The Texas Nationalist secession movement has had it with this nation, our debt, and general awesomeness and wishes to secede from the union — again.
The group formed in the 90’s and gained popularity with the idea of secession after President Obama won re-election in 2012, prompting the group probably to throw their hats on the ground and spit angrily while howling, “We want Texas Independence!” The group reported membership skyrocketed by over 400 percent and web traffic went up by 900 percent after the last presidential election. A petition to secede circulated the internet shortly after the election and gained over 150,000 signatures and received a resounding ‘No’ from the White House.
The group says:
“The reasons for Texas independence are clear and simple. The people of Texas believe that Texans are best governed by Texans. We are no longer willing to be subjected to policies that we don’t want by people that we don’t elect.”
Now with a seemingly easy road to the White House for the Democratic candidate in the fall, the secession movement is gaining more ground. Today, The Texas Nationalist movement boasts 200k plus members.
This isn’t the first time Texas has tried to secede. The Washington Post succinctly explains Texas’ history of secession in two paragraphs:
“In 1836, a scrappy Texas won its independence from Mexico in a bloody war (Remember the Alamo?). The newly minted Republic of Texas experimented with running itself as its own country before going broke and voting to join the United States.
“In 1861, Texans voted to secede and join the Confederacy during the Civil War. When the war was over, the Supreme Court decided — in a case brought by none other than Texas — that states can’t secede unilaterally and any attempt to do so will be ‘absolutely null.’ “
Texas’ dreams to secede have waxed and waned over the last 150 years. Typically, when a Democrat is president the movement starts up again, only to fade into irrelevancy when there is a Republican president in the White House. The last movement, formed in the early 90’s by Richard Lance McLaren briefly rose up but failed due to McLaren’s violent tactics. He was later imprisoned for kidnapping and is serving a 99-year sentence, according to the WaPo.
After the failure of the movement in the 90’s under McLaren, the Texas Nationalist group took over and tried a more mainstream approach with some success — former Governor Rick Perry (R) mentioned the idea at a rally in 2009, although he later said he was joking (wink, wink). The group engages the public in speaking events, and bumper stickers can be seen on vehicles all over the state advocating for secession.
But no matter how tempting the idea may be, Texas Republican lawmakers can see the writing on the wall: Their secession dreams are for naught. Seceding, or at least seriously trying to secede, would open the lawmakers up for attack by Democrats, it would be a logistical nightmare. And they wouldn’t be privy to federal services like disaster relief (Texas is the largest recipient of disaster relief every year), social security, subsidies, infrastructure, or other safety net programs.
But because the movement is gaining popularity, the Republican lawmakers are being forced to acknowledge the idea. In 2012, only one county brought the notion forward at the Texas convention. In 2016, there are a reported 22 counties bringing the issue forward going into the convention (although The Houston Chronicle could only confirm 10 counties, but won’t know for sure until the May convention).
A party committee will decide on which issues will be up for debate at the convention and it’s likely secession will be up for a serious discussion. However, it’s also likely the notion will be voted down swiftly and almost unilaterally. But the fact that the state will even discuss it at all makes it one of the wackiest states in our union.
Here is a brief history of Texas secession:
Featured Image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images