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Let Texas Secede

| July 7, 2013

No loss there. (Mark Taylor)

No loss there. (Mark Taylor)

Reports that Rick Perry may be pondering another race for the White House reminded me of one of his bolder proposals—that Texas might secede from the Union. Back in 2009, the governor, responding to a crowd chanting, “Secede, secede!” said that if Washington “continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that.”

Reliable polls indicate that only about one out of five Texans actually supports secession, and these periodic spasms of provincialism are usually followed by a lot of sober reflection on just how polarized our nation has become.

But I say, when it comes to Texas, let’s not be too eager to dismiss this secession talk. Let’s take a closer look at this thing. At the very least it would mean jobs for seamstresses and flag makers, altering Old Glory to represent the remaining 49.

Texas’s tourism slogan is “It’s like a whole other country,” so why not just drop the word “like” and make it official?

A sovereign nation of Texas would go a long way toward solving our Mexican border issues, as there would remain less than 700 miles of border for the U.S. to monitor, in Arizona, California and New Mexico. Texas would have 1,250 miles to patrol all by itself, so the border would become the new nation’s headache. For the ol’ 49, Texas would be a comfortable buffer between Mexico and much of our southern flank.

The notion of Texas as a foreign country is really not that far-fetched. On its own, Texas is the world’s 14th largest economy, bigger than South Korea and the Netherlands, according to a 2009 article in The International Business Times. And, like a lot of other countries we have to deal with, Texas’s principal export—other than IQ-challenged governors—is oil. Compared to leviathans like Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Texas’s reserves of crude are paltry, but lately Texas has been making a case for independence by assuming a lot of the characteristics of those countries.

For starters, Texas and its presumed head of state are muscling into the United Nations Big Leagues when it comes to the humiliation and subjugation of women.  In the finest tradition of a sultan or an emir, Perry enlisted a powerless surrogate, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, to condemn a vocal group of pro-choice demonstrators as “an unruly mob.” And Perry himself launched an ugly personal attack on State Senator Wendy Davis, the single-mother-turned-Harvard Law grad, who is fighting to preserve Constitutionally-protected abortion rights in the state.

And a Republic of Texas would have lots of company in its corner of the world stage when it comes to the disenfranchisement of voters. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, Texas officials were already hard at work trying to reinstate discriminatory redistricting and voter ID laws that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has likened to “a poll tax.”


An independent Texas could do whatever it pleases to make sure that elections turn out just so. Of course, it might be necessary to send in Jimmy Carter to observe the new country’s elections, just as he has done with other bastions of democracy like Congo, Paraguay and Guyana.

Given its enthusiasm for capital punishment, Texas diplomats could comfortably break bread with the leaders of similarly enlightened nations like Iran, North Korea and Pakistan. Demonstrating that timing is not Perry’s forte, he reminded his anti-abortion supporters that “all life matters” one day after the state carried out its 500th execution since 1976.

But let’s get back to what is always our most pressing foreign policy consideration: oil. Texas produces more crude than any other state, refines more than a quarter of all our gasoline and is by far the biggest producer of natural gas.

Suppose an independent Texas were to reduce or even cut off the flow? Texas need only recall our invasion of Iraq for the answer to that question. We wouldn’t even need to bother with a cover story about WMDs—a seceding Texas would have taken with it the Pantex plant in Amarillo, where all of our nukes are assembled and refurbished.

On second thought, leaving Rick Perry with his own nuclear arsenal might not be such a good idea. Better to have him playing the fool again in presidential debates, where at least we can all keep an eye on him.

Steve Robinson moved to Flagler County after a 30-year career in New York and Atlanta in print, TV and the Web. Reach him by email here.

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31 Responses for “Let Texas Secede”

  1. Sgt Saber says:

    One could only DREAM that maybe one day not only TEXAS would succeed but also FLORIDA, ALABAMA, GEORGIA, LOUISIANA , NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA. We can then finally become the United Southern States of America. So to the writer of this article and Pierre Water, you two can go back up north to NYC and spew your liberal rants to all those pansies up there.

