Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Grey Lady Stirs Up the Dregs

On 23 November, the New York Times published a brief article describing how unhappy Republicans have piled onto the secession bandwagon like the a mob of political lemmings in the aftermath of Obama's re-election.

We probably wouldn't have known or cared, but because they included a live link to the TexasSecede website, we received a smattering of good old yankee hate mail, dripping with profanity, abuse and all-around contempt — but (surprise!) reflecting little or no knowledge of history, law or America's tradition of secession.

The article observes that "Few of the public calls for secession have addressed the messy details, like what would happen to the state’s many federal courthouses, prisons, military bases and parklands." But there's no reason to believe those 'messy details' couldn't be resolved in the same manner sought by the seceding states in 1860: They simply offered to compensate the federal government for any property within their borders to which it had lawful claim.

Likewise, Manny Fernandez, the article's author says "no one has asked the Texas residents who received tens of millions of dollars in federal aid after destructive wildfires last year." But why should they? Mr. Fernandez appears to be unaware that the Texas economy is one of the largest and most rapidly growing economies in the US, yielding the second highest gross state national product out of all fifty [source]. As of 2005 Texans were receiving 94¢ in federal "aid" for every $1.00 they paid in federal taxes. A separate Texas would appear destined to suffer little in the absence of that federal "aid" trade-off.

Like so many fans of American statism, Fernandez and the gaggle of Texas haters his article drew from the woodwork seem oblivious to the real world logistical and economical plausibility of an independent Texas. Sure, it's easy to mock and ask 'hard questions', but these folks seem conspicuously silent (or downright absent) in the face of sound, thoughtful answers. (And they say Texans are hard to take seriously.)