By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Maybe we unionists are being hasty. Maybe we should let Texas secede.
Think about what life in Texas would be like if its pandering governor has his way.
The new nation would have to raise an Army and a Navy and an Air Force from scratch, of course. For the first few years, if it didn't want to be gobbled up by Mexico or intimidated by the hugely irritated United States to the north, there would probably have to be confiscatory taxation, and a draft of a million or so healthy men and women over 18, just to guard its thousands of miles of borders. The drug violence and corruption in Mexico would quickly move north and permeate the new nation. Loyal Americans would no doubt launch a resistance movement. Under such conditions, in this militaristic state, we can assume that certain "adjustments" would be made in civil liberties.
So, high taxes and repressive government. Texas could play its hand like Cuba, and become a satellite of China or Russia, and save money on defense that way, but that sort of defeats the purpose of independence, no? Isn't escaping "socialism" the whole point?
With all that local tax money going to defense, the state's schools and roads and bridges and medical infrastructure would suffer. Agribusiness and ranchers and old folks and colleges would decline as well. No more of that dreaded U.S. federal aid.
I presume that more than a few of Houston's wealthy lawyers and doctors and Dallas financiers would decide that the ol' US of A isn't so bad a place, after all, and discover the charms of Colorado and New Mexico. So brain drain would be a problem. Offshore accounts and tax evasion would flourish.
As for manufacturing, Texas doesn't really make anything important by itself anymore. Its oil fields are pretty much tapped. We in the states would be taking back NASA and closing all our military bases, of course. I suppose that, until the American states along the Gulf build up their ports, Houston and Galveston might limp along for a while. But the U.S. embargo on Texas imports, in the long run, would empty those docks.
Austin would be an interesting case. Would its liberal software designers, musicians, University of Texas faculty and filmmakers stay with Texas? Or secede, in turn, from Texas and rejoin the United States? Or become a kind of laid-back Switzerland, playing both countries against each other?
Once you start down this secession road, all sorts of things can happen. Think about San Antonio and south Texas—heavily populated by Mexican-Americans. There are so many minorities in Texas, in fact, that put all together they make up the majority. Like California, today's Texas is a majority-minority state.
How long will the Texas majority be content to be ruled by a minority of idiotic right-wing rednecks who are ruining their economy and forfeiting their liberties and giving up the blessings of belonging to the greatest and richest nation, and brightest beacon of freedom, in the world?
As for the rest of us, we in America would miss the wonderful sly humor, the rich culture, the courage and patriotism and poetry of our brothers and sisters in Texas. The benefits that this great state bring us far outweigh the burdens—the Dallas Cowboys, W, Roger Clemens—that we sometimes have to endure.
America would not be the same without you.
On Facebook? You can keep up with Thomas Jefferson Street blog postings through Facebook's Networked Blogs.