Texas Outlaw Writers Newsletter: It's Debatable Edition

Texas Outlaw Writers Newsletter: It's Debatable Edition
Just thought we'd include something here to make you smile.

Did you watch the Gubernatorial debate on a beautiful Friday Night? No? Why not? You mean, you have an actual life?

You didn't miss much, and it was such a lovely evening not to see it.

We made DeeceX stay home and watch Abbott and Beto duke it out while the rest of us Outlaws went out and had a grand old time not watching Abbott and Beto duke it out. Maybe DeeceX was a little pouty about his assignment when he wrote up his report. He didn't seem impressed with the onscreen action. Such as it was.

But did the confrontation do much in terms of influencing voters? Let him tell you...

No Needles Were Moved in the Making of this Debate | TX Outlaw Writers
Greg Abbott and Beto O’Rourke had the (for now) only debate of their gubernatorial matchup. Each candidate gained some voters, but most of us were left to ponder anew whether to move to another state.

Roger Gray took a look at the debate highlight reel and asked, "where are the highlights?" And as the weeks get closer to election day, he is growing more than a little frustrated about the media's seeming inability to ask a question of substance. Or to directly press the issues that actually matter to the average voter. It's almost enough to make him want to chew through the restraints and climb out of retirement.

If I Were Asking the Questions | Texas Outlaw Writers
Stop beating around the bush folks, and hold their feet to the fire.

In our inaugural podcast, we touched (very briefly) on the use of language in politics. As a consultant for various political campaigns, Myra Jolivet was/is used to educating candidates on the importance of words - words that can frame the debate. Words that can be used as weapons. Words that might change elections.

Midterm Elections Preparation: Know Your Words | TX Outlaw Writers
“Truth has been one of the most tragic victims of our recent politics. It is not only assaulted by simple lies but, also, by manipulation of concepts, deliberate misinterpretation of facts, and the application of false labels.”-James T. McHugh, Ph.D., Bliss Institute, the University of Akron

Weaponizing language is becoming standard practice in political rhetoric these days. Filters are off. Gloves are off. (Hmmmmm, where did THAT trend come from?) Dog whistle expressions not-so-subtly signal the crowd,

And what is exactly that's at the root of all of this incivility?

It's no secret that in a country that began with slavery, we have never been able to end racial divisiveness. Electing an African American president didn’t resolve the issue. Race is front and center of our politics again. As Jim Moore writes this week, it is an animating feature of our upcoming elections in Texas…

Somebody to Look Down On | Texas Outlaw Writers
“And that’s what just kills me,” George said. “I gotta go to bed every night now for the next four goddamn years thinkin’ about a n***er in my White House. What the hell is wrong with this country?”

Editor's Note: When available, we'll link to an audio reading of an author's article. Jim's post, "Someone to Look Down On," has an included audio version. You may play it directly from the link within the article, or get it from your favorite podcast provider. Just look for the Texas Outlaw Writers' podcast.

And speaking of our podcast, our regular subscribers received notice that we premiered our first full podcast this last week! We had great fun recording it, and we think it sounded pretty good! We took some time to introduce ourselves and had a great discussion on the upcoming election. Does Beto have a chance? What are his odds? Give it a listen if you haven't. Again, you can play it directly from the link inside the post, or you can pick it up from your favorite podcast provider. (You can subscribe to the podcasts through your preferred host.) We're up on all the usual hosts... Apple, Amazon Music, Spotify, Stitcher, Pandora, Google Podcasts, etc.

We'll also try to include a (rough) transcript with each podcast. (Available on our site.)

In addition to the Outlaws hashing out the various topics du jour, we plan on hosting guests that can keep us honest and lend a little something to our high brow (!) conversations. As mentioned, we'll also post bonus issues of audio versions of some of our posts, read by the Outlaw authors themselves.

I'll post the link ot the premiere below, in case you missed it.

Texas Outlaw Writers' Podcast. Available wherever fine podcasts are served.