There are many people on both sides of the secession argument with strong views who vehemently believe they are right. regardless, the idea of secession has always been a part of our Texas spirit. In fact, Texas first “seceded” from Mexico in 1836; forcing us to defend our decision to leave. Later, in 1861, when Texas considered secession from the United States, Texas patriots voted by a 3 to 1 margin to secede. Texas was the seventh state to secede from the Lincoln Empire. That means it seceded before four other prominent Southern states – Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas – all of which waited until April 1861 and the bloodless bombardment on Fort Sumter before deciding to leave the Union.
Therefore, it should not be surprising that secession is alive and well in Texas.
Enter one mainstream group, the Texas National Movement, which has led on the newest attempt at Texas Independence. It describes its mission on its homepage as “an organization formed on a clear set of principles that guide our actions as we work to create a free and independent Texas.” The Texas Nationalist Movement is one of the driving forces behind the Texas secession movement.
The latest manifestation of Texas secession has its roots in the 1990s. An article in the International Business Times describes the origins of the latest political attempt at Texas freedom: “Following secessionist activity that culminated in an armed standoff in 1997, more diplomatic groups have pushed to get secessionist language onto Republican primary ballots every four years. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry even made a thinly veiled threat in 2009 that if Washington, D.C., didn’t ‘listen’ to the American people, then his state might cut ties. Three years later, the Texas Nationalist Movement, a secession group, reported that its membership had increased 300 percent and that its website traffic had increased by 900 percent. A White House petition in 2012 gained some 125,000 signatures, prompting a response from the administration of President Barack Obama, which basically said, ‘no way.'”
At the time, John Carson, the Obama Administration’s Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, argued that states do not have the right to secede from the Union. Carson’s argument was the same as previous Yankee government officials on the subject of Southern freedom: “Our founding fathers established the Constitution of the United States ‘in order to form a more perfect union’ through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government.” In response, the Director of Membership of the Texas National Movement, Mr. Jeff Sadighi said, “Texans have the right ‘to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient.”’ Thus, the same ideological impasse of 1861 confronts Texans today.
This time may be different.
If 2012, the Texas Nationalist Movement’s “Foreign Minister,” Nathan Smith published an article on the Texas Nationalist Movement Facebook page. In that article, Smith points out that he believes that as both Texans and Americans it is our duty to wake up and use our Inalienable rights. He believes that the United States federal government has become “a tyrannical union” one that the people of Texas should stand up against. Mr. Smith continued: “Don’t continue to suffer these evils. This 100+ yearlong train (yes way before Obama) of abuses and usurpations of state sovereignty invariably pursuing the same object of complete federal power and the limitation of local self-government has evinced a design to reduce us under absolute Despotism.” He is right.
But are Southerners the only ones who feel this way? Hardly!
Yes California, a California secessionist organization, succinctly explains their reasoning: “In our view, the United States of America represents so many things that conflict with Californian values, and our continued statehood means California will continue subsidizing the other states to our own detriment…” Yes California is obviously not a Southern organization. It is a grass-roots, Yankee organization that hopes to put secession on the 2019 California ballot. But the group’s argument seems relevant to Texas and Texans. While its point seems clear enough, so many additional questions abound.
Is this what is at the heart of the secession movement? Is secession the byproduct of a federal government so out of touch with the values of it citizens that it drives them to leave? What would happen if two of the three largest states in the Union were able to secede and become their own country? Although the secession movement has people on both sides with strong opinions, what are some of the reasons for secession? More importantly, what comes after secession?
Let’s go on this journey and see where we may land.
First, what does secession mean? It simply means to separate. In the context of the Southern fight for independence, secession is often described as “the withdrawal from the United States of eleven southern states in 1860 and 1861. The seceding states formed a government, the Confederacy, in early 1861. Hostilities against the remaining United States, the Union, began in April 1861 (see Fort Sumter), and the Civil War followed.”
As the tyrant Abraham Lincoln once said, we are a “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.” In other words, let the people of the United States have a voice, not just the elites in government. Of course later, Lincoln became a man who would be exclusively for the Union and considered secession a treasonous act – so much so, that he was willing to utilize total war to destroy half of the country for defying him. The forefathers of this great nation wanted every person to have a voice (excluding a segment of the population that required a Constitutional Amendment to facilitate their “inclusion”). Today, we have many politicians who claim to represent the “small” people and yet, when they are elected, they do nothing for them. This has consequences that can range from voting them out of office to a state wanting to secede from the Union.
But why did the first attempt to secede fail where the second attempt might not?
At the initial stage of secession, the Confederate States wanted to have a peaceful separation from the Union. That was prior to the invasion of the sovereign state of Virginia and Lincoln’s subsequent War of Northern Aggression. As a newly formed country, there was much that had to be done prior to and after hostilities began. In order to negotiate a deal or execute a war, the Confederate States needed a Commander-in-Chief of its own. The CSA chose Jefferson Davis, a seasoned Senator and former military officer, as its provisional president. From the beginning, however, the Confederate states were at a significant disadvantage. They lacked a significant navy. The CSA had far smaller heavy industrial capacity (as compared to the North). Southern leaders knew that they required foreign assistance to succeed, which meant the creation of a diplomatic corp.
