‘Texit’: Lawmaker plans to file legislation allowing Texans to vote on secession
We’ve had Brexit. We’ve had Blexit. What about Texit?
A Texas state lawmaker said he plans to introduce a resolution that would open a debate on whether Texas should secede from the United States.
“The federal government is out of control and does not represent the values of Texans,” Rep. Kyle Biedermann, R-Fredricksburg, tweeted earlier this week.
“That is why I am committing to file legislation this session that will allow a referendum to give Texans a vote for the State of Texas to reassert its status as an independent nation.”
Secession has been in the news recently.
The federal government is out of control & doesn’t represent the values of Texans. That is why I am committing to file legislation that will allow a referendum to give Texans a vote for the State of Texas to reassert its status as an independent nation. #Texit #txlege
— Kyle Biedermann (@KyleBiedermann) December 8, 2020
On his show Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh touched on a possible national divorce between red and blue states, saying “I actually think that we’re trending toward secession.”
Limbaugh said he wasn’t advocating for it, but added he had read unnamed bloggers who talked about “how distant and separated and how much more separated our culture is becoming politically and that it can’t go on this way.”
“There cannot be a peaceful coexistence of two completely different theories of life, theories of government, theories of how we manage our affairs. We can’t be in this dire a conflict without something giving somewhere along the way,” Limbaugh said.
Liberals rhetorically clutched their pearls, and took to the fainting couch.
“To bring up secession – effectively, a civil war – in any context is reckless,” wrote media critic Tom Jones of the Poynter Institute in Florida. “Is it good radio? Limbaugh might think so. Is it dangerous? Without a doubt.”
But let’s not pretend that many people aren’t thinking about separation.
In March 2017, two months after President Donald Trump took office, Kevin Baker, contributing editor The New Republic, called for a “Bluexit,” saying, “It’s time for blue states and cities to effectively abandon the American national enterprise, as it is currently constituted.”
Two months after that, the Pew Research Center posted an article about secession talk that was happening at the time.
“In California, the election of Donald Trump as president has fueled secession efforts,” noted Pew, which called attention to an earlier effort within California to break the state into six separate states.
Pew quoted Marcus Ruiz Evans, co-founder of Yes California, a group that supports making the Golden Sate independent of the U.S.: “We had 11,000 [signatures] before Trump, then that jumped to 30,000 in a day, then to 45,000. People joined because they hate Trump, but we’ve always said, ‘This isn’t about Trump. This is about a country that would elect him.’ A racist, a misogynist? Those are people you want to associate with?”
The effort spearheaded by Evans, which came to be known as “Calexit,” aimed for a vote on secession in March 2019. According to Ballotpedia, proponents wanted a vote that, if successful, would have required the governor “to request California’s admittance into the United Nations as the Republic of California.”
While the drive for independence fizzled, Edward Meisse, a Yes California proponent, sounded much like Limbaugh, telling Pew, “We have two diametrically opposed philosophies in our country, and we’re just not getting anywhere. I think we should allow states to secede so California can be California and Texas can be Texas.”
And it wasn’t the first time. Back in November 2004, Salon columnist Michelle Goldberg noted that “fantasies of blue-state secession ricocheted around the Internet” following President George W. Bush’s re-election.
“Now,” wrote Goldberg, citing issues like gay marriage and abortion, “it’s liberal enclaves that feel threatened by the federal government, and who will likely need to muster states’ rights arguments to protect themselves from Bush’s domestic policies.”
Back in Texas, they’ve long harbored stronger feelings of independence. The state, after all, was an independent nation from 1836 to 1846 – the period between winning its independence from Mexico and being annexed by the U.S.
Rep. Biedermann wrote on Facebook that his legislation “perfectly aligns with Article 1 Section 2 of the Texas Constitution which reads: ‘All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit. The faith of the people of Texas stands pledged to the preservation of a republican form of government, and, subject to this limitation only, they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient.’ #Texit“