Texas Secession – Can Texas Secede?

I have a couple responses to the questions about Texas Secession. First of all, serious debate should not be framed as an Order of Secession, which historically has been a race-based argument. Instead, Texans should frame the debate as a declaration of independence, which historically has been a democratic argument. Secession, quite frankly, is an idiotic idea. Just ask the Federalist New Englanders after the War of 1812,  John C. Calhoun after the Nullification Crisis, or the now defunct Confederate States of America.

Can Texas Secede?

Yes and No. It depends on who you ask.

NO–According to most professional Texas historians–NO!!! (I don’t think you could find an academically-trained Texas historian that would say yes). According to historians, the Civil War settled the question. The bloodiest conflict in American history answered the secession question in no uncertain terms. And in fact, the United States does not and still does not recognize that Texas ever seceded. The federal government held that Texas was in “rebellion,” but never left the Union. If Texas tried to secede again, the cost would probably be the same in terms of lives, treasure, and extremely hard economic times. History indicates that the federal government would try to crush the “rebellion.” So called “Peaceful Secession” is a pipe dream. Just ask Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Jackson what they do rebels who threaten secession. Presidents Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln handled rebellion by projecting force–Jackson through the Force Bill and Lincoln through war. So technically Texas never seceded from the Union. They tried and they lost.

YES–According to Confederate sympathizers, Lost Causers, and Texas Nationalists, Texas can secede because Texas was an independent nation for almost ten years. It is true that the Republic of Texas was an independent nation. However, arguments for secession start to fall apart after serious scrutiny. This secession analysis ignores latter historical developments. Not only does it look at the question within in the bubble of Texas Revolutionary history, but it also ignores the input of the most famous Texans from the period. For example, Sam Houston opposed secession during the Civil War. The hero of the Texas Revolution believed secession to be illegal and a stupid idea. Plus secession gets wrapped up with the moral issues of slavery or a state’s right to protect the peculiar institution of slavery. If you don’t believe slavery and race played the most important role in secession then take a look at Texas’s “Order of Secession.”  It is probably the most racist, pro-slavery document that I have ever seen. There is no doubt that other issues like tariffs (taxation) played a role too. But slavery dominated the debate over secession.

Can Texas Declare Independence?

That is up to Texans. Viable arguments for Texas Independence might include democratic, environmental, and local resource arguments. The Texas economy is large and it would suffer tremendously if federal dollars and military bases were removed from the state. But, Texas is diverse in terms of agricultural products and industrial capacity. So in terms of business and environmental diversity, the state of Texas could be mostly self reliant. For example, Texas does produce beer, wine, oil and gas, sugar, rice, wheat, cotton, peanuts, fruit and vegetables, meat, and many other products necessary for daily life. Local control and more authority in Austin as opposed to DC could make Texas more democratic with people having more say on local candidates and concerns. However, Texas is not politically or ethnically monolithic and that diversity would have to be reflected in the government and  protected by the government. The most pressing concern would be the state’s ability or inability to protect civil rights and liberties, of which Texas has had a very mixed record. The historical record from the Reconstruction period, for example, is especially poor.

Could Texas try seceding again?

Yes. A group tried in the 1990s, but again they failed miserably. Ultra right-wing conservatives hijacked an organized Republic of Texas movement. Texas Liberals and Moderates were split from the organization and hard liners and militia types took over the movement riding it into nearest arroyo. The federal government ended up chasing right-wing militia wannabes in the west Texas wilderness. The current movement for secession probably will end up like the movement from the 1990s if it is run by the same angry white men. Texas secession would only be successful if all Texans, rich, poor, Liberal, Conservative, Moderate, black , white, yellow, brown, green, etc. agree that the federal government has seriously trampled on Texan rights. Race-based arguments criticizing “Obama’s America” will never unite Texans. Just ask Austin. Unless conservatives plan on cutting Austin and San Antonio out of Texas, then tax policy, spending, and race issues are not going to unite Texans together against perceived “tyranny.” The only way to unite Texans would be against actual tyranny.

What is the history of Texas independence?

The original Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico set in motion the Texas Revolution, which ultimately freed “Texians” (as the called themselves at the time) from  the tyranny of Mexican President Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana. Texans complained they were “the contemptible sport and victim of successive military revolutions and [Mexico] hath continually exhibited every characteristic of a weak, corrupt, and tyrannical government.” Furthermore, Mexico could not protect Texan property and properly defend the state from so-called “Indian depredations.” “Obama’s America” has not displayed these tendencies. In fact, the American military is at the height of its strength. Special forces killed Osama Bin Laden after the President of the United States Barack Obama ordered Seal Team Six into action. There have been no military revolutions in the United States ever. In “Obama’s America” Texas houses the largest military in base in the world. “Weakness” is not displayed by the federal government in Texas.

“Corruption and tyrannical government,” however, are up for debate. In fact, this is a matter of perspective and subjectivity to a certain extent. Yes, Guantanamo Bay, the Patriot Act, the Drug War, unmanned drones, warmongering neo-conservatives groups like PNAC, illegal wiretaps, government invasion of privacy, and many other issues bring up serious questions about liberty and tyranny in the United States. But in no way, can Texans call President Obama a socialist and consider that a reason for independence. This idea can not be taken seriously by critical-thinking people. Texans take full advantage of the military-industrial complex, federal money for infrastructure, social security, medicare, medicaid, and many other programs that are forms of socialism. Perhaps, it isn’t Stalinism, but it is what I call Socialism “Light.” For this Texan to take this socialist epitaph seriously, Texans must quit suckling from federal tits. Governor Rick “Good Hair” Perry is a perfect example of this inability to see the inherent contradictions in taking federal dollars while at the same criticizing the federal government.

