When I moved from California to central Texas last year, one of my hopes was to escape the routine power outages and the constant, impending threat of natural disaster.

This week in Texas felt unfortunately familiar.

After temperatures dipped into the single digits on Tuesday, millions of Texans were left without power as “rolling” blackouts covered the state deeper than the six inches of snow and ice that blanketed the ground.

I was lucky enough to continue my work from my car, but I still lost power at my house and had to deal with a frozen well and blown water pipes. Many had it much worse than I did.

 
 
 
 
 
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As per usual, the severity of the crisis didn’t dissuade national politicians and their allies in the media from using the situation to peddle their own agenda.

Partisan hacks like Beto O’Rourke and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blamed Republicans for their failure to regulate power companies and keep Texas’s power generation out of the hands of government bureaucrats.

O’Rourke called the outages “avoidable” and accused the GOP of focusing too much on “stupid culture battles” like gun rights and the national anthem. Ocasio-Cortez, strangely, claimed that her Green New Deal would have prevented the catastrophe, if only the GOP had signed on to her hair-brained policy.

Frozen wind turbines contributed to the outage, but telling the truth about wind turbines would counter the leftist “clean energy” agenda. So, Democrats called on their buddies in the media. The Texas Tribune ran an article headlined, “No, frozen wind turbines aren’t the main culprit for Texas’ power outages,” and many other outlets repeated the same talking point.

Republicans are partially to blame, too. Rather than follow their better judgment and the will of their constituents, they’ve stupidly invested over $19 billion in green energy projects in Texas instead of hardening our grid and building more gas-fired power plants. 

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I haven’t been able to escape natural disasters by moving to Texas, and I’m still bombarded with lies and politics when I turn on the national news. But there is one thing I’m happy I didn’t escape: everyday Americans.

Like California, Texas is filled with caring patriots willing to lend a hand to folks in their communities. I’ve seen truck-driving ranchers delivering firewood to their elderly neighbors. I’ve seen people pulled over to help stranded motorists get their cars out of the ditch. I’ve seen people open their homes to members of their church who were struggling to keep their small children warm.

In this time of crisis, these men and women don’t care about the ins-and-outs of Washington politics or the deceit of the mainstream media. They care about one another, and about helping their friends and neighbors make it through.

National politics is important. That’s why I started the Convention of States Project. But national politics is a means, not an end. Our true power as a country lies in local, self-governing Americans and in the communities they build. Washington should empower these communities, not cram down their own big-government agenda.

Despite the cold of the last few days, I’ve been encouraged to once again see Americans come together and do what government often can’t—help one another in a time of need.

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.