Recently, Heather Cox Richardson, his­to­ry pro­fes­sor at Boston College, report­ed that the Texas Republican Party plat­form includ­ed call­ing for a vote “for the peo­ple of Texas to deter­mine whether or not the State of Texas should reassert its sta­tus as an inde­pen­dent nation.”  It seems that the idea of the seces­sion of Texas rais­es its head near­ly every year.

The fol­low­ing com­men­tary was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in 2009 and has been mod­i­fied only to bring some of the con­tem­po­rary play­ers into the picture.

It prob­a­bly wouldn’t be so bad for the rest of this coun­try to have Texas secede.  Of course, we’d have to sus­pend con­struc­tion of the fence between Texas and Mexico and move it north to sep­a­rate Texas from New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.  When that hap­pens, the Texas pan­han­dle should be incor­po­rat­ed into Oklahoma, just so that state won’t have such an odd shape. 

Of course, that would place Amarillo in Oklahoma, but Texas is too big any­way and can afford to lose a lit­tle sec­tion.  The oth­er pos­i­tive aspect of annex­ing the pan­han­dle to Oklahoma would be that the U.S. would still have good access cross coun­try via Interstate 40, which fol­lows the route of old U.S. 66 across that sec­tion of Texas, with­out hav­ing to pass through a for­eign nation.

Also, the U.S. wouldn’t have to send anoth­er bil­lion dol­lars into Texas the next time a hur­ri­cane wipes out the Gulf coast.

Look, what has Texas done for the U.S. recent­ly?  Texas gave us three pres­i­dents, none of whom was very com­pe­tent at the job — and it pro­vid­ed a place where the last pres­i­dent to be assas­si­nat­ed was shot down.  Texas has also giv­en us Ted Cruz, sev­er­al Congressmen who left in dis­grace, (Jim Wright and Tom DeLay), and Enron.  And of course, vir­tu­al­ly every tor­na­do that twists its way across the heart­land is spawned in Texas.  If Texas secedes, maybe we can impose an import duty on all tor­na­dos which orig­i­nate there and enter our territory.

It would be pret­ty cost­ly to build a fence to sep­a­rate Texas from the rest of us, but if all Texans are as para­noid as the Texas leg­is­la­ture, we can prob­a­bly con­vince them that the U.S. is about to invade and they will like­ly foot the bill for the fence.

Naturally, fol­low­ing seces­sion, it will be nec­es­sary for this coun­try to thor­ough­ly vet all the res­i­dents there before we could ever be expect­ed to issue any visas for them to come here since they would no longer be legal res­i­dents of the U.S.  And we might even end up treat­ing Texas like Cuba and sim­ply refuse to do any busi­ness with them.

The Dallas Cowboys would have to form a new league in their new­ly inde­pen­dent coun­try and they would be no more like­ly to play against U.S. teams than would the Canadians.  The oth­er pro­fes­sion­al sports teams — the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, Houston Texans, San Antonio Spurs, and Texas Rangers — would all be out in the cold or look­ing to play oth­er teams in their new “coun­try.”  Boy, would that be a hit on the pros­per­i­ty of their pro­fes­sion­al sports!

The rest of the coun­try would be a bit rich­er when 38 Texas con­gress­men are removed from the fed­er­al pay­roll.  At $174,000 per per­son, the U.S. would be $6,612,000 rich­er every year. And con­sid­er­ing how many nat­ur­al dis­as­ters strike Texas and require fed­er­al funds to fix, we would prob­a­bly be in the plus col­umn.  And it’s hard to see the down­side of hav­ing 24 few­er Republican mem­bers of the House and two few­er Republican sen­a­tors, espe­cial­ly when one of those is Ted Cruz.

Texas should fare pret­ty well as an inde­pen­dent coun­try.  There are 193 coun­tries that are small­er in area than Texas, includ­ing France and Germany, and that would only change by 5 coun­tries, with the pan­han­dle giv­en to Oklahoma.

Perhaps the only down­side would be that Texans (or what­ev­er they choose to call their new coun­try) would be able to claim brag­ging rights for hav­ing the only three for­eign­ers ever elect­ed pres­i­dent of the United States.

  • Chuck Witt

    Chuck is a retired archi­tect, a for­mer news­pa­per colum­nist, and a life­long res­i­dent of Winchester.