In part one of our interview with Daniel Miller, he discussed his motivations for writing his book, how Texit is faring with the GOP leading Washington, and that the border and immigration remain top concerns for Texans. In part two of our interview, Miller tackled the challenges facing the Texit movement, media contempt for Texas secession, and the possibility of an independent Texas becoming too big.
In this final segment, Daniel Miller touches on the lack of legitimate arguments against Texit, the behavior of Texit supporters, and the momentum it would give other secessionist movements.
LN: You list several arguments from Texit opponents, such as “Texit is illegal,” “They won’t let us,” and “Texit is too hard.” Do you think there are any legitimate arguments against secession?
DM: I would love to hear them. That’s the bottom line. You talked about at the very beginning how I’ve been engaged in this fight for 20-plus years – August 24, 1996. Those are the distillations of the arguments. They are the poorest of the poor. One of the motivations for writing the book is to force this issue and eliminate the ability for our opposition to skate on this issue. They get these free passes with these arguments which are the worst of the worst. It’s about time we had a real debate on the issue.
I think the real question here is – and why I’m so excited to talk about this in the book – is I’m ready to turn the tables. The Texit supporters have played defense for far too long. We’ve been at the receiving end of the opposition’s lame arguments almost since day. It’s time to flip the tables on those guys.
That’s why I put the question is, which is the question that they should be asked. The opposition should be asked: if Texas were an independent nation right now, why should we vote to enter the Union? I would love to hear them make that case. What is the appeal of $21 trillion worth of debt? Or incessant foreign military intervention. Or a porous border or a terrible immigration policy. Or living under a stack of federal laws that if you printed out the pages it would be taller than the Washington monument. What is the appeal of that? It’s time they start answering those questions.
LN: It would be safe to say that die hard Texit supporters are not pleased with fiat money and the U.S. dollar. Though you write that an independent Texas could adopt the Federal Reserve Note, do you think this could be an opportunity to finally establish currency backed by something tangible?
DM: Here is what I can tell you about this particular issue. Although I write about Texas potentially unilaterally adopting the U.S. dollar, I don’t personally believe, from what I’ve seen and trends I’ve observed, I don’t see that being a final stop for Texas. I think at the end of the day Texas will be on that forefront of adopting some type of currency that is pegged by something of real value. I don’t say that lightly or say that as something as a hope, wish or dream for me. I just see it as a trend. More and more people, not just in Texas, although it is pretty strong here, but in many places throughout the world are beginning to question the role of the central banks and the printing of fiat currency. I think the discussions and conversations over cryptocurrency have fueled that some of that discussion.
I firmly believe in the long-term we’re going to see, not just Texas, but more and more countries begin to have that conversation and start asking the question that most people don’t: what is money?
LN: You note that you have attended many local events and question-and-answer sessions and many times see Texit supporters, some of whom say “Texit is the only way to go,” but at the same time they’re draped in the U.S. flag. Do you think there’s a bit of an irony or a contradiction in this behavior if they’re advocating for secession?
DM: I think it’s a challenge. Even though I wrote about that in those terms, that doesn’t mean I don’t understand it. The fact of the matter is, if you go back to the section of the book where I talk about really what the United States is, or what the United States are, depending on your viewpoint, there is a mashup in the minds of people. There is this concept that says I love America, but then people are forced to accept that love of America as a love of the political and economic union or a love of the federal government or whatever. I think it’s important for us to separate those.
As I said, I understand where those people are coming from. They are draped in head to toe in the American gear not because of some love of the political or economic union or some love of policy but a love of the ideals on which the United States of America was founded, and in which have been long abandoned by the system that was created by. It’s odd, but it’s not beyond understanding where those people are in their mindsets.
LN: Do you think you will see secession in your lifetime?
DM: Absolutely. In the book, you notice that I contrast the age of the Texas Nationalist Movement with the Scottish push for independence, or the Catalans, or Brexit. And I do that on purpose. Not just to show the TNM and the movement proper is young, but to look at it and say: look at how far in this short amount of time we’ve come.
I was reflecting back. I was giving remarks the other day to an organization and I reminded them that back in 1996, and from the period of about 1996 to 2007, this issue of Texas independence was polling in single digits. It was small. We would go to speak to “crowds” of three or four people when we talked about this. It eventually bared fruit; the fact that we would talk to these people and we kept it alive. All of a sudden, we went from polling in single digits to, in 2018, claiming over half of Republicans in Texas, and half of Independents, and over a third of Democrats. That’s not insubstantial. The gains that we have made politically, the thought that this would be debated on the floor of the Republican state convention – the largest political convention in the world – was a distant dream back in the early days.
So, to answer your question, do I think I will see this in my lifetime? Absolutely I think I’ll see it in my lifetime. We’re on a trajectory to make that happen soon. But there are some things that have to happen for us to make that next level success. But when those pieces fall into place, it won’t be a matter of if, it will be a matter of when.
LN: Should Texit happen, how much could that help other states that are considering secession, like New Hampshire, South Carolina, and New England?
DM: It’s interesting. One of the other reasons I wrote this book was to give some insight to those people that are outside of Texas into what’s happening here. But more than that: to serve as information and inspiration for them. When you look at the 50 states, and you look specifically at the grievances that are highlighted in the book, the vast majority of those could very well apply to people in other states.
This is my encouragement to anyone. Not just here in Texas, but primarily to those outside of Texas that are looking at this book, is that if looking through the lens of Texit can help them explore the right of self-government in their state and begin to have those conversations, those hard conversations, about the relationship of their state within the Union then mission accomplished.
While writing a letter to James Madison in 1816, Thomas Jefferson outlined his support for secession. He wrote: “If any State in the Union will declare that it prefers separation with the first alternative to a continuance in union without it, I have no hesitation in saying ‘let us separate.’”
The U.S. maintains a long tradition of states’ rights and secession. Government-authored textbooks may present the false claim that secession is about promoting slavery, but secession is about self-determination and self-government. It is about exiting a Union that has metastasized into a monstrosity that ignores the constitution and imposes itself on 50 states.
The federal government is too big, too powerful, and too invasive. Texans love America, but they love the principles the nation was founded on, not so much the politicians on Capitol Hill, be it Republican or Democrat. Is it about time the Lone Star State went it alone and invoked its right to self-government?
The U.S. needs Texas more than Texas needs the U.S. So why does Texas even bother staying in the Union?
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