In June 2013, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis was introduced to the world as a hero to women and the men who love them. Davis stood and spoke on the floor of the state senate for nearly thirteen hours to run out the clock on a sweeping bill that aimed to close all but five women’s health clinics providing access to abortion and lifesaving healthcare in Texas.
During that time, she wasn’t allowed to eat, drink, sit, use the bathroom, speak off-topic, or lean against any furniture. When it was over, everyone from the White House to young women in small Texas towns shared her story. With calls, rallies on the steps of the Texas Capitol, Twitter, Facebook and a host of social media, Wendy Davis—with her pink sneakers—suddenly became a national household name.
Texas may well be America’s most controversial state. Evangelicals dominate the halls of power, millions of its people live in poverty, and its death row is the busiest in the country. Skeptical outsiders have found much to be offended by in the state’s politics and attitude. And yet, according to journalist (and Texan) Erica Grieder, the United States has a great deal to learn from Texas.
She joins us to speak about her new book, Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas.