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The Republican right is splintering on every government level. Sen. Liz Cheney made the mistake is siding with the truth over her party by calling former President Donald Trump’s big lie that he won reelection a “big lie.” Even our own governor, Greg Abbott, is being criticized for not being Republican enough in a state where conservatives would literally paint the ground red if they weren’t against raising taxes or hiring undocumented laborers to do the job.
The jarring part is who is calling out the governor. Don Huffines, the car dealership magnate and former state senator, is criticizing Abbott for not opening businesses and public spaces sooner despite the fact that, you know, an airborne virus is loose. Naturally, he is now looking to take Abbott’s place in the governor’s mansion.
Celebrities — no matter how big or small — can have a huge impact on a candidate’s eligibility and popularity. Just look at the MyPillow guy, Mike Lindell. If he wasn’t on television, he’d be just another unkempt guy with bad hair screaming on a street corner about invisible takers of our liberty.
Can’t we do better than a local car dealer? Yes, we can.
1. Matthew McConaughey
We all knew the god of JKL would be on this list and not just because he’s actually considered running for governor. McConaughey is Texas’ version of a United Nations ambassador to the rest of the United States. He represents the potential all Texans can provide to their community and country with his Oscar wins, box office draw and public advocacy for everything from animal rescue to World Vision, which assists poor children. Sure, he once was so high that he thought naked bongo drumming was a good idea, but that’s a scandal that’s almost quaint compared with the avalanche of shit raining down from Attorney General Ken Paxton’s past.
2. Willie Nelson
The country superstar can create music that even country music haters adore. Imagine what he could do as governor. Willie’s a shoe-in to finally get our state on the marijuana legalization list. He definitely knows more about taxes and the inner workings of the Internal Revenue Service than any human alive. He’s beloved even by Texans who hate pot-smoking, hemp-wearing, biodiesel-pushing hippies who look like Willie in their mind’s eye. If Gov. Nelson can’t unite our divided state, no one can.
3. Dirk Nowitzki
The German wunderkind is to Texas what Arnold Schwarzenegger was to California and not just because they are from European nations that Americans easily mix up. He’s a sports hero throughout Dallas and Texas. He’s a tireless advocate for a number of worthy causes. Even his biggest rivals have a reverence for him that’s all but gone in today’s all-or-nothing realm of political gamesmanship. Plus, he already has a street named for him.
4. Norah Jones
This revered, award-winning jazz virtuoso may not be a Texas native but no one is saying we should revoke Sen. Ted Cruz’s “Texan” title — at least not for geographic reasons. She was born in New York but grew up in Grapevine, and her soulful sound and talent have contributed a healthy injection of color and vibrancy to Texas’ musical culture. She still calls herself a Texan with great pride, and Texas would be even prouder to make her its third female governor.
5. Erykah Badu
The current Dallas and Texas queen of soul may have found success in music on a global level, but she’s never truly left her hometown or state. Her contributions go far beyond her advocacy and financial and spiritual support for local music and the arts. She speaks her truth openly and without fear in her music and public advocacy work.
6. Dale Hansen
WFAA’s chief sports anchor is more than just a journalist who reads the scores. He uses his iron-coated guts to go on the Texas airwaves and advocate for things in his viral editorials that most people are afraid to even mention in a crowded Texas Roadhouse. Imagine having a governor who’s willing to call out obvious bullshit like voter ID laws, loosened gun regulation restrictions and anti-gay legislation in public instead of hiding behind a faceless press release that panders to the worst of his constituency.
7. Stephen Tobolowsky
If being universally liked and admired was a science or an art, Dallas’ Tobolowsky could do a dozen TED talks hundreds of different ways. All you have to do is love what you do with an unbridled passion and treat people the way you’d like them to treat you. The Dallas native and renowned character actor doesn’t just talk about his acting method or share hilarious stories about the Hollywood machine. He literally dreams of human connectivity and uses his signature humor and ethos to bring people together and celebrate what we share with each other. Those traits should be the bare minimum for moving into any public office.
8. Sandra Bullock
Even when Texas’ most famous actress was churning out not-so-great movies, she embraced whatever mean-spirited critics could throw at her. She’s one of the few people to actually show up at the needless Razzie awards to accept her dishonor, and she won Best Actress at the Oscars the same year. Can you imagine any modern career politician showing up in public to accept criticism? Donald Trump has turned rival hatred into a requirement for public service, and Bullock could easily break that trend.
Yes, we know he’s a cartoon character but admit it, a character who doesn’t live in reality could still do a way better job than a governor who ignores it. He has the charm of a thousand McConaugheys and at least when he talks fast, people would actually listen.
10. Beavis and/or Butt-head
Hear us out on this one. These brainless youths were born in Texas since Mike Judge created the characters and their first short film Frog Baseball while he lived in Garland. Even at their highest levels of stupidity, they have a semblance of teamwork: Butt-head gets an idea and makes Beavis test it out, like boxing with baseball bats, tipping cows or running out of the trunk of a moving vehicle. Bonus: When they do something brainless, it’s expected, amusing and entertaining.
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