Irv Gould has seen his fair share of changes in South Texas during 87 years on this earth. From humble beginnings somewhere near Cotula to his nowadays near Austin, he looks back on how both he and Texas have evolved in 87 years and what the legacy that he is handing down to his posterity will really look like.
He claims that in the early 50s he was a Republican because he was “too stupid to know any better” back then. The radical 1960s came around and he became a Democrat through the 70s because to him it seemed like Johnson just seemed like the natural thing to do. The 80s rolled around and Reagan talked him back to the Republican party and there he would stay through the Bush era. But now ask him what party he claims and you get a spit in the cup and a shake of the head. He’ll tell you that “none of them look right” these days.
“I voted for Abbott because that Dallas woman just didn’t make a lick of sense,” says Irv as he makes his way home with grandson Kyle after a weekend of hunting down near Freer. “I also voted for Collier because I am so sick of Dan Patrick that it is not funny. Old ‘Pennsylvania Dan’ sure is not what have pictured for future Texas.”
Did he vote for Hilary back in 2016? You can bet your bottom dollar he didn’t. So he must have voted for Trump? You’d be wrong if you said yes. Gould made it clear that 2016 was the first time in his life that he had intentionally skipped over a presidential selection on the ballot and unless something drastically changes, 2020 will be no different because he sure is not voting for Biden.
“As I have gotten older I have started looking at down ballot races that are important to our state,” says Gould. “Things like railroad commission and Land Commissioner mean as much to me, if not more to me than President. I wish a younger me would have had that sense.”
Irv made his money in pipelines, just like many Texans did during his day. He says that he thinks that the future of Texas is both energy and technology. So to him, the decisions that he makes at the ballot box now will impact the legacy that he leaves behind.
Name the members of the Texas Railroad Commission and his frustration shows like a mad vein. The name Ryan Sitton makes his blood boil and just the thought of skinny jeans and tight shirts overseeing our oil and gas sector makes Irv want cuss like a sailor on holiday leave.
“I have no clue who is running against him in the Republican race but they damned sure have my vote,” Irv says. “We need to protect what little Texas integrity we have left here and I get my say in a few weeks.”
“I tell ya, I am not liking the political climate of our state right now and gun toting parishioners are a bit much for me,” says Gould. “I say drill, drill, drill and business, business, business. But do it responsibly.”
Beto did not sit well with Irv, either. In his mind there were plenty of talking points that signaled trouble for him and when you ask him to define what that is he has three words: “National Party Platforms.”
“Texas democrats never used to be the big followers of the national party agenda,” Irv points out. “You were a free thinking democrat who acted on local principles and less on national talking points and that made us different in my books.”
Gould then points out that Republicans are guilty of nearly being the same way, figuring out ways to slip National Party Ideas into state politics.
“If you want to be different and even better than California then stop trying to play national politics here with our state,” says Irv. “I mean for Christ’s sake it is Texas and we play politics our own way here and we always have. It is high time that we get back to that.”