Congressman Chip Roy Zooms to Trinity University

Local Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX) met with students at Trinity University to discuss conservative issues in Congress and in their district.

On Tues. Mar. 2, 2021, Congressman Chip Roy (R-Texas) came to Trinity University to speak to students. The event was run and sponsored by the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) chapter. 

Nathan Darsch, Class of 2022 and Chairman of YCT at Trinity University, said that he “asked Congressman Chip Roy to speak at the meeting because he is what we need more of in Congress.” Darsch also said that Roy “is a true conservative who will put his principles before party and I wanted my members to see that there are people genuinely fighting for conservative values and trying to make life better for future generations. My hope is that by listening to Congressman Roy it will encourage my members to help get more people like him elected in the future.”

Roy spoke about Texas Independence, COVID-19, and the importance of preserving individual freedoms. Roy spoke to the students for about 30 minutes, and then spent the last 30 minutes of the meeting answering questions in a Q&A format. Attendees of the event asked questions about COVID-19 relief bills, upcoming gun control bills, and fiscal responsibility (or lack thereof) of the United States government. 

When asked about fiscal responsibility and the government’s infringement of individual freedoms, Roy asked his audience to consider one important fact: “You cannot fund the people who are taking your freedom away and expect to have freedom.” Roy told students that states should use their power to keep the federal government in check, especially states like Texas that have citizens whose freedoms are being infringed by the federal government. The government’s primary function is to protect its citizens, and state governments should protect their citizens even from the federal government if it is necessary.

Roy made sure to clarify that he did not support a physical uprising–nor does he condone the the events at the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021–but he did say that states should take legal action against the federal government if things get out of hand and it is necessary to do so in order to protect the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. 

Students who attended the event felt positively about Roy and his talk. Joseph Burrhus, Class of 2024, said that “Our meeting with Congressman Chip Roy was both inspiring and educational. He was able to communicate powerful arguments and explanations about important issues while also expressing his passionate love and devotion toward the country and the people he serves.” When asked about how the event influenced his views of YCT or his desire to attend future meetings, Burrhus said “After the meeting with Chip Roy, I feel more incentivized to go to YCT meetings because they are a great opportunity to learn about different issues, why they are important, and what can be done to fix them.”

Emma McMahan, Class of 2021 and a former officer of YCT, also enjoyed the meeting. She thought that Roy’s “ introductory speech in the beginning of the meeting reeled me into the discussion because he was obviously passionate about his beliefs, decreasing federal spending, for instance.” McMahan also commented on YCT’s friendly relationship with Roy, for whose campaign many YCT members from Trinity University have volunteered to blockwalk and phonebank. “I think YCT having a close connection with a U.S. Congressman like Chip Roy is a good thing because it gives us a good reputation as a conservative club.”

Ellis Jacoby, Class of 2024, also enjoyed the event. When asked about his reaction to Roy’s talk, he said that Roy “was really interesting and gave me some insight into how Congress really works. His explanation on how few chances he has to propose amendments to bills really shows how little influence individual Congressman have over the bills that Congress passes.” Jacoby also mentioned that Roy’s “level of concern for our national debt and his calls to have us hold our members of Congress accountable definitely encouraged me to do more to influence my representatives.” 

The event encouraged members of YCT to interact more with their local government and representatives, and to keep fighting for conservative values. The small event enabled for personal discussions and connections between club members and Roy, and students enjoyed the experience to meet with their Congressman and hear his opinions on important conservative issues. 

Hope Planted

Stand, did you stand, through the fire and bright flame,

yet your walls still fair and tame,

will you stay, will you stay?

Rise, did you rise, from the ash that pyres made,

blades of green that never fade,

will you grow, will you grow?

Sound, did you sound, when the ramparts did give way,

heart and cannon did not sway,

will you guard, will you guard?

Sprout, did you sprout, where a solemn hope did form,

bearing strength in stirring storm,

will you bloom, will you bloom?

Remember the Alamo—Correctly

It’s easy for revisionists to trot out the age old line that history is written by the victors.

A famous legend about the Alamo entered Texan folklore a few weeks after the notorious siege. Around April of 1836, Santa Anna was fed up with resistance from freedom fighters. To stomp out this lingering flame, he sent a message to his troops in San Antonio, ordering them to burn the mission to the ground. But when his soldiers approached the Alamo, they met a ghastly surprise. The light from their torches gleamed on the sabers that suddenly appeared in front of them, glistening like red flames in the dark of night. Holding those sabers were six spirits, emerging from the front doors of the mission. “Do not touch the Alamo, do not touch these walls!” they shouted. The group of soldiers, shocked and afraid, ran from the mission, never to return.

To a proud Texan, it is a pleasant myth. The only thing better would be for the same ghosts to reappear when revisionists try to burn the legacy of the Alamo heroes.

To us Texans, the Alamo is a symbol of how we value freedom and liberty. William Travis, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and the other Alamo defenders were heroes because they valued the liberty of their countrymen and land above their own lives. 

Unfortunately, our own state’s institutions do not see it that way. Nearly two years ago, the Texas State Board of Education sought to remove mentions of the Alamo defenders being “heroic.” Their official statement said that the label was “too vague” or inaccurate. 

