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While I was out and about the other day wearing my Texas Nationalist T-shirt, several people took the time to say hi to me and give me a thumbs-up.
"I'm with ya, buddy," said one man. "Too bad it can't happen."
"If only we could do that," said another.
After several such comments, I recognized that we in the TNM have gotten the message out about Texans WANTING to be an independent nation. We've done a great job explaining the "why," but apparently we haven't done so good at communicating the "how."
After speaking with several of our sympathetic doubters, I think I've narrowed down their major concerns.
Texas can't be independent? Why?
* "This was settled in 1865. The Civil War is over." One hundred percent true. No one, at least on the Texas Nationalist Movement's side of the argument, is talking about an armed insurrection -- nor are we the least bit interested in reviving the Confederacy. The issue is the difference between Texas national culture and that of the rest of the U.S. Texans view the fundamental purpose of government differently than do the citizens of Massachusetts, California and Illinois. As just a few examples, we have our own distinctive tastes in music and the arts, our unique blending of Anglo and Hispanic culture, our own regional cuisine ("Tex-Mex") -- and, yes, our own history. No other state in the Union has a history quite so colorful and independent-minded as Texas. This isn't about re-fighting any civil war; this is about a national culture which has emerged.
* "Secession is illegal." We can argue all day over whether a co-opted Supreme Court's decision in 1868 has any relevance. Using that argument, the United States is "illegal" itself, having "seceded" from Great Britain. The fact is, secession is "illegal" only when the parent government successfully prevents it with military force. The United Nations Charter clearly states that self-determination is a fundamental right of all human beings -- and the United States has made self-determination a cornerstone of its foreign policy for more than a hundred years. In just the last couple of decades, the U.S. has supported the secession of several states from the former Soviet Union, Kosovo from Serbia, even South Sudan from Sudan. If Texans vote to declare independence, wouldn't it be rather two-faced of the United States to bomb our elementary schools, blow up our Walmarts and post Marines on every street corner to root out rebels?
* "Texas couldn't defend itself." Who would Texas have to defend itself FROM? If we leave the United States in a civil, sane, orderly fashion -- something TNM has maintained all along -- three of our borders are militarily secure. While Mexico has considerable manpower, its military forces can't even control its own country; criminal drug lords are more to fear. No other nearby nation has the logistical capability to invade Texas, much less the gumption to try it in the face of certain house-to-house resistance. And don't forget, Texas already HAS its own military: in addition to our National Guard, Texas has seven regiments of the Texas Military Forces, units comprised primarily of veterans who could serve as a ready-made cadre if they were ever needed. And consider that anywhere from 10-15 percent of America's armed forces manpower is Texans. Security wouldn't be an issue.
* "Texas would go broke, it couldn't support itself." Texas has the world's 12th largest economy by itself. We are among the world's leaders in oil and gas production, petrochemical products, agriculture and energy; did you know that Texas produces more "green" energy already than any other U.S. state? And there are more "green" energy production facilities being built in Texas than in any other state. We are among the leaders in high-technology development, medicine and health-care, even manufacturing such as automobiles. One of the reasons so many companies continue to move to Texas is that Texans don't believe in big government, and thus place fewer punitive, nonsensical regulations on business. If anything, an independent Texas free of the politically-motivated regulatory punishments inflicted on us by the Obama Administration would be a beacon for new business.
* "This is all about race." This statement seems to drift in there when those opposed to Texas independence start losing the debate, since they can't win with logic. The Texas Nationalist Movement is composed of persons of all skin hues, backgrounds, religions and origins. All are welcomed. We believe that race and ethnicity is less important than your nationality; to us, all Texans are Texans first, hyphenated Americans second. But our opponents have successfully used "divide and conquer" tactics based on race for decades, riding that disharmony to power. It's no wonder they trot that argument out in an attempt to discredit us.
The recent actions of a tyrannical federal government have handed we in the Texas Nationalist Movement the chance we have been waiting on for more than a decade. My fellow Texans, take the time to educate the doubters.