Why do Texans hate Oklahoma

Gail Collins is from Ohio and is a star writer of the New York Times. Her image of Texas was typical: the people are ultra-conservative, love cowboy hats and flirt with secession. But Collins quickly realized how much the "Lone Star State" affects the rest of the United States. Hardly any rules for banks, less science in school books and no sex education lessons - it all started here. One thing is certain: nowhere is the rapid change in the population more noticeable.

The trigger for Collins' fascination with the oil-rich state was a video. In April 2009, Governor Rick Perry, who later became famous as a forgetful presidential candidate, cursed the greedy politicians in Washington in front of tea party fans. If the US continues to decline, Texas will consider secession, Perry said.

"We didn't like oppression before and we don't like oppression today," the Republican shouted, whereupon the crowd in Austin called for secession with "secede" and waved signs saying "Don't mess with Texas". Collins, which is a popular column for the New York Times writes, was shocked and wanted to know what is behind the mixture of megalomania ("We are the best") and paranoia ("Don't mess with Texas").

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Since Americans have a similar relationship to Texas as Germans have to Bavaria, their non-fiction book "As Texas goes ..." was quite popular. In it, she not only lists inglorious statistics in which Texas is ahead (number of executions, proportion of residents without health insurance and without high school graduation), but also reports that according to the constitution, atheists are not allowed to hold public office there or that one Nowhere in America is it allowed to drive a car faster (85 mph).

Collins sees Texas as an example of a fundamental conflict in US society: Who in cities (crowded places) lives, usually elects the Democrats and is finding it increasingly difficult to get residents of rural areas (empty places) to understand. If you have a lot of space around you, you don't need the government and prefer to rely on yourself and your weapon. The townspeople, on the other hand, are more willing to compromise and are satisfied with the state's services. Texas has a special role here: eight out of ten Texans live in cities, 60 percent in the triangle of the metropolises Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. But many continue to feel like cowboys who have replaced the horse with a pick-up truck (more details in this article).