Word is floating around the internet that, following a statement by Texas Governor Rick Perry after the Tax Day tea party held in Dallas, nearly half of Texas Republicans are in favor of Texas seceding from the United States of America. Is that patriotic?
In his address at the tea party, Governor Perry called his audience a group of patriots but then in speaking to reporters afterwards he said that Texas might want to secede from the union in reaction to the Obama Administration’s policies. There seems to be a fundamental disconnect between these two statements. How is it patriotic for an American citizen to suggest or support secession?
Growing up in a conservative congressional district in the suburbs of Dallas, I was always aware that a fundamental conservative, Republican value is patriotism to the United States of America — to the stars and stripes, the purple mountains majesties and the fruited plain. Until Governor Perry’s speech and this poll of Texas Republicans, I had always retained the belief that patriotism to the United States of America was a core conservative value. No longer, it seems, at least for 48% of Texas Republicans polled.
Is patriotism only an obligation when there is an Administration in office with which one agrees on policy choices? Perhaps American patriotism is less solid than would seem at first glance. After all, during the Bush Administration reports floated around the internet of liberals wanting to leave the United States en masse and move to Canada or elsewhere because of their disapproval of the policy choices of that Administration. Now, with the Obama Administration, conservatives, who have always heralded their own patriotism to the country as one of their hallmarks, are talking about “Going Galt” or outright secession. This isn’t patriotic talk at all, is it?
I’ve mentioned this elsewhere but I don’t mind being on record saying that “going Galt” (including secession) is not a solution to any policy issue; rather, it is a ridiculous and arrogant cop-out that evidences the worst kind of contempt for one’s fellow man and the needs of those less fortunate.
It would be much more patriotic to make good, effective rhetorical points against policies while still maintaining an obvious loyalty to the United States of America, its principles and indivisible national integrity than to speak of “going Galt” and secession.