Finally, if Texans do want to secede, then they should think about it first. Don’t leave because you are angry. Anger and fear blind people. People ignorant to the realities of the world make stupid and irrational decisions. Instead, leave because you are informed and leave because know you can make a better life for yourself and your family. That would mean approaching Texas independence in a balanced and inclusive way. For example, Texas should make foreign alliances before declaring independence. Securing trading partners and diplomatic ties would be imperative. Relationships with Mexico, France, Great Britain, Russia, China, Canada, Japan, Jamaica, and the rest of the world would have to be established.

The debates over Texas nationhood go way back in Texas history. For example, they were heated issues for two Texas president–Sam Houston and Mirabeau Lamar. The subject should be taken seriously, but I am afraid it is being made into a political mockery by both the Left and the Right.

File:SHouston 2.jpg

(Photograph of Sam Houston. The first President of the Republic of Texas Sam Houston was an outspoken critic of Secession before the Civil War.)

File:Mirabeaulamar 2.jpg

(Photograph of Texas President Mirabeau Lamar, who was a Texas nationalist. Lamar Street in Austin is named after this proponent of Texas power and prestige. Lamar and Houston fought many political battles over the fate of Texas.)

Advertisements
Texas Secession – Can Texas Secede?

2 thoughts on “Texas Secession – Can Texas Secede?

  1. Rwolf says:

    Will Obama use NDAA To Arrest State Representatives and Citizens that support Secession?

    Could Obama use NDAA To Arrest Secessionists on the Premise members are Militants and Belligerents that pose a threat to National Security?

    Recently the Obama administration stated to Federal Judge Katherine Forest that under (NDAA) The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 the President had authorization to lock up belligerents indefinitely. That they (were justified) to lock belligerents up indefinitely—because cases involving belligerents directly-aligned with militants against the good of America—warrants such punishment.) Pres. Obama could use NDAA provisions to order U.S. Military Forces to round up without evidence, millions of Americans including Secessionists and Militias by alleging they are belligerents or a threat to National Security. Many observers believe Obama intends to extend NDAA to imprison U.S. Citizens in Indefinite Detention not involved with or associated with enemy forces.

    Hitler included similar provisions in his fascist (Discriminatory Decrees signed February 28, 1933). Almost immediately after the German Parliament passed Hitler’s laws, the Reich Government ordered the arrest of German Citizens and confiscated their guns without probable cause or evidence; delegated powers to German Police and other authorities to arrest anyone Nazi authorities claimed attempted or incited public unrest: arrested among others were outspoken Germans, writers, journalists, peaceful protestors and artists. After World War II the East German Secret Police (Stasi) used the threat of Indefinite Detention to forcibly recruit thousands of informants.

    The U.S. 2012 NDAA legislation Obama signed 12-31-11 is similar to Hitler’s 1933 fascist laws the SS and Gestapo used to target persons in Germany for arrest, imprisonment and execution without probable cause; and confiscate millions of dollars of property. Hitler used his laws to suspend Parliament and the Supreme Court insuring his laws could not be rescinded.

    During the Obama Administration’s recent request for a (stay) to stop U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest blocking enforcement of vague NDAA provisions, the Obama Administration—never clarified what constitutes a (belligerent); or militant; or what belligerent activities (directly aligned with a militant) to order a belligerent’s arrest or indefinite detention; or what is against the good of America. Under vague provisions of NDAA, the President could accuse anyone of being (directly aligned with militants by way of any political or other association; activity, statement, writing or communication with an individual or group government deemed (militant) to arrest and indefinitely detain Americans. Writers, journalists, Americans that disagree with or question U.S. Government or its allies—may under NDAA be subject to arrest and indefinite detention.

    NDAA 2012, like Hitler’s 1933 Discriminatory Decrees enforces censorship; refers to the Patriot Act e.g. warrant-less searches of private property and forfeiture of property from persons not charged with crime. Provisions in NDAA 2012 keep the door open for corrupt U.S. police; government agents and provocateurs which there are many, to falsify reports and statements to target any American, group or organization for arrest, indefinite detention, complete disappearance; civil asset forfeiture of their property.

    You may have noted NDAA referred to the USA Patriot Act. The Patriot Act lends itself to Government / police corruption; the Federal Government may use secret witnesses and informants to cause arrests and civil asset forfeiture of Americans’ property. Witness(s) and informants may be paid up to 50% of assets forfeited. Federal Government under 18USC may use a mere preponderance of civil evidence, little more than hearsay to Civilly Forfeit Private Property. Under the Patriot Act innocent property owners may be barred by government knowing the evidence federal government uses to forfeit their property.

    Sections of NDAA 2012 are so broad, it appears U.S. Government or the President could (retroactively) deem an American’s past 1st Amendment activities prior to passage of 2012 NDAA—supported hostilities, terrorism or (Belligerents) to order the arrest and Indefinite Detention of any U.S. Citizen, writer, group or organization.

    Under NDAA 2012 it should be expected that indefinitely detained U.S. Citizens not involved in terrorism or hostile activities, not given Miranda Warnings when interrogated, not allowed legal counsel or habeas corpus may be prosecuted for non-terrorist (ordinary crimes) because of their (alleged admissions) while held in Indefinite Detention.

  2. If Texans truly want to secede – we should make plans to pull all military bases out. The military and their equipment and the civilian jobs belong to the United States. One of the most important Air Force bases in the country is Kelly, outside of San Antonio. This is largest spare parts depot the USAF has. I am sure that another state will be happy to get it. Oh, they want to keep the military? They can contract for them and perhaps join NATO. Unless….the largest wind farm in Texas was built by the Chinese. Perhaps Texas is merely acceding to the wish of their true masters….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s