America’s sharp political divisions have led to a lot of heated talk about “national divorce.” At least one state is taking that rhetoric to the next step.
Republicans in Texas are pushing for a referendum on seceding from the United States, Business Insider reported.
Texas GOP to weigh secession
The state party’s new platform asserts the right of Texas to nullify federal laws that trample on Texans’ 10th Amendment rights, as well as Texas’s “right to secede.”
“Texas retains the right to secede from the United States, and the Texas Legislature should be called upon to pass a referendum consistent thereto,” the platform says.
The platform calls for a referendum in the 2023 election “to determine whether or not the State of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation.” Texas was an independent republic for about 10 years after breaking away from Mexico before it joined the U.S.
The question of state sovereignty has been hotly debated ever since the United States’ founding. Thomas Jefferson, for example, was an advocate of the nullification theory holding that states can nullify federal laws that are unconstitutional.
The Constitution does not address secession and the matter was left unclear before the Civil War, but the Union’s victory has long been seen as having set a precedent against secession.
Divided nation at a breaking point
The left is of course using Texas Republicans’ secessionist sentiments as evidence of an extreme turn by the Republican party, although Democrats and their media allies have spent the better part of two years painting Republicans in general as “insurrectionists” and seditionists anyway.
Some on the left have compared the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot to the Civil War, while using politically charged terms like “The Big Lie,” which has Nazi connotations, to disparage anyone rejecting the “free and fair” 2020 election.
Republican voters overwhelmingly see President Biden as an illegitimate figure, a view affirmed by the Texas GOP at its convention, where Biden was declared a usurper and merely the “acting” head of state. Needless to say, the convention has received lots of hostile media coverage.
Despite the liberal media’s “insurrection” spin, secessionist sentiments aren’t confined to the right: a poll last year found that a half of Trump voters and 41 percent of Biden voters would support forming their own countries.
How exactly that would be done is hard to picture, seeing that America’s political divides now run chiefly along rural-urban lines within states. Supposing Texas did secede, they would still be stuck with liberal hubs like Austin and Dallas.