OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Once upon a time, Texas was its own country, and now there is a movement afoot to return the Lone Star State to its independent roots.
Earlier this week, the Texas Independence Referendum Act, also known as “TEXIT,” was assigned to a committee, while the leader of the Texas independence movement expressed eagerness for public testimony to provide a platform for the voice of the people to be heard, Just the News reported on Friday.
HB 3596 is “headed to the State Affairs Committee in the Texas House, and we’re looking forward to having it scheduled for testimony and letting the public speak and say with one loud voice that, at a minimum, whether you agree with TEXIT or disagree, Texans should have a vote on the issue,” said Daniel Miller, president of the 440,000-member Texas Nationalist Movement.
Republican state Rep. Bryan Slaton introduced the bill on March 6, the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo to Mexican forces in 1836. The measure, if passed, would allow for a referendum to be placed on the ballot during the next general election, giving the people of Texas the opportunity to vote on whether or not the state should investigate the possibility of Texas independence and present potential plans to the Legislature. Slaton announced the bill on Twitter, Just the News noted.
“The Texas Constitution is clear that all political power resides in the people,” he continued. “After decades of continuous abuse of our rights and liberties by the federal government, it is time to let the people of Texas make their voices heard.”
Texas has made previous attempts to secede from the United States in the past, including when it became part of the Confederacy during the Civil War. However, in the 1868 case of Texas v. White, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot unilaterally secede from the Union.
“The TEXIT issue has been in the minds of Texans for probably generations, it just wasn’t necessarily known as TEXIT,” Miller told “Just the News, No Noise” TV show on Thursday. “Independence has always been a part of our DNA since our founding.”
He listed several reasons that fuel the movement, such as the increased federal spending, overwhelming debt, excessive regulations, and the breakdown of border security.
“You look at something like the federal debt that continues to ratchet up, that burdens all of us, that is essentially fiscal child abuse because it’ll be our children and grandchildren that are going to be on the hook for it when the United States continues [to incur more debt] to the point of insolvency,” Miller said.
“The people of Texas, much like every other state, we groan under 180,000 pages of federal laws, rules and regulations administered by two and a half million unelected bureaucrats. Every day when we wake up, we have to wonder which one of our rights is going to be under assault by the federal government today. The federal government doesn’t shrink, it only gets bigger. It really trashes everything that it touches. All you have to do is look down to our southern border to see an example of how not just mismanagement but malfeasance can lead to severe crises,” he continued.
Miller believes that there is a widening gap between the formal political system in the United States and the underlying values and aspirations of the American people.
“[W]e all have to ask ourselves, is America the same as the United States right now? The United States is a political and economic entity, an institution that no longer reflects America, those values that we consider America,” he said.
His organization raises an important question for Texans by asking whether the current United States is a union that they would voluntarily choose to be a part of if given the option, Just the News noted.
“[W]e go out to Texas voters and we say, ‘Look, imagine that Texas was already a self-governing independent nation, and we had control over our own border and immigration policy and our own monetary and taxation policies — everything that 200 other countries around the world have — and instead of talking about Texas, we were talking about whether or not today we would vote to give up all of that control and join the union, knowing everything we know about the federal government today, would you vote to join? And if you wouldn’t vote to join, why would you stay one moment longer than you had to?'” Miller noted.