Could and should Texas secede from the Union?
It’s an incredibly bogus question, and yet not one but two gubernatorial candidates are proposing the idea.
“There’s a lot of different scenarios,” Perry said. “We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that.”
Medina has been more blunt. According to the Dallas Morning News, “She says she won’t rule out pulling a page out of Civil War history with a move to secede from the nation.”
First of all, Texas does not have the authority to secede on a legal basis. As the Associated Press points out, “According to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Texas negotiated the power to divide into four additional states at some point if it wanted to but not the right to secede.” There is no provision in either the Texas or the U.S. Constitution allowing Texas to legally secede from the Union. Could Texas secede by force? Yes. It was called the Civil War, and that little experiment did not end well for those who attempted it.
However, it is an interesting question. If the State of Texas became the Republic of Texas, who would become our new president? Why, Chuck Norris of course.
“I may run for president of Texas,” Norris wrote on his blog in March of last year. “That need may be a reality sooner than we think. If not me, someone someday may again be running for president of the Lone Star State, if the state of the union continues to turn into the enemy of the state.”
The transition from state to country would unlikely be a smooth one. On a local level, all students at ACU from out of state would have to apply for a study visa, and visiting relatives outside the boundaries of Texas would require a passport. A new currency would have to be printed and distributed, which would likely be a painful changeover. Besides, the map of the United States would suddenly look really awkward.
While struggling to create a new infrastructure for the new republic, taxes would likely skyrocket because Texas would no longer receive federal funding. MSNBC reports FEMA alone has sent nearly $3.5 billion to the state since 2001 with another billion from the federal government to help with Hurricane Ike. That would come out of the state budget.
NASA, which provides 26,000 jobs in the Houston area, would relocate, along with many U.S. military bases across the state, costing thousands of jobs and several billion dollars no longer flowing into the Texas economy.
It makes a catchy bumper sticker, but the reality of Texas becoming its own country would likely be a disaster. When it comes to secession from the union, we can only hope the proposition turns out to be nothing more than an empty campaign promise.