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At the same time, though, these new Yes I am old but I saw The Who on stage signature shirt also brought with them a strong penchant for over-regulation of individual behavior. Laws governing liquor sales, smoking, public behavior all were made stricter and more in line with the over-restrictive “nanny state” attitude found at the time more in San Francisco and places of that ilk. The encouragement of individual expression led to a greater tolerance for racial difference, sexual orientation acceptance, and an awareness of environmental and ecological concerns that existed nowhere else in the state to such a degree.
As a result, Austin is Yes I am old but I saw The Who on stage signature shirt still more liberal than anywhere else in Texas; but Dallas and Dallas County remain fairly solidly “blue” in politics, whereas Houston is beginning to shift. San Antonio, which only recently has succumbed to the ruination of modernistic change and is now almost indistinguishable from any other metro area, has retained a conservative posture, largely because of the huge number of military bases that surround it, but it also has a strong liberal presence that has been solid for years. It has also been strongly influenced by Austin politics, but it retains its identity. There’s an old joke that goes, “Being in Austin in the sixties was like going to the circus. Being there in the seventies, was like arriving the day after the circus left. Being there in the eighties was like the circus never came. Being there after that was as if there never was a circus to begin with.” There’s a lot of truth in that.