There have always been Texans who believe that the Lone Star State should again secede from the United States of America, but the secession movement has not been as strong as it is today since…well, since the Civil War. And though Republicans in Texas are loathe to associate themselves with the cause, they may be forced to address it at the state’s GOP convention in May.
According to the Houston Chronicle, at least 10 Republican county conventions have passed some kind of independence resolution this year, and Texas secessionists claim the number is even higher than that. Keeping in mind that there are 254 counties in Texas, it still signals an exponential increase in interest for what has long been seen as a fringe movement.
The Washington Post reports that the premiere group is called the Texas Nationalist Movement, a 200,000-member strong network of politically-motivated secessionists who have been battling to get independence resolutions into the Republican Party for years. So far, they’ve been unsuccessful, running headlong into an establishment that seems mostly embarrassed at being associated with the idea. But this year, with some ballot support from around the state, they may be able to force the party to at least bring the matter up for a vote.
“Texans have lost their voice in their own government,” reads a section on the TNM website. “Every campaign cycle, Texas candidates are recipients of massive amounts of cash from outside of Texas. The interests of those outside of Texas have stifled the voice of actual Texas voters. This has led to massive voter apathy as many have ‘given up’ on the process. Independence means the door shuts on the interests from outside of Texas and a return of power back into the hands of Texans.”
In addition to keeping outsider political forces from interfering in state elections, the Movement has a slew of reasons that Texas voters should support secession. Among them: A more secure border, an end to supporting the unrestrained spending of the federal government, and the increasing cultural and economic differences between Texas and the rest of the country.
As far as 2016 is concerned, there’s scarcely a chance that the Texas Republican Party will seriously address the issue even if they are forced to give it lip service. However, if we get another liberal in the White House next year, it’s not hard to imagine the movement growing in the years to come. Washington D.C.’s values, priorities, and perspective have wandered well astray of where most of the country is comfortable. As that gulf widens, Texas may not be the only state looking for a way out.