    • George says:

      yes that could happen, of course you can have the U.S.S.A just what the world needs a bunch of meth producing alcoholics with nuclear weapons, that wouldn’t be an epic fail waiting to happen. if I’m not mistaken the union is quite happy with fifty states and instead of pandering about secession try putting down the beer and fixing the problems.

  2. Binkey says:

    Or, give Texas back to Mexico.

    • bdw says:

      Binkey, you should study your history. That is not possible. Reason #1 per the constitution the states rights dictate that they must approve a move such as this. Reason #2 Texas was an independent Nation formed due to the rapid and illegal immigration of US citizens into the territory. Texas as a nation was not accepted into the union as a “state” instead she was brought in under independent annexation maintaining rights that NO OTHER entity entering the union possessed or can obtain. Reason #3 Reconstruction DID NOT remove the authority of the Texas Constitution which states Texas may reject ANY government that she feels is a detriment to her. Reason #4 Texas has already declared, won and maintained her independence from a foreign dictator. This reality certainly would be repeated if Washington had the authority to do what you suggest (and not even lord god obama can do that).

  3. Sherry Epley says:

    Great article and a good laugh! I, for one, would be absolutely fine with Texas no longer being a part of the USA. Their political leaders certainly have nothing in common with any intelligent, educated, open minded, peaceful, highly evolved, forward thinking culture.

  4. A.S.F. says:

    The people of Texas must have the shortest memories of any humans on the planet. They loudly proclaim their love for guns, forgetting that they are mainly famous for being the place where one of our most beloved presidents was assassinated. They like to shout about how pro-life they are but they execute more human beings than any other state in the US. They elect a governer (Rick Perry) who could be a clone of one of the worst presidents in US History (GW Bush) as though they are proud of producing these cardboard clowns–which they probably are. I would guess that their educational system doesn’t rank too highly, compared to the rest of the nation, if Rick Perry is any indication of how well their schools perform. It seems that many of their citizens just can’t get over the fact that the civil war is over and that the confederates lost! Since Texans are such God-fearing individuals, maybe they should consider the possibility that their diety was not on their side of the conflict, for reasons they might think about more carefully.

  5. Liana G says:

    First off, I would like to point out that Rick Perry was a democrat before he turned republican in order to run on the GOP ticket. Seems to be a favorite hobby of certain democrats (remember Ronald Regan? And don’t forget that the democratic and republican did a party switcheroo back in the day).

    Second, TX economy is in better shape than most other states. And as for the immigrant bashing by folks in TX, AZ, and other states, I would like to point out that its not the natives who are inciting such ugly vitriol, but the non native transplants and retirees from mostly northern states (kinda like Flagler).

    Third, those bastion of democracies you mentioned (Congo, Guyana, Paraguay) may have, at one time, been bastion of democracies but the American gov’t was instrumental in turning many such countries into corrupt despotic totalitarian regimes whose power hungry hand picked leaders were nothing more than puppets. But I guess these countries should be grateful that they are no longer another Palestine, or Jimmy Carter’s involvement and so called free and fair elections would have went for naught also.

    Fourth, does Eric Holder words have any credibility?

    Fifth, 40% of White kids, 41% of Black kids, 15% of Hispanic kids, 2% Native American kids are currently awaiting foster homes/adoption. And it takes an average of 3 years for a child to be place with a family. How about we teach folks that killing or discarding kids like unwanted toys after the fun is over is not the answer.

