ENTIRE country’s economy.
Texas is a great state. I immensely enjoyed myself on the two occasions I visited. The people are some of the friendliest I have ever encountered. It is a very easy place to find a good time. And according to some guy on the radio, their economy is booming. But they can keep their governor. Better yet, they can toss him out and find a new one that better suits them: someone who has that undeniable Texas pride and hospitality, along with the good sense to know that a strong country is more than the sum of its parts.
Everything considered, I would still rather spend the month of August in St. Louis than in Texas. But if someone wanted to expedite a Whataburger my way, I would be happy to make a small donation to the Texas economy. Or…maybe Whataburger wants to send their franchise here.
*Side note of congratulations to local radio station KTRS who has refused to run Perry’s commercial on their airwaves. The decision was hailed by former state senator Jeff Smith “as both a business and state-pride decision,” saying, “occasionally, doing the right thing is also good business.”