TEXIT? Democrats And Republicans Come Together For A Texas Secession

Source: Dreamstime

In a shocking twist, tens of thousands of Texans across party lines are petitioning for Texas to secede from the United States. Propelled by disputes over border control, a growing movement is urging the state to re-examine its tense relationship with Washington.

Leading the Charge

The Texas Nationalist Movement, led by President Daniel Miller, has intensified calls for the state to assert its autonomy. Miller is demanding a special legislative session to vote on putting secession to the people. This “Texit” vision is gaining momentum.

Source: Flickr/Steve Pavey

Buoyed by 170,000 signatures on a petition to get a secession vote on the primary ballot, Miller submitted the appeal directly to Governor Greg Abbott in February. Surprisingly, many Democrats joined the signature collection.

High Court Decision Adds Fuel

The Supreme Court recently rejected Texas’ bid to halt Biden’s border security measures. This 5-4 ruling was a blow to Texas’ authority over immigration enforcement on its southern border.

Source: Flickr/Mark Nester

For Texit supporters, the ruling underscored Texas’ lack of control over federal intervention in its affairs. It directly spurred Miller’s push for a special session addressing grievances like this overreach. Though Abbott hasn’t yet responded, the Court’s insertion into the conflict catalyzed secession fervor.

Beyond the Fringe

While fully realizing Texit faces immense legal barriers, the appetite for reassessing Texas’ relationship with Washington has broken into the mainstream. The Texas Nationalist Movement’s website now boasts over 600,000 registered supporters of independence. To put that number into perspective, that’s larger than the individual populations of 9 different U.S. states.

Source: Flickr/JD LAMB

And 34 political candidates have already signed a formal Texas First Pledge, promising to prioritize the state’s interests above all else – including exploring possible secession. These developments show Texit transitioning from a fringe idea mostly ignored by serious politicians into a credible objective that can draw votes and sway elections.

United by Grievances

At first glance, Democrats signing the secession petition seems counterintuitive. But a closer look reveals shared grievances bridging the political divide between conservatives and liberals in Texas. Most coalesce around issues like economic exploitation and federal government overreach.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

For example, studies show Texas pays approximately $261 billion in federal taxes annually but only receives $237 billion worth of federal funding in return. And 37% of the state’s land is owned by the U.S. government – far more than most states. Resentment over excessive federal power and resource extraction crosses party lines here.

The Road to Referendum

Daniel Miller continually stresses that requesting a secession referendum is less radical than expecting imminent, binding Texit success. He views voting on independence as an important evolutionary step – not as final divorce papers ripping Texas away from the U.S. tomorrow.

Source: Wikimedia/Huebi

But in Miller’s long view, Texas ultimately breaking away is highly probable due to constantly worsening disputes over state autonomy spanning energy policy, health programs, education, gun laws, and more. Whether a referendum vote occurs soon or not, in his estimation Texas’ gradual separation from the federal system points toward an inevitable independent destination down the road.

Economic Powerhouse

Beyond political alienation, Texas holds an extraordinarily strong economic hand relative to most other states – and even European nations – that buoys arguments that independence could be financially viable.

Source: Flickr/Texas Travel Industry Association

For example, if it stood alone as a country, Texas would boast the world’s 9th largest economy with a GDP of $2.0 trillion – ahead of Canada, South Korea, Spain and Australia. The private sector overwhelmingly fuels this prosperity here, meaning Texas relies much less on federal spending than other states – spending which Texans allege they don’t get their fair share of anyway.

Collective Identity First

Interestingly, Texas has cultivated a strong state identity and patriotism that transcends national political parties. This shared solidarity in their home state is likely why both Republicans and Democrats are reconsidering their state’s Washington relationship.

Source: Luke Bowen

This phenomenon illustrates that many Texans give higher priority to supporting their state’s interests than to partisanship. Texas pride and affiliation distinctly exceed political divisions – driving more unified actions like the bipartisan secession petition.

Federal Intervention Catalyst

Ongoing conflicts over border security have sparked intensified cries for Texas to reassert authority over its boundary with Mexico. Many citizens here view Washington’s interventions as unwelcome federal intrusions on the state’s jurisdiction.

Source: Wikimedia/MarkBuckawicki

Much outrage came after Governor Abbott bussed thousands of migrants from Texas across the country last fall – leading to lawsuits limiting similar state interventions going forward. These disputes act as lightning rods for Texas leveraging its resources to solve its problems without federal oversight.

Double-Edged Sword

A binding secession vote poses a quandary for Governor Abbott as he runs for re-election. Public pressure to allow the independence referendum is building. But consenting to a Texit special session could be politically volatile.

Source: Wikimedia/World Travel and Tourism Council

Approving the vote would appeal to Texas Republican voters flocking to Miller’s autonomy movement. But it risks a backlash from more moderate conservatives and Abbott’s wealthy donor base – who view Texit’s passions as extreme. The Governor is walking a tightrope.

Evolving Landscape

What’s clear is the political landscape in Texas is profoundly shifting. Support for redefining the state’s place in the U.S. federal system – whether through increased autonomy or outright independence – has moved from the radical fringes toward mainstream viability across the ideological spectrum.

Source: Wikimedia/Matt H. Wade

Current border disputes are no doubt intensifying this realignment. But the roots of Texas’ alienation from Washington run much deeper – spanning perceived economic exploitation, federal overreach on issues from gun laws to health policies, and more. Reconciliation seems less likely than the state’s political orientation aligning more with its geographic reality…located adjacent to Mexico, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Arkansas…but separated by over 800 miles from the District of Columbia.

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Matty Jacobson

Written by Matty Jacobson

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