    • A.S.F. says:

      Rick Perry would never attract ANY Democratic base–At least he was smart enough to realize that. He switched over to the only party that could tolerate the kind of stone-aged thinking he appears to be proud of–That would be THE TEA PARTY BRANCH OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. It is just too bad that we have one party that has become so extreme, that it makes itself a laughingstock while proclaiming themselves to represent the majority of Americans…which it doesn’t, thank goodness. And as for the question of immigration…I wonder how many of you who love to dump all over immigrants had ancestors who were pure Native Americans–because they are the only ones who were truly from here to begin with. The rest of us came from somewhere else and had ancestors who were fortunate enough to have been given a chance to make a life in America, for themselves and (guess who) YOU AND I.

      • A.S.F. says:

        In fairness sake, I must correct myself: Some of our ancestors did not come here voluntarily. They came in chains. We owe it to our children to leave a better example of what America stands for than we have in other periods of history in our past. And we owe it to them to act in a more civilized manner now and in the future.

  6. Will says:

    Let’s have more wisdom from Steve Robinson when the mood strikes him!

  7. Magnolia says:

    If Texas secedes they will be overrun with people moving there. The family unit is still strong in Texas, the economy is booming with plenty of jobs available. Texas is a welcoming place to live for those with low housing prices and no state sales tax. Children have manners, say “yes ma’am, yes sir.” Discipline is still expected in Texas schools. And they have a fabulous university system.

    Actual figures re secession very according to which publication you choose to believe:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/16/us/politics/texas-secession-movement-unbowed-by-white-house-rejection.html?_r=0

    If Texas were to secede, I’d be one to seriously consider moving to Texas.

    • Steve says:

      Magnolia, you are correct that Texas scores well when it comes to being “business-friendly,” but in several other areas it does very poorly. It is next-to-last (worst) in the US in the percentage of residents whose education stopped at eight grade, and only one other state has a smaller percentage of high school graduates. It has one of the highest rates of obesity among the 50 states, and it has far and away the largest percentage of residents without health insurance. Thanks for reading the column!

      • Magnolia says:

        Steve, on healthcare, I found this:

        http://www.tdi.texas.gov/health/

        Looks to me like they are doing more than many other states in this regard, but I’m no expert. It also has a plan for childhood obesity. I’d be willing to bet it is better than what most states are doing in this regard.

        Lastly, Texans are proud of their state, something you no longer see much of anywhere else. This may be why the state is such a great place to live.

        Thanks for the article, Steve.

    • A.S.F. says:

      …Which explains their proliferation of guns, high crime rate and love of the death penalty. Enjoy your exceedingly civilized Chrisitian heaven.

      • Kim says:

        C
        High crime rate really hmm lets compare it to Illinois and New York Get your figures straight! As someone who lives in Texas and was origanally a Northerner, it is refreshing to see children who are expected to respect their elders. And really it makes us so happy down here to see people want Texas out of the United States because so do we! Long Live Texas.! Really where do you liberals get the idea that Texans don’t have beyond a 8th grade education, quit reading your liberal rags. Many , many of us have higher educations then any of you I am sure! And as far as women’s rights hmmm I get paid more then most of you liberals Im sure, and have no problem with not having abortions after 20 weeks( hmmm sounds like you guys up there support Gosnell), or assuring that women reciev treatment in clean safe clinics! Which is what the bill was about! The women that the libs shipped in shouting hail satan didn’t impress us much down here! http://www.texasnationalist.com

    • Anonymous says:

      how much does the state of texas count on military personel for their existence?let texas sucede,close all military bases and then see where you want to live.the mitirary spends billions of dollars there.millions of homes would be vacated and millions of stores shut down.texas would become a ghost town

  8. Magicone says:

    If all 50 states seceded we could rename ourselves The IOU Nation and we wouldn’t have to pay China a dime!

  9. Dennis says:

    Interesting take on this secession talk. “The book Yellow Rose of Texas: The Secession of the Lone Star State” Takes a futuristic look at how it might just come about as the new administration of 2017 makes some radical steps.