Disdain for cultural pride of the Alamo is not new.

What’s vague about it? Heroism means self-sacrifice. Heroism means undergoing a trying task for the sake of others. The Oddfellows Cemetery, about a mile from the Alamo, is a testament to the defenders’ heroism.

But the State Board’s decision had little to do with wording. The reason was rather simple: they saw the Alamo as culturally problematic. But why?

Disdain for cultural pride of the Alamo is not new. Academics, artists and pundits have tried to debunk heroism in the Alamo as idealistically flawed. Conflict between the Texan and Mexican perspective of the event is one of their major reasons. 

It’s easy for revisionists to trot out the age old line that history is written by the victors. They paint the freedom fighters as disloyal oathbreakers who stole Mexican land, turning their backs to form their own rebel state. In their eyes, the Texans were the real villains, traitors to the Mexican government. Perhaps more popularly, it can also be hard for some to extricate the battles of 1836 from our cultural problems today. 

Now, I could go ahead and describe the tyranny forced on the Texan settlers. I could show the various ways in which their rights and liberties were forfeited. I could even emphasize the atrocities committed on those who dared to resist.

But those are not the point. 

Instead, imagine the beauty of what drew the settlers to Texas. The viable farmland and plentiful crops. The warm, pleasant Texas sun. The promise of freedom and opportunity in a new world. All these aspects are certainly attractive. But what made Texas worth fighting for, then and now, was the creation of a unique culture and identity.

Being Texan is not just about buying the newest leather boots or sporting a cowboy hat. Nor is it only about baking blueberry pies or decorating the garden with bluebonnets. Texan culture is about something deeper: family, faith and freedom. When the Alamo defenders withstood artillery barrages, they were thinking about the lives of their sons and daughters. They were praying for perseverance and courage throughout the siege. But they also looked past their own lives, hoping that the battle would save the future generations from tyranny. 

That is why the Alamo defenders should be considered heroes. Even though they died to stop a dictator forgetting his own country’s laws, they sowed the seeds that would grow into a new nation and become the brashest, greatest state in the Union. Their actions were not vague or misleading. They were deliberate, risking their lives in a hopeless situation, to give hope to future Texan generations. 

Texas Pride

On this day, Texas celebrates its 183rd birthday. On March 2, 1836, a group of 60 delegates in what was then known as Mexican Texas signed the Texas Declaration of Independence to declare independence from Mexico. After the harrowing defeat at the Battle of the Alamo in December of 1835, these 60 delegates signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. After Texan forces had a major victory at the Battle of San Jacinto, Texas was officially independent, creating the Republic of Texas. This is the story of Texas Independence Day.

Those who are not from Texas may not even know that Texas has its own day of independence. Many do not know the significance of the Alamo in San Antonio. Texas is the only state to have had its own independence and status as a country. In fact, Texas was internationally recognized as its own country. Nine years after Texas declared independence from Mexico, the United States of America annexed Texas in December of 1845. Today, Texas Independence Day is a state holiday. Many schools and businesses have the day off. This year, it falls on a Saturday.  On this day, some Texans celebrate with family, friends, barbeque and beer. Barbeque and grilling is a huge part of Texan culture.

Many non-Texans wonder why Texans celebrate this day. What does it mean to celebrate Texas Independence Day? Texas Independence Day signifies Texas’s strength and exceptionalism as a state and former country. Texas Independence Day is an important day for me and other Texans because it resembles the persistence and glory that the Texan soldiers had during battles for independence. As a proud Texan, this day reminds me of American Independence Day. I feel the same patriotic and state-pride sentiment when the Fourth of July comes around.

Being a Texan is a benefit and a privilege because Texans get to celebrate two independence days in one year. These two days are similar in the sense that both struggled in a fight against two different foreign imperial powers. Just as the settlers in colonial America had grievances against the British King George III, the Texan settlers had similar types of grievances against the Mexican general, Antonio López de Santa Anna. The American Revolution and the Texas Revolution both mean something special to Texans.

Along with 19 other states, Texas has its own Pledge of Allegiance. However, Texas is one of the only states to recite the Texas Pledge in public schools. When I attended public school in my middle school to high school years, the Texas Pledge was recited every morning on the intercom. This is a good example of Texas’s exceptional status as a state. Every morning, I would be reminded that I live in a state with unique history unlike any other state in America. Sure, most of America’s founding history comes from New England and the Northeastern states in general, but Texas has history that only happened for Texas, not the United States as a whole.  In addition, Texas is also one of the only states that teaches its own state history to students in public schools. I remember telling my non-Texan friends I had a test coming up for Texas History class, and they were astonished to hear that Texas has its own history class. Teaching students Texas history in schools emphasizes the importance of Texas’s beginnings and fight for independence. Many states began as British colonies in colonial America or as vast territories, but Texas began as its own country that was eventually annexed to the United States. Texas pride roots from independence from Mexico.

Photo: YCT @ Trinity distributing Texas flags and bluebonnet seeds on Friday, Mar. 1. Photo by Manfred Wendt.