Inspired By Great Britain’s “Brexit,” Texas Secessionists Make #TexitTrend
Well, that didn’t take long. Shortly after referendum voters in Great Britain decided the country should split from the European Union (the nefarious “Brexit” you’ve seen and heard all over the news this week), there’s talk in the media yet again of a Texas secession effort. But despite what the media tells you, don’t get too excited (or worried) about the so-called “Texit,” because it’s not going to happen.
Here’s a little background. Back in 1836, Texas was founded as an independent nation after declaring their independence from the Mexican government. You’ve heard the phrase “remember the Alamo,” right? That’s what they’re talking about. But that independence didn’t last long; Texas was annexed by the United States as our 28th State in 1845, prompting the start of the Mexican-American war.
Since then, the topic of Texas’ secession has sprung up pretty regularly, but rarely garnered national attention. That is, until a black guy was sworn into the Oval Office back in 2009. Since then, it seems like hardly a few months can pass us by without the words “Texas secession” appearing in a mainstream media news headline.
Brexit may have left Texas’ secession movement feeling inspired and empowered, but just how likely is it for such a movement to actually succeed? Will they actually get their ballot referendum in 2018? And if Texas actually did “Texit,” how would their secession actually go down?
Texans Aren’t As Fired Up For A “Texit” As The Media Lets On
Reading comments around the Internet might make you believe otherwise, but Texans aren’t as ready or willing to secede as you might think.
The most recent major poll on Texas secession was carried out by Rasmussen way back in 2009. They found that only 31% of Texans believe their State has a right to secede, while 75% oppose secession to begin with.
We like to think of Texas as being the most hardline conservative of all the States, but many analysts have been predicting for years that Texas will begin to shift toward becoming a purple State over the course of the next decade or so, spurred by their growing Latino community and the rising trend toward progressivism seen in Texas’ cities, most notably Austin, Dallas, and Houston, where the liberal community has been steadily, firmly rising for years.
While it’s easy to question whether or not Texas will actually become a purple State, one thing is pretty obvious: Texas is trending more toward progressivism than away from it, so the chances of a Texas secession movement gaining more traction than it had in 2009 is highly unlikely.
What Would A “Texit” Look Like?
Despite what some media outlets have been reporting, a “Texit” is far from likely. But for gits and shiggles, let’s pretend it actually did happen. Let’s make-believe Texans actually voted in 2018 to split from the United States and become an independent nation. What would their secession look like? How would it affect the people of Texas, and the United States itself?
To sum it all up? Texas’ secession wouldn’t be pleasant. Not for the United States, but especially not for the people of Texas.
The Texas secession movement is a right-wing one. Most of those who favor the “Texit” movement are hardcore conservatives who angrily spout nonsense about Benghazi, despite being unable to actually find Libya on a map. So a successful succession wouldn’t bode well for millions of Lone Star liberals.
The most immediate federal emergency the United States would need to tackle would be the millions of refugees Texas’ secession would create. Most of the 3.3 million Texans who voted for Obama in 2012, as well as untold millions of others (non-voting progressives, young adults, moderate conservatives, and many independents) would find themselves in a mass-exodus from Texas, spreading into neighboring States. Depending on how welcoming those States are to Texas’ refugees, some may even find themselves illegally crossing the border into Mexico.
The next serious crisis would involve pulling out the United States’ military from Texas’ borders. Bases would need to be hastily evacuated, with personnel and equipment relocated to other facilities. Some military personnel would go AWOL, particularly those with family that wanted to stay in Texas.
The sudden withdrawal of the U.S. military from Texas, and the shuttering of federal agencies there, would mean Texas would become a hotbed for potential terror threats entering the country, especially in those starting weeks and months where the State would struggle to no end to secure their borders. Terrorists looking to infiltrate the United States might see Texas as a golden gateway to the U.S., and that could prove pretty harrowing long-term.
Texas’ new right-wing government would look like a conservative wet dream, for a time anyway. Many of America’s more radical conservatives would flock to Texas — the ones who could afford to move, anyway — and the State’s government would be overrun with people who think of Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, and Ted Cruz as “great contemporary thinkers.” They’d install a theocratic, hard-right, fanatical Christian government. Texas wouldn’t last long as an independent nation, but if they somehow managed to make it twenty years, it would look more like Iran than the United States.
How would the “Texit” affect the U.S. economy? Texas ranks 24th for dependency on the US government, and takes more from the federal government than they give. So while Texas could stand on their own financially, the US government wouldn’t really take as big a financial hit as some Texas secessionists like to claim. Texas does export a lot, and the United States would feel that loss, to say nothing of how insecure Texas’ ports would be in the first several weeks and months. But overall, the US would survive, and we’d fair better than Texas would long-term.
Of course, “long-term” isn’t something that would ever come to matter, because Texas has no legal right to secede from the United States to begin with. Their successful secession would result in a civil war, unless the U.S. Congress voted to sever ties with Texas amicably. But throw some ice on those freedom boners, Texas conservatives: a Civil War wouldn’t go down the way you think it would.
The United States military would pull out of Texas, leaving bases empty and barren. Those soldiers who abandoned the military to join the secession, as few and far between as they’d be, wouldn’t be leaving their bases with tanks or helicopters.
Texas would need to form a new army as quickly as possible, but with no real equipment, no infrastructure, and limited communications capabilities, Texas’ forces would more resemble a clan of Wildlings from Game of Thrones than a proper professional army, especially when drones, tanks, and Apache helicopters start cresting hilltops. It wouldn’t take long for the United States to take Texas back. And our military has had a whole lot of practice fighting in the desert, too.
Texit Isn’t Going To Happen, And You Don’t Want It To Happen, Either
Texas isn’t going to secede. And if they did manage to pull it off somehow, it would create a myriad of lose-lose situations that the people who remained in Texas would very quickly come to regret. The United States government would never allow a secession to happen, the people of Texas don’t want it to happen, and even if those enormous hurdles could be cleared, you’d be left with a Civil War that Texas would have absolutely no hope in the chilliest corner of Hell of winning.