Monday, October 19, 2009

Hell or Texas? The John Randolph Club Scholarship Prompt, 2009

This essay was written in response to the John Randolph Club’s scholarship question for 2009: “At a Tea Party in April, Governor Rick Perry declared to wild cheers that Texas had the right to secede from the United States. Was this remark imprudent political posturing, a courageous assertion of States’ rights, or something else altogether?

For more information about the John Randolph Club, please click here.

“You may all go to hell; I will go to Texas.”

-Davy Crockett, on departing to join the defenders of the Alamo

Governor Rick Perry’s remark about the legal possibility of the secession of Texas at one of the so-called “Tea Parties” in April 2009 was political posturing at its best, but what was perhaps more sad were the cheers that duped “conservatives” gave in response to it. To claim something as a legal right or possibility which has no basis in reality is a delusion unworthy of people who claim that they are guided by an enduring moral order. But to understand Governor Perry’s remark, you have to understand the sort of event he was attending.

Governor Perry was attending one of the “Tea Parties” of 2009. Allegedly named after the famous Boston Tea Party, these gatherings proved to be a motley collection of “angry” people, who brought effigies of the President, questioned his place of birth, and kept saying the word “socialism.” Of course, this was a one-day stunt. The “revolutionary” sheep obediently went back to their jobs the next day where they continued to be oppressed by their “socialist” “illegitimate” president. If the Tea Parties had had any sort of real backbone to them, they could have marshaled together and, so close to the IRS filing deadline, demanded an actual accounting of the bailout from Ben Bernanke, who impudently responded “No” when asked by a member of Congress if he would disclose which banks had received money from the government (read: us and our children’s children’s children) and what amounts they had received. This demand from a truly angry, truly organized group of citizens, could have been linked to a refusal to pay income taxes until such an accounting was had. Could you imagine the government trying to prosecute hundreds of thousands of middle-class families because they demanded an accounting from their government? That would have been a media event. That would have spoken truth to power. That would have been a party worth having, and worth joining, at that.

Yet, while the people missed their opportunity to make a statement, the politicians did not miss theirs. Governor Rick Perry, who has attended Bilderberg Group meetings in possible violation of the Logan Act, hardly the actions of a traditional states’ rights conservative (and Texan, for that matter) called the attendees of the “tea parties” “patriots,” and “right-wing extremists” that he was “proud” to be affiliated with, and in an exemplification of the political gobbledygook of our day, said, “"We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their (sic) nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot." So, Governor Perry, we might secede, but probably not, but, who knows? Who knows, indeed.

Rick Perry’s milquetoast speechifying aside, it seems that no one is willing to claim that Texas has an explicit right to secede. Now, Texas has the original implicit right to secede which was guaranteed by the Constitution and further articulated in the “compact theory” of that document formulated and defended by John C. Calhoun. That same right was forcefully and criminally repudiated by Abraham Lincoln and the Northern States during the War to Prevent Southern Independence. Even if that implicit right had not been explicitly repudiated (which it has) by that War, the Texans of today completely lack the mettle necessary to reclaim such a right.

Not only has the state (first under Governor Bush, then under Governor Perry) allowed its borders to be forcefully invaded by illegal aliens, and has further allowed those aliens to be aggressively subsidized by the Texas taxpayers, while their lawbreaking is given a blind eye as that alien population’s reproductive rates force ascendancy over the dying native population; not only has it played a driving role in NAFTA and the new NAFTA superhighway that may one day pass through my home in Overland Park, Kansas; not only has it given us one of the worst, least conservative, most imperialist Presidents in the history of the “republic;” this state simply lacks the political will to defend its sovereign rights. And true to the modern political paradigm that the media mistakes for the “conservative” movement in America, Rick Perry gave this red meat to the rabble; said rabble all went home at the end of the day, to return to their jobs the next, a whole lot of grumbling and “anger” out of their system. The liberals reacted in shock and horror to the inarticulate hillbillies, and the 24-hour news channels earned their keep for a few days, not yet having Michael Jackson to gab about.

Political posturing? Perhaps. But it looks like such weak words from a weak statesman from a state weak with internal poisoning by an invading population have come to pass for “defending rights” in a state that hosts a memorial to the consequences of ideas: The Alamo.

Oh, Mr. Crockett, would that we could go to Texas. I fear all we have left is Hell.

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