Editor’s note: The following article is the first chapter of a new book by Scott Winston Dragland, titled Let My People Go: Why Texas Must Regain Its Independence. It is for sale on Amazon.
As long as Texas is part of the United States, the Texan people will be passengers on a sinking ship. The ship’s crew is drunk; the bilge pump is broken; the navigation equipment is broken; the captain is psychotic. The passengers’ only hope is that the lifeboats are still aboard, and that they still have time to abandon ship.
For over one hundred years, the Left has been weakening the sovereign States and strengthening the unelected, unaccountable federal bureaucracy. The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments, the New Deal, and the Great Society were all giant strides away from the constitutional federation that the Founders created, and towards an unconstitutional, monolithic super state. More recently, the Left has attacked the pillars of America, undermining families, churches, education, and small businesses. In 2020, the Democrat Party stole the presidential election. Shortly afterwards, the Supreme Court denied Texas judicial recourse, thereby abdicating its constitutional responsibility under Article III, Section 2. In 2021, the Biden administration opened the southern border to invasion, with the goal of importing millions of future Democrat voters, and transforming the United States into a one-party system similar to communist China.
For several decades, the conservative approach has been to attempt to restore the Federal Government back to its proper, constitutional boundaries. This battle is already lost. The people with their hands on the levers of power benefit from the deep state in its present form, and will jealously defend it against any attempts to diminish its size or scope. Because it is impossible to restore the Federal Government to its constitutional boundaries, most conservatives are merely fighting to save the status quo. It is a battle that cannot be won. In times past, when Republicans held the House, the Senate, and the White House, their main accomplishment was merely to delay the Leftist agenda. The Left’s project of consolidating total power in the federal regime continues. It can be delayed, but not stopped, and not reversed.
There is one way—and only one way—for Texans to secure the blessings of liberty for themselves and their posterity. That way is peaceful, lawful secession. Texas can legitimately and peacefully restore its national sovereignty. If Texans want their children and grandchildren to live free in a prosperous country, as they themselves lived, they need to regain their independence, while they still have the ability to do so.
The U.S. Constitution is a contract between the States. At the time of its ratification, James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, wrote in Federalist No. 39 that “Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act.” This contract holds the States together in a political Union. The glue that held the States together in a “spiritual Union” was a set of shared principles, which were expressed in the Declaration of Independence. I refer to America’s founding principles—Limited Government, Unalienable Rights, and the Rule of Law—as Americanism. The Union is a body politic; Americanism is a body of moral and legal principles. Though most people confuse the two, Americanism is not the same thing as the Union.
The principles of Americanism are under serious and continual attack, not least from the political elites in Washington, D.C. The principles of Americanism must be nurtured and defended against these attacks. We ought to measure the Union’s efficacy by considering whether it accomplishes this purpose.
I do not advocate secession from the cultural or spiritual America; I advocate secession from the Union of States. On the one hand, the word America is loaded with meaning—America encompasses our history, culture, laws, language, and founding principles. On the other hand, the Union ought to be a constitutional federation of sovereign republics, with some of their sovereign powers delegated to the central government. However, if the States are sovereign-in-name-only, then the Union is a union-in-name-only. In practice, the Union has become an illegally-constituted monolithic nation-state. The only way for Texas to save Americanism is to leave the Union.
The Constitution has not failed; it has been made inoperable by those who willfully disregard it. The Constitution is inoperable, because it is almost universally ignored by the federal bureaucrats and politicians who hold power. That is why misty-eyed “loyalty to the Union” is a well-intentioned but misguided delusion—it is effectively loyalty to an out-of-control federal regime that is destroying America. President Trump’s main accomplishment was exposing our true state of affairs. The Left is moving rapidly and aggressively to establish a totalitarian regime. If the Right continues to resist feebly, at the slow, cautious pace to which it is accustomed, it will surely lose.
What shall we do? Shall we attempt to return to federalism? A return to federalism might sound attractive to those of a conservative disposition, but it is not possible. The Federal Government is too entrenched and too powerful. The abolition of our liberties has happened within the context of a Union-in-name-only. The Federal Government is corrupt; a corrupt government cannot, and will not, reform itself. The misguided notion of “loyalty to the Union” is loyalty to a Union that no longer exists, and will never exist again.
Peaceful, lawful secession will give Texans control over their own destinies.