Fort Worth Star-Telegram food blogger and self-proclaimed political commentator Bud Kennedy recently took a swipe at the growing movement for TEXIT. One academic decided to swipe back.
Historian and author, Dr. Brion McClanahan dedicated an entire podcast to dissecting and systematically destroying Bud Kennedy’s column. In doing so, he makes a strong defense of Texas Independence.
The power of McClanahan’s show elevates the conversation about secession above the current political noise and rhetoric. McClanahan reviews an op-ed article from the Fort Worth Star Telegram to point out the lack of historical knowledge and the lack of intellectual understanding of constitutionalism that drives the liberals’ attack on Texas Independence.
The op-ed article is titled, “Remember the Alamo!– but forget secession,” and McClanahan reminds all of us that “Remember the Alamo” was the cry of a secession movement as Texas won its independence from Mexico. As indicated by the title, the op-ed article offers no substantive arguments and instead sticks to the pattern of trivializing the Texas Independence movement and denigrating its followers, accompanied by a healthy dose of fear-mongering.
Texas can’t secede – that’s illegal!
The article claims that secession is illegal. This is a common jab by TEXIT opponents, who point to the Civil War, and McClanahan disagrees. Any state can secede, regardless of what happened from 1861 to 1865. The founders worried about secession because they thought it was perfectly legal and a real possibility.
The Articles of Confederation may have created a “perpetual union,” but McClanahan points out that every contract is perpetual unless you assign a time frame. Without an end date, the contract lasts as long as all parties agree. Within five years of ratifying the Constitution, New England was talking about leaving – these were men of the founding generation who acknowledged that leaving was legal.
McClanahan then discusses the legalities of Texas Independence with the same constitutional defense the Texas Nationalist Movement has researched and promoted for decades. Article 1 Section 10 of the Constitution outlines specifically what the States cannot do – secession did not make the list. If the founders wanted to make sure states could not secede, they would have added that language to the document.
TNM’s articles on constitutionality, as well as the Texas v. White Supreme Court case, can be found here: Can Texas Leave the Union?
You’re peddling rebellion!
A main point McClanahan makes in response to the claim of “rebellion” is that Americans no longer have a full understanding of independence or self-determination. This nation is intended to be of the people, by the people, and for the people.
The Texas Constitution deems all political power to be inherent in the people and empowers Texans to alter or abolish their government as they see fit. It is the narrative of the modern, power-hungry, political elite to brand people as rebellious for defending a republican form of government. The Texas Nationalist Movement, through the endorsement and courage of Rep. Kyle Biedermann, is calling for a public referendum – giving the people a voice, a public debate, and a vote.
What McClanahan drives home, and what TEXIT supporters understand, is that secession is the final check in a system built on checks and balances. This is the final threat by the States to stand up to unconstitutional federal power.
Many people join the TEXIT movement because of this passion for a constitutional government and the belief that the United States government is broken. McClanahan gives credence to the idea that people can love America yet be in favor of secession. The op-ed article mocks Rep. Kyle Biedermann for saying he loves America.
A compelling moment in the podcast is a reflection on Texas history: William Barrett Travis, in his famous letter calling for reinforcements for the Alamo, wrote that this is for the American character – the character of Independence. Texas Independence is tied to the character of America.
Texans love America, and many want to leave to preserve the good of America. The founders, when leaving Britain, wanted to preserve the values of Britain by leaving the crown that was abusing their liberties.
The best line in the entire podcast – “If you can’t leave, you’re not free.”
“Bubbas going bug-eyed wild.”
As a running theme in the op-ed article, people who support TEXIT are characterized as lunatics and “flag-waving, chest-beating” Bubbas. What else is new? When they cannot defeat the argument, they attack the person.
McClanahan takes this head-on and defends Rep. Biedermann for owning an Ace Hardware store. Somehow, owning a business that provides jobs and supports the community, while simultaneously serving the people as a Representative, is something that needs defending.
If we secede, we will lose everything!
McClanahan dubs liberals as the writers of doom. Supporters of TEXIT are used to seeing the fear tactics. If Texas secedes they will lose everything, the article raves – jobs, airlines, pensions, property.
Why would Texas citizens lose pensions? If you retire with a federal pension and move to a different country, you do not lose your federal pension. What about the postal service – someone thinks Texas would not come up with its own postal service? Airlines would not continue to fly to Texas, even though they fly to every other country in the world?
And the major horror – Texas would have to take on “its share” of the national debt. But how much does Texas actually owe? TEXIT supporters know the out-of-control federal debt is the best reason for a national divorce – the sooner the better.
McClanahan embraces the concept of open-ended solutions and negotiations. He emphasizes the importance of having full-bodied discussions about TEXIT – the feasibility and the benefits – instead of dismissing and mocking the independence movement.
Thoughtful commentary from The Brion McClanahan Show and others is needed to continue to elevate the discussion of Texas Independence past the political rhetoric. We need to reinvigorate a curiosity for our history until Texas once again lifts its head and stands among the nations.
You can listen to Dr. McClanahan’s full take-down of Kennedy’s smear piece below.