Still, all of this leads us back to a legal question: Can they do it? Texas lore claims that the permission to secede is woven into the state’s founding documents. Well, yes and no. The Texas Annexation Agreement of 1845 does say that the state has the right to split into as many as five separate states should it so choose — wouldn’t that make Harry Reid’s head spin? — and the Texas Constitution does say that “the maintenance of our free institutions and the perpetuity of the Union depend upon the preservation of the right of local self-government, unimpaired to all the States,” … but there is no get-out-of-jail-free card.
The counterargument, of course, is that Texas doesn’t need to look to its own history. It can look to America’s. After all, didn’t America secede, as it were, from Great Britain? And doesn’t the first line of our own Declaration of Independence defend a people’s God-given right to assume their own “separate and equal station” under the law?
Time to check that petition again.
68,707 … and counting.
Bob Smiley is a TV/film writer and the author of Don’t Mess with Travis, a book that has been heralded as “incisive and derisive,” and “one of the year’s best.” You can reach him at [email protected].
Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that an independent Texas would have the tenth-highest GDP in the world. It would actually have the thirteenth highest.