Texas Secessionists Drawn to GOP Thanks To Islamophobia & Immigration

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Texas Nationalist Movement claims more than 200,000 members and it is trying mightily to get at least 75,000 of them to sign their petition to get a vote for independence on the 2016 Republican Party primary ballot.

They liken their movement to other pushes for independence, most recently in Scotland. This isn’t their first attempt, but their prospects look much brighter in this very contentious Presidential year.

The Texas GOP’s Communications Director Aaron Whitehead thumbed his nose at the idea saying he would treat it the same as “a resolution giving everybody a unicorn.” It would certainly be like giving every Democrat one!

The GOP is rolling its eyes, but they’re no doubt sweating around their collars. The same rhetoric that has sustained Donald Trump at the top of polls is what’s also attracting so many to the idea of secession — fear of immigrants, islamophobia and a distrust of the federal government.

It is easy to see why, since sometimes the Parislamophibic tweetty just can’t help itself. This tweet by the Travis County Republican Party was deleted, but not before the Texas Freedom Network could get a screen grab. They also wrote a blog post about the article it linked too.

According to Texas Monthly, by March, 2015 was already a tough year for Muslims. “Obama is a socialist, Islamist apologist, America-hating radical,” pinned Cory Wise of Freedom Texas. He has also served as Executive Director of the Texas Nationalist Movement. He appeared on Fox News back in 2013 to talk about how membership has spiked since Obama was reelected because people were “frightened.” And they have sought to use every GOP dog whistle for recruitment.

There was a White House petition for secession that received over 100,000 signatures but they didn’t take credit — because they don’t need the federal government’s permission. But as promised the White House responded, and as suspected, the answer was no.

But when someone gets riled up under the principle that they are being repressed, “no” isn’t an answer they are willing to accept…from anyone. That includes the GOP, and this is the hard lesson they are learning as they watch seasoned Governors wallow in the shallow polls or drop their presidential bids altogether.

This monster is of the GOP’s own creation and it will no longer just leave the cage to vote and return to hibernate for another cycle. It has tasted blood and it will bite the hand that feeds it because at the end of the day — it’s still red meat.

“We have had our hand slapped,” Miller said according to the Texas Tribune. “We have been rebuffed, and not just us as an organization, but essentially anyone in any position inside the party that has advocated for this position has been rebuffed.”

Remember when RNC tried to slap down Donald Trump with help from Fox News in the first debate? That proved disastrous to the point that they had to broker a deal to back off if he pledged not to run as an Independent.

The RNC has watched as its deep bench of long serving governors goes down in flames for trying to temper the divisive tone of candidates resonating with the base. Now the TRP is falling into the same trap by greeting the grassroots conservatives in TNM with as much disdain and contempt as the RNC showed the Donald.

“Historically the executive committee of the Republican Party has chosen what goes on this,” Whitehead said, “and it’s party preference that it stays that way.”

Explaining that party insiders decide what goes on the ballot either a bad case of tone deafness or an ill-advised challenge. Yesterday was #NationalVoterRegistrationDay and instead of trolling Battleground Texas, maybe the Texas GOP should be careful what it wishes for.

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About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin.

He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin.

He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold’em and commuting on his electric skateboard.

Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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