The secession movement has been brewing in Texas for decades, but support for that idea, recently in the headlines again following the United Kingdom’s historical “Brexit” vote to leave the European Union, may be reaching critical mass.
There is an old adage that says that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. However, in this day and age, it might be more appropriate to say that those who blind themselves to the world are doomed to perpetual surprise.
Such was the surprise delivered to the world when the people of the United Kingdom voted to exit the political and economic experiment called the European Union. The campaign, the vote and the eventual exit has become known as “Brexit” and has spawned a renewed international interest in the right of people to choose how they are governed and has sparked a fundamental examination of globalization and the economic and political order.
The Brexit fight has forced the world, and the political class, to pay attention to the number of nations where independence movements have been steadily, and often silently, growing for years. And one word seems to have captured the attention of the world – Texit.
It is important to understand that a Brexit-style movement in Texas did not launch the day after the British referendum. It has existed as a legitimate, viable political force for nearly two decades and its very existence and its success are on track to create another international surprise.
The roots of the movement for Texas independence are deep and complex but the modern day incarnation echoes many themes that will seem familiar to anyone who closely watched the Brexit debate in the UK.
Excessive regulation. Bloated and wasteful bureaucracy. The resistance to having laws made in a far-flung capitol. A lack of final authority over law and policy. A serious imbalance between taxes paid into a central government and how much is received. Blanket policies that erode national borders and create an immigration free-for-all that strains infrastructure and public services. An immunity on the part of the central government to serious reform or devolution of power to the constituent states.
And the common themes are not just borne of grievance. The themes also contain a message of hope.
“Our economy is strong but it can be stronger and we can experience unparalleled prosperity.” “The best people to govern our country are our people.” “We can re-engage the world in trade.” “We are big enough, strong enough, and good enough to govern ourselves.”