The last election cycle that really had to consider the threat of secession was over 150 years ago. That one, in 1860, pitted Abraham Lincoln against John Breckinridge.
Lincoln won, but didn’t do a great job convincing states not to depart America. Pretty much right after he was elected, every state in the South left the Union.
Now, in 2016, presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will have to campaign with that same threat looming over their head. Sort of. Fucking Texas.
Texas Republicans are meeting this weekend for their state convention, and secession is on the agenda.
In the lead up to the convention, somewhere between 10-20 counties in Texas voted to bring the topic of secession up for discussion. From the Houston Chronicle:
A handful of Texas Republican district or county conventions in March passed resolutions calling for a vote on secession, paving the way for a potentially awkward debate at the state GOP conference in May.
A Nederland-based pro-independence activist group, the Texas Nationalist Movement, said at least 22 of the hundreds of conventions passed secession items. Texas GOP chairman Tom Mechler said he “would be very surprised” if that many had indeed passed the conventions.
There are over 250 counties in Texas, so regardless of how many exactly voted for it, it’s still an extremely small minority. But it’s enough to get the topic on the state-wide agenda.
Delegates at state convention for the Republican Party of Texas will have a chance to vote on Texas secession, after a platform item calling for independence passed a special committee on Wednesday morning. It is not expected to pass, but represents a substantial achievement for proponents of a Lone Star nation.
The Washington Post reports that the majority of Texas Republicans, especially the leadership, are adamantly against the idea.
Texas Republicans think that the secession movement is unrealistic and unconstitutional and that it opens them up to Democratic attacks that they’re wasting their time on extreme ideas instead of actually governing the state.
The motion will almost assuredly fail, but if Hillary wins? Oh, man, they’ll leave the Union before she even gives her victory speech.
At least they are getting prepared.
[Via The Washington Post]