The Case Against the Old Dallas Way

On the East Side of town, there are a lot of conspiracies and paranoia surrounding the Dallas Citizens Council, so to make sure we’re all talking about the same thing, watch this video that was produced this year:

The DCC was officially formed in 1937, after Dallas served as host to the Texas Centennial at Fair Park. The reason Dallas won the honor of hosting was that R.L. Thornton, before he was a highway, personally presented a $3 million check to the selection committee, a significant amount especially during the Great Depression.

Since even before the Centennial, the Dallas Way has always been to flex financial muscle in order to eschew red tape in favor of a vision agreed upon by the group. Given the financial state of our city in the 21st Century, this strategy has proven to be flawed at best.

In the epic fantasy novel I’m currently reading, one of the main characters admonishes the policy making elite for similar failures in public administration:

For years, you … have studied together and read each other’s essays until you have formed a consensus of what is persuasive and what is pleasing. You then taught these to your students, who in turn taught theirs, propagating a certain ideal. … What you call beauty and grace … are nothing but the consensus of men who have grown used to hearing each other.

Within an echo chamber, it’s easy to congratulate yourself for serving your city and improving your environment, but questioning those results has led to felony charges, blasphemy accusations, and privately sponsored antipathy. Dallas’ traditional leadership’s extreme reactions attempt to preserve their expensively fragile vision of our city. In the end, who does the Dallas Citizens Council really serve?

As shown in the video above, the Dallas Way prides itself on ignoring polls and the opinions of the skeptical population. In doing so, Dallas’ wealthy elite have broken their toy, which unfortunately affects millions of people. Our traditional leadership needs to find the courage to face its many mistakes and the scrutiny of the general public. After all, they can’t fix this city without us, just as we can’t fix Dallas without them.



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