Is the TEXIT Movement gaining momentum?
America has serious problems, and some are likely to remain for quite awhile. Our deep political divide is, perhaps, the most consequential of those issues. Not since 1860 have we seen so many Americans so unwilling to accept the legitimacy of lawfully elected public officials.
When then President George W. Bush won re-election in 2004, there was a spike in U.S. Internet searches relating to Canadian and EU citizenship as some, deeply opposed to Bush’s policies, bantered about moving to Canada or Europe in the election’s aftermath.
Today, unfortunately, Americans’ unwillingness to cope with election results has moved to secessionist levels, literally.
When your party loses control of the government by fair elections you not only insist there was fraud, but you also threaten to leave the Union. Perhaps that’s the new trend these days? It’s certainly the objective for many of former president Donald Trump’s hardcore supporters.
Enter Texas (or TEXIT Movement).
Although officials in Wyoming, Florida, and Mississippi have floated the idea of secession recently, only Texas seems to be taking real action.
Some Texas state lawmakers are considering a Brexit-style departure from the United States due to the presumed impending doom and loss of individual liberties that awaits under the new Biden Administration.
In fact, a secession bill will likely be voted on by the Texas legislature this year.
“Just like so much of Trumpian America, secession in places like Texas is rooted in a combination of nativism, xenophobia and white racial grievance,” said NBC columnist Casey Michel.
“Just like the Confederates before them, this modern secessionist ethos is rooted at least in large part in maintaining white supremacy and authoritarian governance, regardless of the costs.”
But as we saw in Georgia and Arizona in last year’s election results – presidential and senatorial – attitudes are changing in some parts of the country…. and especially in Texas.
Anyone with a background with campaign polling and demographics can see what’s happening in the Lonestar State. Not long ago a pillar of conservativism, Texas is increasingly moving left ideologically.
Perhaps that’s why some public officials there are beating the drum for secession, now?
Unlike states that will remain deeply conservative for the foreseeable future, such as Mississippi Alabama, Wyoming and Idaho, right wing conservatism and Republicanism in general may already be on borrowed time in Texas.
In five more years, don’t be surprised if Texas is blue a la Virginia, a diversely populated southern state that was reliably Republican for decades prior to 2008. That stated, don’t expect Texas to be emphatically liberal either, such as Massachusetts and California, anytime soon. However, look for the majority of voters in the state in the not-too-distant future to shun right wing politics and Trumpism for leaders who are, regardless of party affiliation, politically moderate.
According to a poll released in February 2021 and conducted by the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are more favorable in Texas than former President Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, the state’s junior U.S. senator.
Biden, who boasted a 57 percent approval rating nationwide via Gallup, notched approval/disapproval percentage scores of 41/42 in the aforementioned poll released Friday while Harris sat at 39/43.
Those numbers aren’t overly impressive but much better than scores posted by Donald Trump, 39/51, and Ted Cruz, 38/47.
But that’s just one poll, right?
In the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Presidential Elections, Republican George W. Bush carried the state by over 20 percentage points. And in 2008 and 2012, Republicans John McCain and Mitt Romney earned Lonestar wins over Barack Obama well into double digits.
However, after Donald Trump defeated rival Hillary Clinton there by only 9 percentage points in 2016, many started to wonder if the state’s days as a GOP stronghold were numbered; and those concerns were supported last year when Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden narrowed the gap even more, losing the state by just 5.5 percentage points.
A friend living in San Antonio called me the day after the 2020 election and stated, “I don’t ever remember it taking so long for the presidential winner of Texas to be announced.”
And let’s not forget that Sen. Ted Cruz, in the state’s 2018 U.S. Senate race which garnered mainstream national interest, defeated popular opponent Beto O’Rourke by just 2.6 percentage points.
And lastly, although we’re seeing demographic shifts nationwide they’re happening faster in Texas and Florida. In the Lonestar State, for example, Whites comprised 62 percent of the state’s voting electorate in 2000 but only 51 percent in 2018. Conversely, Hispanics there jumped from 22 to 30 percent while Asians doubled (4%) in the same period.
Hispanics are, by far, the youngest major racial / ethnic group in the United States. In fact, Pew Research found that nearly six-in-ten Hispanics are Millennials or younger. And even Blacks, as a racial demographic, are much younger than Whites who are the oldest racial or ethnic group.
That’s bad news for right wingers because their ‘bread and butter’ supporters tend to be white and, of far less numerical consequence, Hispanics of Cuban descent. By 2028 or sooner, strong conservatives will have difficulty competing in high-profile races in Texas if the demographics trend continues as expected and the GOP fails to bring more minorities under its tent.
And while Trump performed better than expected among Blacks and Hispanics in 2020 – in Texas and elsewhere – Biden still won 89 and 67 percent of Lonestar Black and Latino voters, respectively. And even among Whites, Biden garnered 33 percent, seven percentage points more than his Democratic predecessor four years prior.
Today, Texas lawmakers who favor a “TEXIT” secession are likely in the minority and several years from now the idea will probably be totally fringe at best should their initial attempts sputter in 2021.
Texas, despite its secession attempt, isn’t the bastion of conservatism it once was and is trending away from the MAGA mindset. As a result, the TEXIT Movement must play a game of ‘Beat the Clock’ in order to sew as much discord as possible, as fast as possible.
Secession is illegal and not likely to happen sans something extraordinary. Hence, although the U.S. Constitution does not directly address the secession of states, the Supreme Court ruled, in Texas v. White (1869), that states cannot unilaterally secede, except through revolution or via the expressed consent of the other States.Tags: texas, texit