  10. Karma says:

    If Texas could only be more like Detroit MI . Look at the utopia the Democrats have created in this wonderful city. Gm,Ford and Chrysler call this city home and the yet there Bankrupt and fraud runs ramped. Funny how a successful state like Texas is mocked and yet democrat controlled cities Detroit and several cities in California have much bigger issues. (Broke)
    The educated, open minded, peaceful, highly evolved, forward thinking culture people Shirley speaks of are in charge of this large cities. Your right Shirley, Please stay away from Texas.

  11. Florida Native says:

    Governor Scott is a great governor. Florida should be so lucky as well as phoney-baloney Palm Coast.

  12. Magnolia says:

    Mark: Strongly suggest you travel to either Texas, CA or Arizona before you make statements about the border. In Texas, the Mexican army is freely crossing the Rio Grande at El Paso. Sightings have also been made in Arizona.

    If you repeat your statement in California, you will be laughed out of the state….or possibly run out.

  13. Geezer says:

    Politics aside, Texas is a big beautiful state (I’d like to buy some land in western TX).

    • Joe says:

      As much as I love Texas (And, as a Canadian, it’s one of two places I’d choose to live), why would you want land in west Texas? I mean, tumbleweed, cacti and dirt are nice and all, but…

  14. TOM says:

    Don’t for get Chicago and Philadelphia where they had 95% plus turnout in certain precincts and not ONE ROMNEY VOTE STATISTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE.

  15. Hank Hill says:

    Come to Strickland everyone. We produce a lot of natural gas and have plenty of propane to share with everyone!

  16. Outsider says:

    Thirty percent of all jobs created in the United States over the last ten years were created in Texas. It doesn’t surprise me that a liberal democrat would suggest letting that engine of job growth secede, as it clearly illustrates how business-ignorant the whole Democratic party is. Obama floods the economy with printed dollars, then initiates tax hikes and Obamacare to counter act any “stimulus” effect of the money, leaving him bewildered as to why the economy and employment won’t grow. It’s kind of like starting an on-line news service in a southern community, then insulting three fourths of the potential readership with articles and commentary showcasing the perceived stupidity of southerners. That’s a good business plan.

    [Fact-checking note: this comment’s premise doesn’t tell the whole story. This analysis does. Outsider, before making offensive assumptions about our writers, please check the glassy architecture of your arguments if you don’t want the transparency of your own ignorance so sharply highlighted. Thanks.–FL]

  17. Sherry Epley says:

    Thanks, Flagler Live, for suggesting that folks do some actual “fact checking” before making opinionated comments that merely “sound” like facts. An educated discussion would be a breath of fresh air.

  18. NortonSmitty says:

    You know, I was really trying to post something snarky and smart-assed about you idiotic redneck Floridians. But the fact that ya’all really envy and wish you were Texas pretty much takes the wind outta’ my sails.

  19. Oregonjack says:

    As Texans dream of seceding from the United States do they also see the economic consequences? How about the closure and withdrawal of all military equipment and the 170,000 military and civilian jobs with them. Closure and removal of all equipment from Johnson Space Center or Texas could just reimburse the U.S. if they wish to continue with a space program. What of all other U.S. Federal regional offices in Texas? Texas would soon realize that the income from all the U.S. Federal employees deducted from the Texas economy would put them in a negative position. Oh and did I mention the “Oil Depletion Allowance” and the end of it. Of course the U.S. would need to patrol the Texas Gulf to insure that they did not harbor or assist illegal aliens. The U.S. would need to patrol the Texas border between Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arizona.
    Might Texas turn to Mexico and become the predator on the Mexican oil cartel PEMEX? Secession in 1860 by the south was a losing proposition from the start and the leaders of the south knew it. Texas will have oil but how much oil can you eat once you realize the USA food basket is outside of your border and the Federal teat you have been sucking on for a hundred years has gone dry?

    • nick says:

      The federal teet is easily replaced by now federal tax dollars staying in the state. Texas pays out more taxes than it received in federal benefits, to the tune of a 90 cent return on every tax dollar. Trust me, Texans wouldn’t be hurt by shrugging off some fed programs.

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