Regarding that last topic, it is important to understand its relevance to the success of any secession movement. Foreign recognition is required for the success of any separatist movement. Not only does it lead to trade and military assistance, it emboldens a population to continue with its secessionist goals. That was understood on both sides of the North-South divide. One article describes this viewpoint from the Northern perspective: “Northern leaders, particularly Abraham Lincoln and Seward, were absolutely committed to the preservation of the Union and also understood that the European reaction to the American crisis was critical. Seward, especially, believed that secession lacked majority support in the South and that Southern Unionists would rise and end the secession movement by the spring of 1861. It was essential that the Southern (so called) extremists receive no encouragement from abroad, without which expectation, Seward believed, the Confederacy would be short-lived.” President Lincoln knew that the country would not be as strong if they lost all of the Confederate states and thus began his war of oppression. At the end of the war, Lincoln (before he was killed) believed that when the South conceded, the issue of secession was forever ended.
Like many things, Lincoln was wrong. The desire for Southern freedom did not die. That is especially true for Texas.
With all the current politics going on with Russia and President Donald Trump, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, wants to help the Texas Nationalist Movement (TNM) secede from the United States of America. Politico Magazine reported that TNM Foreign Minister Nathan Smith went to Russia to meet with colleagues of the far-right. In an interview from that conference Nathan Smith said, “… the Texas National Movement has 250,000 supporters—including all the Texans currently serving in the U.S. Army—and they all ‘identify themselves first and foremost as Texans’ but are being forced to remain Americans.” The United States, he added, “is not a democracy, but a dictatorship.” Per the reporter for the same Politico article, Casey Michel, the Kremlin helped start the “Free Texas” movement. Michel goes on to report that Vladimir Putin hopes Texas independence will facilitate the collapse of the United States of America as a payback for what happened to Russia during the collapse of the USSR and the aftermath of the Cold War.
Texas seems to have greater support for independence in the 21st Century than it had in the 19th Century.
But is secession reasonable? Should we seek a free and independent Texas? As I sit down at this table trying to take in all I have learned I decided that it was my turn to state my opinion on this matter.
Secession is not only culturally ingrained, it is necessary.
The people on the coasts of the United States make up most of the American population, even though they represent a small fraction of the total number of states. Middle America/The South, or as many call it the Heartland of America, is in danger of having its heart stopped – squeezed by two overwhelming enemies that flank their cultural core. The reason we call the middle of the United States the heartland is because it is made up of mostly hard working, blue collar white Americans who love their God, their country and their guns. They represent the true heartbeat of America. When many think of the United States they think of the people of the heartland. Most of the agriculture and fossil fuels come from the heartland. When we look at those on the East and West coasts of the United States, we see a very different kind of American. They are openly hostile toward American values and traditions. Most coastal “elites” identify as progressives and people of the world. We are inherent Nationalists; they are inherent globalists. They claim that they are being more inclusive and that we are the racists with mythical phobias.
The term phobia denotes a fear. In this case, coastal elites are right. We fear the end of our beautiful Southern culture by “progressives” who seek to destroy it. As Nationalists, we seek to preserve our unique identity. Southern Nationalists do not want the leftist garbage peddled by those on the Yankee coasts; they just want to be allowed the right to be Southerners again, without fear of reprisals. Secession may be the only means to ensure the survival of our Texas and Southern values.
To preserve the South and Texas, we must support any movement that supports Texas secession and that includes the Texas National Movement.
The Texas National Movement is a very real movement. It is full of very passionate, God-fearing people who believe that their way of living and beliefs are in danger of being taken over by a tyrannical government. It believes that the views of those who are on the two coasts are going to eventually determine how the middle of the United States of America lives. They seek a peaceful separation and hope to avoid another (un)Civil War. Can that be achieved? After all, Southerners tried to peacefully secede the first time in the 1860s. Perhaps, this time we can win in the Supreme Court that which we could not win on the battlefield.
The topic of secession is controversial. It has led to a huge divide in the United States and in Texas. Many people, like me, believe the only way to preserve our inalienable rights is secession. We must secede and be on our own.
When I first explored the topic of secession, I did not believe it was the right course of action. I believed that we – the United States – were stronger as a whole, rather than apart. However, with all of the things going on in Washington D.C., my eyes have widely awoken. I see how they try to force their left-wing beliefs on me, my family and my friends.
The coastal elite media would have you believe that faith in God is bad thing. I do not want to live in a country where a belief in God is “bad.” That same obnoxious coastal media depicts me as a caveman, holding to antiquated and barbaric ways of thinking. I disagree. God is never antiquated nor barbaric.
I am willing to depart this Union to preserve my integrity toward God Himself, and my Southern culture, values and people. I believe that the people here in Texas share similar beliefs. They don’t want to be subjects of a tyrant. They just want to live in Dixie again. They want to raise God-fearing children. They want to hold true to who we are as Southerners and keep our family lines pure as fresh snow. Texas secession ensures that we can have the opportunities of God’s incredible bounty.
…… I’m not from Texas, but I got here as fast as I could.
-By A.J. McGown
Oh, I'm a good old Rebel, now that's just what I am; For this "Fair Land of Freedom" I do not give a damn! I'm glad I fit against it, I only wish we'd won, And I don't want no pardon for anything I done.