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SMU professor issues wake-up call to Texans


The following ran in the March 1, 2012, edition of the Dallas Morning News. Political Scientist Cal Jillson provided expertise for this story.

March 8, 2012

By Steve Blow

So which is it? Are we in the midst of the so-called Texas Miracle? Or on the verge of a Texas debacle?

Southern Methodist University professor Cal Jillson has studied the matter and sees looming disaster. That’s reflected in the title of his new book, Lone Star Tarnished.

You may know Jillson as the source of a thousand sound bites. For years, he has been reporters’ go-to-guy for quick analysis of political events.

But for this book, the political science professor has taken the long view — going all the way back to Texas’ days as a republic to analyze factors at work today.

We’ve been a proud bunch from the start. And our Texas bravado probably served us well for most of our history. But now our swagger works against us, Jillson believes.

He writes: “Texas is in thrall to a myth that blinds it to social and economic changes that threaten its future.”

So if we can pause just a moment in singing “all hail the mighty state,” Jillson invites us to examine two trends that threaten the future of Texas, Our Texas....