Dana Milbank published an article in the Washington Post titled "Texas Republicans want to secede? Good riddance." His essay drips with regional bigotry, and his description of Texas is so inaccurate and prejudiced that I feel obligated to respond.
Milbank's essay is a sarcastic response to a call from the Texas Republican Party to allow Texans to vote on the question of Texas independence. He would like to see Texas go. "Better yet," Milbank smirked, "let's offer Texas a severance package that includes Oklahoma to sweeten secession."
Why would any sensible person want to kick Texas out of the United States? Texas exports more goods and services than any other state, and its homeownership rate is higher than New York or California--those hotbeds of progressivism. The Lone Star State is experiencing robust population growth while the population of many liberal-leaning states--California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York--is stagnant or declining. That's why Texas is gaining seats in the U.S. House of Representatives while supposedly more enlightened states are losing them.
Milbank's essay shows a shocking ignorance of Texas culture and Texas politics. He predicts that the U.S. would have to airlift "sustainable produce" and contraceptives if Texas were to form its own country.
But there is no evidence of any hostility to birth control among Texas political leaders or prejudice against healthy food. Milbank is merely displaying a provincial and ignorant worldview--a malady caused by watching too much CNN on television.
Milbank suggests that urban centers and South Texas would not leave the union if rural Texas were to secede, assuming urban Texas and Hispanic South Texas think like he does. It is true that Texas cities reliably vote for the Democrats, as do the voters along the Rio Grande River.
Nevertheless, the Texas Nationalist Movement, the prime advocate for Texas independence, is strong all over the state. As for South Texas, the Tejanos are appalled by President Biden's open-border policy and are leaning more and more toward the Republicans.
Progressive and left-leaning pundits may sneer and ridicule Texas all they want and even encourage the state to form its own nation. But they should remember that Texas has the largest natural gas reserves in the U.S.
Self-righteous prigs like Milbank despise flyover country, but they rely on the heartland for the food they eat and the energy they need to heat their homes and power their cars. Milbank thinks the rest of the United States would be better off without Texas and should encourage the state to secede.
He should be careful what he wishes for.
|Dana Milbank: four-time winner of annual Paul Giamatti Look-Alike contest|