I keep a stomach distress bag handy whenever I read a news article about Texas. Governor Greg Abbott is not good for my digestive health. A few weeks ago, he signed a law giving private citizens the right to sue anyone who “aids or abets” abortions. The idea is to weaponize abortion proponents and drive doctors and other healthcare providers out of the state.
There is a lot more to dislike about Governor Greg Abbott, but he is not alone in making proposals that many of us consider outrageous. In June, for example, State Representative Kyle Biedermann proposed legislation for the state to hold a referendum on whether a legislative committee should be created to develop a plan for “Texas independence.” Mr. Biedermann has had enough of Washington and its meddling in Texas affairs.
Texans are not alone in wanting their state to “go in a different direction.” Secession movements are also active in Alaska, California, Hawaii, and Vermont. I want to focus on Texas. My question is “Why not let it go?”
Legal experts tell us that it is “illegal” for states to secede from the union, but I wonder if America has the stomach for another civil war. My guess is no, especially given the reality that many of us see Texas as an obstacle to ratifying sane policies. More than a few of my liberal friends, when asked about Texas secession, shrug their shoulders, and say, “We’d be better off without it.”
I have my doubts about that, despite Greg Abbott, but note that the Democrats would win more elections and retain control of the House of Representatives if Texas quits the U.S. Personally, I will welcome a Senate free of Ted Cruz (R-TX).
If Texas left the Union, I would expect a mass migration out of the State back into the U.S. Greg Abbott might have to build a wall just to keep people from leaving. I also worry that Texas might attempt to seize “its fair share” of nuclear weapons and fashion itself a little North Korea that regularly makes threats against its northern neighbor (us).
If Texas seceded, might Donald Trump be tempted to move there and become King? That is possible. The prospect of a lifetime of power without the hassle of regular elections might just persuade him to quit Florida. And, once in power in Texas, Trump could plot with like-minded secessionists in other states and try to create a modern-day version of the Confederate States of America.
I am not likely to be conscripted into the Army for the purpose of fighting what is likely to be dubbed “Texit,” but if I were, I would think about a move to Canada. I would not want to take up arms against fellow Americans (yes, I still consider Texans fellow-countrypeople) and would not want to be shot by Governor Abbott or one of his followers. I suspect many Americans would agree.
If future presidents are faced with a real secession movement, would they bring a declaration of war to Congress? Would it pass? If it did not, where would that leave America?
I am comforted by the fact that despite the Maryland Eastern Shore being out of sync with the rest of the State, I don’t often hear about plans for a new State called “East Chesapeake” or “Crabonia.” That’s a relief. I think we would be dramatically worse off without the rest of the State, or the rest of the United States, to help us prepare for the next century.
Despite my friends who stubbornly remain loyal to Trump, I am confident that the Eastern Shore is moving in the right direction politically. While some Republicans tell me I am crazy to say that the re-election of Andy “Handgun” Harris is not inevitable, I also note that many Republicans tell me that, as of today, they would vote for Harris but have a few questions for him to answer. They want to know what he was up to in his White House meeting on December 21 and how he became convinced the 2020 presidential election was “rigged.”
I want to know the answer to these questions. I think I already know how Andy would vote if the issue of Texas seceding from the U.S. came to a vote in the House of Representatives. Even though Democrats might benefit from Texit, Andy would vote “Aye.” So much for the Constitution.
J.E. Dean is a retired attorney and public affairs consultant writing on politics, government, and, when the Constitution is not under attack, other subjects.