A Texas-Sized Example of Why “Government Doesn’t Work” (Hint: Because You Elect Republicans)


Do we all remember “Texas-sized”, or has that silly exaggeration finally gone the way of general decency in the Republican Party?

Then again, this isn’t exactly a matter of general decency, except that the ignorance required to be a Texas conservative really is indecent. Put more directly, Eva Hershaw explains, for the Texas Tribune:

Campell proposed the Protect the Alamo Act in response to a nomination that could make the San Antonio Missions — including the emblematic Alamo — a World Heritage site through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). A decision is expected to be announced in July. Campbell said that without the law to protect the Alamo, there would be a risk that the Texas General Land Office, which manages the Alamo and surrounding properties, could sell it.

“In the charge to the battle, the battle cry was ‘Remember the Alamo,’ and since then, the Alamo has been recognized as hallowed ground in Texas, and a shrine of Texas liberty,” Campbell said at a hearing before the The Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee. “The Alamo is a story of Texas, and it should be owned, operated, and maintained, controlled by Texans.”

This is Texas logic: In order to protect the Alamo from being sold, we shall protest a world heritage designation that would prevent it from being sold.

See, they seem to believe that UNESCO would then own the Alamo.

Land Commissioner George P. Bush’s deputy told lawmakers that the General Land Office would only be able to sell the Alamo if lawmakers passed legislation directing them to do so.

“I believe Commissioner Bush would state emphatically that we are not interested in selling the Alamo or giving up our authority on the Alamo,” said Deputy Land Commissioner Larry Laine.

“Commissioner Bush would say no to allowing the Alamo to be sold, but what about the next commissioner?” Campbell asked Laine, who responded, “I cannot speak for that next commissioner.”

“I can’t either,” said Campbell. “And neither can anyone else.”

Well … that’s not exactly true.

Zach Beauchamp of Vox.com notes:

UNESCO World Heritage Site designation does not bring anything even remotely resembling UN ownership or control. The Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, and Yellowstone National Park are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites — so far, none are swarming with blue helmets or black helicopters.

An FAQ on UNESCO’s site clarifies the point: “The site is the property of the country on whose territory it is located, but it is considered in the interest of the international community to protect the site for future generations” ....

.... According to the Houston Chronicle, Campbell has admitted that making the Alamo a UNESCO site would not actually involve selling it to the UN. She said in warning, however, that “UNESCO starts with UN.”

We might note that “Texas-sized” still has its applications. Texas-sized paranoia, for instance. And Texas-sized stupidity.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Texas.


Hershaw, Eva. “Campbell Faces Skepticism of Alamo Protection Proposal”. The Texas Tribune. 24 February 2015.

Beauchamp, Zack. “Are you worried about the UN taking over the Alamo? So is this Texas state senator.” Vox. 25 February 2015.

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