The following is a transcript of the remarks delivered by Texas Nationalist Movement President Daniel Miller at a press conference at the Texas Capitol on May 11, 2021. The press conference marked the kick-off of the TNM’s Virtual Committee Hearing on House Bill 1359, the Texas Independence Referendum Act.
You can watch the video below the transcript.
My name is Daniel Miller and I’m President of the Texas Nationalist Movement.
On August 24, 1996, I personally pledged to work for the political, cultural, and economic independence of Texas. This culminated in the formation of the TNM in 2005 and the work done by our organization has brought us here today.
At the beginning of this legislative session, Representative Kyle Biedermann brought the discussion of Texas becoming a self-governing independent nation to its next phase by filing House Bill 1359. This legislation did not propose independence, nor was it to give the people an up-or-down vote on withdrawing from the union – a TEXIT. Rather, it gave the people of Texas an opportunity to express their political will at the ballot box on forming a legislative committee to begin the process of planning how an orderly exit from the union could occur.
From “day one,” this legislation, Representative Biedermann, the TNM, and the entirety of the TEXIT movement have come under a barrage of misinformation, slurs, and aggression from the media and a political establishment who have actively fought placing such a fundamental question of governance in the hands of the people of Texas.
We have seen Texas voters, constituents of every elected official in this building, ridiculed, minimized, lied to, lied about, mistreated, dismissed, and vilified. Yet, our ranks have steadily grown.
Even with thousands upon thousands of calls and visits both in district offices and here at the Capitol, the Chairman of the State Affairs Committee, Chris Paddie, refused even to schedule this bill for a hearing. It is rare for a single piece of legislation to receive this much of an outpouring of support. However, to this day, Chairman Paddie has ignored the pleas of Texans and has not scheduled it for a hearing, effectively killing it for this session.
The only reason to not give this legislation a public hearing is to perpetuate the lie that TEXIT supporters are old, white, and uneducated. In short, the political establishment doesn’t want the world to see the true face of TEXIT.
Because of Paddie’s failure to give HB1359 a public hearing, the TNM took the unprecedented step of allowing stakeholders to record and submit their testimony for a virtual committee hearing. To our knowledge, nothing like this has ever been done. On May 3rd, we invited anyone who would have testified in an actual hearing to submit their video testimony. The response has been overwhelming. It shatters the common misconceptions about TEXIT supporters and should serve as a warning to the legislators who were so quick to dismiss these people.
If this testimony were given in an actual committee hearing, House Bill 1359 would go down as the most testified bill in legislative history. All of the testimony, which will be livestreamed after this press conference, played back-to-back, will be in excess of 15 hours and counting.
The testimony includes men and women, ages 14 to 89. There are farmers, ranchers, teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, and engineers. Oil & Gas workers, police officers, and other first responders. It includes current and former elected officials, current and former federal workers. They are Blue Collar and White Collar, business owners and hard-working Texans. It includes two former CIA agents and veterans from every branch and every armed conflict since World War 2. There are Republicans, Democrats, and Independents from the highly political to the apolitical.
Every socio-economic group and every ethnic background is represented. There are native Texans and Texans-by-choice. There are Texans living abroad. It also includes well-wishers from the Londoner who campaigned for Brexit to a young man from Jerusalem who looks to Texas to set a leadership example for the rest of the world and champion the causes of freedom and liberty. And there is heart-wrenching testimony from the father of a young man who was ruthlessly murdered as a result of the federal government’s failure on our southern border.
While these people may seem to have very little in common, they were definitely united in several key areas.
First, their universal praise and admiration for Representative Biedermann and his fellow legislators who championed their right to vote to begin the TEXIT process. They count them as heroes for simply believing in the right of the people to choose our political destiny.
They were also universal in their love of their families, friends, neighbors, and Texas as well as their strong belief in the principles of liberty and a constitutional republican form of government.
Second, they universally expressed their alarm over the course of the federal government, its failures on the border and immigration, the economic imbalances experienced by Texas as a part of the federal system, and the clear and present danger to our fundamental rights posed by the current ideologues in control of Washington, D.C.
Third, everyone, no matter whether they are for TEXIT or undecided on the issue made it very clear that they simply wanted the right to vote on it as guaranteed by Article 1 Section 2 of the Texas Constitution. They were also clear that they view any impediment to their ability to vote on this issue as a trampling of their fundamental and inalienable right to “reform, alter, or abolish their form of government” and would judge anyone hindering House Bill 1359 in such a light.
Finally, the people of Texas are tired of being treated like they are too stupid or ignorant to make their own decision about how they are governed. They are tired of being dismissed, mischaracterized, vilified, and denied. They are tired of gestures in the form of tersely worded resolutions and lawsuits. They are tired of seeing time carved out in a short legislative session on mustaches and mermaids while being told there is no time to address giving them a vote to determine their political destiny.
The fact is that the political leadership in this state is afraid to put this issue to the voters for one simple reason. If the people of Texas are asked to choose between reclaiming their right of self-government and a federal government that has failed Texans at every turn, they will choose TEXIT in overwhelming numbers.
It is not too late to right this wrong that has perpetrated against the people of Texas. Legislators can join our call to Governor Abbott as we ask him to add House BIll 1359 to the call for the anticipated special session in September. As we head into this next election cycle, the people have made it clear that they want a vote on TEXIT, and anyone seeking office will be judged solely on their support, opposition, or lack of support on House Bill 1359. They have been clear. There will either be a referendum on TEXIT or a referendum on the elected officials who stood in the way of the people and their right to vote.
In conclusion, let me say that it has been a privilege to be a part of giving a voice to the voiceless and to champion those who have been unjustly maligned and silenced. TEXIT supporters will not go away. They have been given a voice and will not stop until they get a choice.