Texas Nationalists Capitalize On Jade Helm, Push Independence Vote On GOP Ballot

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In an act of coincidental genius (maybe), Texas Nationalists have launched a statewide “Take Texas Back” tour to gather signatures for “a referendum on Texas independence” to be placed on the 2016 Republican Primary ballot. The move comes right in the midst of right wing fears of an Obama takeover through the military exercise Jade Helm 15, and anger over resent Supreme Court decisions. The measure would be nonbinding but would add the call for a secession vote to the Texas GOP platform.

President of the Texas Nationalist Movement, Daniel Miller said, “TNM is growing massively” thanks a string of Supreme Court decisions he said is reminding Texans that, “we can and will continue to be overruled from afar,” and that, “ the only way to secure the political, cultural and economic future for Texas is independence.”

Like Donald Trump, TNM is capitalizing off of the fear sown by years of fear mongering and dog whistle politics from high profile GOP elected officials. Governor Greg Abbott propped up the Jade Helm conspiracy-minded fears of a federal invasion and gun confiscation by sending the Texas Guard to “monitor” the U.S. armed forces during their training in Texas. He has walked it back a bit, but he is still getting major props from Alex Jones’ inforwars.

Congressman Louis Gohmert posted an official statement on his website: “Certainly, I can understand these concerns. When leaders within the current administration believe that major threats to the country include those who support the Constitution, are military veterans, or even ‘cling to guns or religion,’ patriotic Americans have reason to be concerned.”

And, let’s not forget the fact that our Attorney General Ken Paxton is facing ethics complaints that former State Bar Director Steve Fischer says he could “very easily be disbarred” over, for insinuation that County Clerks do not have to follow rulings by the Supreme Court.

The culture of noncompliance and anti-government sentiment has moved from a fringe right wing issue to mainstream Republican Party rhetoric and it is bad for our democracy…but then again so is Texas’ horrendous voter turnout. With the GOP appealing to the most extreme elements of their base, I would not be surprised if the Texas Nationalists achieve their goal of 75,000 signatures, or if they get the vote they are looking for.

Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.


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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