Texas Republicans dream of independence again

A referendum in favor of “Texit” was the subject of a bill in 2021 at the initiative of the Texan Republican Party. After the failure of this text, the party reiterated its request during the Republican convention of Texas, which was held in Houston from June 16 to 18. Party officials called on citizens to vote for Texas independence from the United States.

► Oppose government policy

The background: Texan Republicans are challenging the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s 2020 election, accusing him of voter fraud. They also claim that the federal government has encroached on the right of the Texas state to self-govern. For these reasons, the Republican Party wishes to question the Texans, using a vote, on their will to secede with the United States. “We cannot compromise with Democrats who have a different and incompatible vision of our future,” said Matt Rinaldi, chairman of the Republican Party in the state. The date of the ballot is not yet known, but it could be put on the agenda for next year.

► The myth of independence

The secession project is recurrent in Texas. It resurfaces as soon as a Democratic president is elected to lead the country. This had already been the case in 2008 after the election of Barack Obama. This is due to the history of Texas, which separated from Mexico City in 1836 and tasted independence for nine years, before joining the United States in 1845. It then became the seventh state to secede in 1861, during the civil war, and definitively joined the United States of America in 1870. Today, some say that the secessionist approach is more a political posture than a real project to materialize.

► A secession contrary to the Constitution

In the event of a declaration of independence by Texas, this state could survive thanks to its resources. Its economic power is based primarily on the exploitation of oil and natural gas, but also on high-tech industry. It is the first exporting state of the country, which has risen among the most important economies in the world.

Nevertheless, his project of independence seems compromised. The Supreme Court specifies, according to its decision “Texas v. White” of 1868, that the secession of a state is “unconstitutional”, and the judges thus consider that the Confederate States never left the United States during the Civil War. Before specifying that a State has only two ways to leave the United States: the “state consent” or the ” revolution “. This would then trigger potential political violence. A disaster scenario that seems difficult to imagine.

Several specialists believe that this desire for independence is the consequence of an escalation in the rhetoric of violence. The assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, is an example of this. Republicans would “normalize” extremist rhetoric, pushing far-right groups to go ever further. Hence the fear that similar events will occur in the run up to the midterm elections in November 2022.

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