Texas has been (in political terms, not necessarily cultural ones) a greasy white zit in the middle of America’s nose ever since Dwight Eisenhower warned the rest of us about crazy Texas millionaires in 1954. Today, it’s still Texas billionaires who finance insane right-wing smear campaigns on a regular basis.
This one state has done more than any other to retard progress in our recent history. The swift-boaters, much of the money to finance Reagan’s contra war, Karl Rove, the Bushes…all Texas.
If it left, those billionaires and Rove and the Bushes could run the new republic. Fine. Drive it into the ground instead of America. Secession would also produce 34 fewer Republican electoral votes, meaning either that a) no Republican would ever win a presidential election again or b) one might, but he or she would have to moderate his/her positions so much that they’d make Nelson Rockefeller look like Grover Norquist, in which case GOP rule wouldn’t be so hideous at all. And about 20 or so fewer wingnuts in the House of Representatives.
… if Texas wants to leave the union we should probably just let them go and I’d say the same for other southern states that feel oppressed by our efforts to use federal tax money to help them take care of their unemployed citizens. Back during the Civil War, the cause of keeping the union together was intertwined with the cause of fighting the great evil of slavery. But assume we just welcome migrants from the Republic of Texas with open arms if they want to flee north, there’d be no comparable problem with letting Texas leave.
Obviously, one advantage of large-scale secession of the most conservative states is that it would be a lot easier to pass progressive legislation. An aspect of Civil War history that people don’t tend to appreciate is that the temporary departure of the Dixie bloc of Senators allowed a huge flowering of legislative activity that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible. In addition to prosecuting the war, the Lincoln-era GOP took sweeping action on industrial policy, infrastructure, land reform, etc. much of which would have been extraordinarily difficult to accomplish had the southerners just stayed in their seats and used the considerable levers of obstruction that are available to legislative minorities.
I love Texas and a number of Texans, but as long as I maintain a passport that’s honored in Houston, I’m open to the possibilities.