AUSTIN (KXAN) — If the Texas Nationalist Movement gets its way, the 2016 Presidential Election will be the last time Texans vote for a U.S. President.
The group wants Texas to secede from the Union—again—and stand as its own independent nation. It’s an idea many people laugh off, but across the state there are a handful of Republican districts and counties that want Texas to take the issue up for vote.
The Texas Nationalist Movement claims nearly two dozen Republican conventions at the local level passed independence resolutions—calling for a vote on secession. “More and more Texans are getting sick and tired of being treated to a dog and pony show every four years,” said Daniel Miller, President of the Texas Nationalist Movement.
Miller said the Presidential race has sent a rush of more support and a more public showing of support over to TNM.
In reference to the GOP Primary, Miller said, “It has solidified in the minds of the people here in Texas that there are essentially two different Republican parties.”
According to Miller, he and other people with the “Texas mindset” are on one side, “and then there’s the Republican Party in the rest of the country that doesn’t really think like us at all.”
Based in Nederland, TNM is not affiliated with the Republican Party and party leaders in Texas are quick to distance themselves from the movement and discredit the group. “I know they keep trying to make this sound like a movement, this just doesn’t appear to be a movement to me,” said Tom Mechler, Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.
According to TNM’s website, more than 250,000 Texans have pledged their support to an independent Texas. “Then why couldn’t you get the necessary signatures to get it on the ballot?” Mechler said. He thinks TNM leaders are overselling its numbers and insists the Republican Party of Texas is united.
“I don’t anticipate them being successful at the state convention,” but Mechler added that he does appreciate the group’s passion. “There is a lot of discussion on the part of a small group of people and they have a very loud voice,” Mechler said.
Still, Miller is confident TNM will have a big enough voice at the state convention in May to push the independence resolution forward.
The Republican Platform committee will determine if the resolution goes to the convention floor for debate.
The more Republican District or County Conventions that pass the resolution, the more likely it is the issue will it to the floor of the state convention.
Hundreds of local Republican conventions were held all across the state in March but the exact tally of what resolutions passed where won’t be released until early May.
Out of the hundreds of local conventions, TNM claims at least 22 passed independence resolutions.
According to Miller, that should be considered a victory. “People here in Texas understand that something is wrong and more and more people are starting to embrace the idea that the best people to govern Texas are Texans.”
When asked about Ted Cruz, Miller said, “You cannot ignore the fact that even if Ted Cruz were to get elected that we still do not have the final say here in Texas on how we’re governed.”
Even if the independence resolution does not make it onto the Republican platform, Miller said state legislators should take up a vote during the next legislative session.
TNM is trying to rally supporters to apply to become delegates at the convention but Mechler said there is nothing to debate—this issue was settled during the Civil War. Referring comments from the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Mechler said the only way for a state to stand on its own is “through armed conflict, well the Republican Party obviously doesn’t support armed conflict.”
Miller did not talk about going to war, but he said he’s ready to go to battle at the state convention.
“So we are going to have to fight it out,” Miller said, “it’s going to be contentious I would recommend to you that you show up there with a camera and you plan on bringing popcorn.”
The Republican State Convention will be held in Dallas May 12-14.