hundreds of thousands, generally prosperous.nThe Railroad Commission, both during the glory days ofnoil and the subsequent energy squeeze, entertained nonnotion of an eternal vendetta between consumers on thenone hand and companies on the other. The assumption wasnthat both groups were interested in reliable supplies atnaffordable prices.nLiberal populism is of another cast and variety. Itsnexemplar is not really Ann Richards but Jim Hightower, thentart-tongued commissioner of agriculture who is said tonthirst for Phil Gramm’s Senate seat. Liberal populismnbasically distrusts business and businessmen. It would endorsenJoe Kennedy’s dictum, gleefully retailed from thenIt’s true that Texas, in 1989, is not what itnused to be; but then it never has been what itnused to be.nWhite House by his son John, to the effect that businessmennare SOB’s.nThe liberal populist makes a great show of loving thenpeople. Jim Hightower wears a cowboy hat and refers tonhimself, in feverish moments, as “Whole Hog” Hightower.nThe philosophy these populists spout is hardly discerniblenfrom the collectivism preached at the loftiest level of thenintellectual establishment. Business is to be tolerated, yes,nbut given its head? Never! Liberal populism holds thatngovernment must guide and harmonize the helter-skelternprocesses of the marketplace. Jim Hightower and MichaelnDukakis have more in common, at the end of the day, thanndo Jim Hightower and Phil Gramm.nNo wonder that liberal populism has never triumphed, orneven scored more than marginal and temporary victories innTexas. The last liberal governor of Texas left office in 1939.nHe was one Jimmy Allred, and even he had his conservativenside. Liberal populism is too snooty, too managerial, to winneasily popular favor. It condescends to the very people itnprofesses to love. Conservative populism understands andnappreciates the orneriness of the human species; it knowsnthat branding irons and hobbles are for horses, not citizens.nChange could be in the offing, as indeed change of somensort is always in the offing. Major Texas companies, in thesenaustere times, are being bought out by the gross. The newnowners are laying off Texans and laying on deracinatednmanagerial types with business school degrees. I see with mynown eyes resentment growing against the bottom-linenmentality. But this does not yet translate into dislike ofncapital, only of particular capitalists. Unless businessmen as anclass grow stupider than the rigors of competition generallynallow them to grow, Texan hospitality to business shouldnsurvive and transcend the present hard times.nIt’s indicative that in the 1988 election, George Bush, thenprobusiness candidate, carried Texas by 12 percentagenpoints. In the centers of commerce — cities like Dallas andnHouston — Bush obliterated Dukakis. The state’s large andnmostly flourishing middle class strongly, and not unreasona­n22/CHRONICLESnnnbly, distrusted Dukakis’s economic nostrums.nMeanwhile Texans hold tenaciously to the old belief thatnwelfare undermines the human spirit, besides draining thenstate’s financial resources. Texas is the stingiest — or thenmost sensible, depending on your viewpoint — of the 50nstates in providing aid to families with dependent children.nImmigrants come to Texas to work, not to go on welfare.nNo values look more durable than those social and moralnstandards fertilized in the soil of populism. Texas,nthough hardly untouched by the ravages of the 20thncentury, may be the out-prayingest state in the union.nChurch attendance does not tell the whole tale. In history’snmost secularized era, Texas business luncheons commonlynbegin with the invocation of God’s blessing upon our foodnand our purpose in coming together. As do PTA meetings,nthough not classes, at the public elementary school in mynneighborhood.nLiberal Christianity, in Texas, sends up only the spindliestnshoots — Baylor University in Waco, regarded by mostnnon-Southern Baptists as a bastion of biblical righteousness,nincreasingly draws the fire of Baptists who consider itsnfaculty too liberal. It is a matter of perspective. In Texas,n”liberal” does not mean what it means in Massachusetts.nPatriotism is yet another value that deeply informs thenTexas outlook, as you might expect of a people baptized innwar and revolution. Protests against the Vietnam War werenalmost nonexistent in Texas. All the achon in the 60’snseemed very distant. There were no homegrown protestersnof any numbers or influence, which was probably just asnwell. Whatever Texans missed in the way of adrenergicnexcitement, they gained in the way of social peace.nTexans always have been in the forefront whenever thennation called for volunteers. Theodore Roosevelt recruitednthe Rough Riders in San Antonio. The 36th Division, madenup mainly of Texas Nadonal Guardsmen, was heroicallynbloodied in the Italian theater during Worid War II. And sonon through the annals of military history. Texans foughtnagainst the United States flag from 1861-65, but made theirnpeace in due course and today accept no backseats in thenmatter of national loyalty.nIt’s true that Texas, in 1989, is not what it used to be; butnthen it never has been what it used to be. A century ago, thenclosing of the frontier and the cessation of the Indian warsnbrought forth a new Texas … as has, in recent years,nlarge-scale immigration by Northerners, Hispanics, andnAsians; as have the decline of the family farm, the implosionnof the oil and real estate booms, the rise of the RepublicannParty.nCities and freeways have burgeoned. There are Texasnchildren who go years without seeing a cow, except ofncourse on Sesame Street.nOutward and visible realities pass away, yes; but inwardnand invisible realities exercise a tenacious hold on the peoplenwho, wherever they were born, call themselves Texans. Thenfierce individualism, the belief in hard work and thenpossibility of personal achievement, the sense of dependencenon the favor of an unseen Deity — these thingsnendure. This is not the only way obviously, but this is thenTexas way — now, and, please God, a century from now.n^>n