It's not sounding quite so crazy these days.
My change in attitude is not the result of some specific event that crossed some line and flipped my
The engineer in me would love to be able to explain the details of how Texas Independence might work, providing specific examples in areas like trade and tax and transportation. I'd like to say "See! This is better!" But I know that plans and people are not perfect; there are no guarantees. We can attempt to tune the economic and social dials, to synchronize the inputs and moderate the outputs, but some things, especially the large important things, are beyond our abilities of macro-control and require the fine adjustments of millions of fathers and mothers and teachers and owners to move the compass to an appropriate direction. Those who argue for smaller government and local control have one powerful argument, that smaller is easier to manage, but our lives, both our social and our private lives, are not intended to be managed, monitored and measured. They are intended to be lived. We fool ourselves into thinking that if only we had a more controllable system, something smaller, something restricted, something manageable, that it would be "better." Texas Independence may be a logical solution, but logic and efficiency and practicality by themselves are not sufficient to let me endorse such a drastic change. In less than 200 years a perfectly rational system of government, designed to thwart tyranny, has itself become tyrannical, though we hesitate to name it that. The next thing we try must be more than logical.
It would be impossible, in the course of these few paragraphs, to assemble the evidence and lay out my case for how Texas Independence is not crazy-talk. It is not an open and shut case. The evidence for and against is compelling, and it shifts based on prejudice and perspective. Some might say the winning argument is obvious based on logic and emotion, but the other side is making the exact same case. This is how trials work. Both sides present their case, the judge defines the legal boundaries for the jury, and a jury decides guilt on the preponderance of evidence. In this case, there are no legal boundaries, or if there are they are without question set up in favor of the present legal authorities. When you challenge the legal authorities your case needs to be made in an extra-legal manner, appealing to higher, incorruptible judgment. There is no legal case to be made. The case for Texas Independence should be about truth, not the definitions and nuances of truth that are distilled and framed and simplified for a jury.
And so, what are we left with to make the case, win the argument and convince people that Texas Independence is not just crazy-talk? We have all of the above, emotion and reason and evidence, and we have the story.
If we put ourselves in Mike and Frank's place, would we pay the price for Texas Independence? Most Texans are emotionally connected to being Texan, to living here, to the swagger and the independence and even the landscape, the wide open spaces. We can also understand the logical arguments, the value of local control and the relief from federal interference in our lives. We would struggle with legal arguments, with evaluating all the evidence and reconciling our obligation to current legal authorities. Texas Independence would impact many aspects of our lives and there would be good arguments, indeed there would be too many arguments, on both sides, for people to make a fully informed decision. Though emotion and logic can be powerful arguments, the real strength in the idea of Texas Independence is in the story that supports it, and what the story says about us, about Texans.
Mike and Frank, regardless of their feelings or thinking, always buy the item with a good story. Who owned it? How did they use it? Where did it come from? What significance did it have in the owners life or in the community or in the historical context? The story sells it, not only to Mike and Frank, but from Mike and Frank to their customers. The caveat, however, is that the story must be true. If it is not, all the value disappears and there is no reason for further consideration. No one wants to pay the price for an original and end up with a reproduction.
Texas Independence may be emotionally appealing to some and be logical to others. Those in favor or against should be able to make a strong case for their position based strictly on evidence and legal definitions, but their argument must be true to win the case. The phrase "beyond a shadow of a doubt" is often used to describe the conviction that a jury member should have before voting "guilty." It is an unrealistic standard that can never be truly met. We all doubt. The intent of the phrase is to show that "guilty" is a vote for truth. Facts are impartial. Evidence is not. Evidence is presented and speculated on and seeded with doubt from one side or the other. It is the jury's job to decide which story regarding the evidence is true.
This writing began as an exercise in trying to understand and explain to myself, and others, why I
Should we stay, or should we go?
When a jury is charged with identifying the truth of one side or the other they have much to consider. First they have to determine which version of the evidence presented is most reasonable. Then they have to try to discern from the testimony of others, and by observing the defendant and witnesses, which statements are true or false. Finally, they must understand the legal parameters and what they are allowed to consider. No matter how the case evolves there is one thing that will definitively shift their vote and that is truth or, importantly, the absence of truth. My contention, and the reason I think that Texas Independence is no longer just crazy-talk, is that we now know the American story, the United States story, is no longer true and the falsification of that means the other story, Texas Independence, is more true until proven otherwise. If one story is provably false, the other should win.
I believe the American story, at one time, was true. Drastic measures, like a Convention of States, might help reclaim some of that truth, but we are currently not living in the environment envisioned by our founders and by the Constitution which theoretically binds us. We are now Americans in name only and our options, at this point, are to reclaim the truth of the American vision through an Article V convention, or strike out on our own and establish a new true story for Texas. I side with striking out on our own, if only because the current system is corrupt and untrustworthy. I support both an Article V Convention of States, in an attempt to preserve the great American experiment, and Texas Independence, in an attempt to reclaim lost liberty, re-establish the idea of God-given rights and to be a part of a true story, or at least the attempt to create one.