I read “What Drives Greg Abbott?” in the May 2022 issue. It seems that Mimi Swartz’s primary issue with Abbott is that he acts like many
politicians do. The story is presented as a straightforward profile of
Abbott, but it became obvious as I continued on that the reader was being played. Ms. Swartz attempts to offer objective counter-arguments but instead seems to be trying to conceal what must be a very personal dislike of the governor. This is an opinion piece masquerading as objective reporting, and it is the author’s contempt that is “hiding in plain sight.”
Ted Davidson, Houston
For decades, when teaching about Machiavelli, I have given my students a thumbnail sketch of the life and career of George Wallace. The former Alabama governor was a moderate judge (at least for the Deep South in the fifties) who transformed himself into the worst kind of racist for political expediency. After reading your May 2022 cover story, I have added Greg Abbott to my teaching tool kit. He joins my pantheon of politicos who seemingly have no values other than their own vaulting ambition. They will lie, betray, and steal to serve their greed for power. Thanks to Mimi Swartz for her enlightening profile.
Bill Durham, Los Angeles
Love It or Leave It
Boo-hoo, poor Josh Alvarez, having to vacation at Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa [“(Trying to) Get Away From It All,” May 2022]. His trip was ruined by a statue of—oh my!—Robert E. Lee. The horror! His “getaway” was ruined by political stuff. He was the one who turned it political—not anyone else. If he is that sensitive, maybe he shouldn’t be in Texas or even writing about a state he doesn’t know or understand.
Ralph Roberts, Granbury
Prayers and Protests
I attended an interfaith protest of the National Rifle Association meeting in Houston at the end of May. As part of our demonstration, we proceeded to a barricade protecting the doors of the convention hall and returned to where we had started across the street. During our walk back, a man made a gun with his finger and thumb and yelled “Bang!” at us as we marched in silence. We concluded with a prayer after hearing the names of the 21 Uvalde shooting victims read aloud. Next to us, protesters and NRA attendees hurled insults at one another. The event was filled with as much tension and anger as anything I have experienced. Though I came to seek some kind of peace in the wake of an unspeakable tragedy, I did not find it there.
I think your stories following the massacre in Uvalde could be the most important in the history of the magazine. The state is at a crossroads. I look forward to seeing how you help us learn about where we are, how we got here, and where we will go now.
L. Lee Thweatt, Houston
Editors’ note: An article in our June 2022 issue, “Sister Act,” identified writer Rod Dreher as Catholic. In fact, he has converted to Eastern Orthodoxy.
This article originally appeared in the July 2022 issue of Texas Monthly. Subscribe today.