Texas State Republican Convention called for a referendum on Texas secession and declared Joe Biden an illegitimate president. Nothing in the Convention seemed to impact PredictIt’s balance of power or presidential markets. It’s not surprising that Texas secession didn’t move PredictIt markets. Secession is a local issue that doesn’t snowball into a national issue. It doesn’t force the Texas legislature to put secession on the ballot. The US army would intervene in an attempted “Texit.”
However, Texas secession is the least alarming part of the Texas State Republican Convention. Declaring President Biden illegitimate is far more damaging. The lie that the 2020 election was stolen creates new long-term dangers for the United States that can’t be accounted for in prediction markets.
Why Texas Secession Is A Crank’s Issue
Glorifying the Republic of Texas is a mistake. Texas was briefly its own country after the Texas Revolution ended in March 1936. Texas was one of several territories that revolted in the Mexican Federalist War.
Mexican Centralists desired one Mexican state with a strong central government. The Mexican Federalists wanted separate states with strong state governments, drawing inspiration from the United States.
Out of the Mexican states that revolted against the Centralists, Texas was the only one to win independence. (Yucatan wouldn’t become an independent republic until 1841.)
But there were two major factions within the Republic of Texas. One side wanted Texas to remain its own country. The other side wanted to join the United States. The faction that wanted to join the United States won. Texas became the 28th state in December 1845.
The Republic of Texas wasn’t the mythic land secession supporters make it out to be. After Texas secured independence, it continued warring with Mexico. General Santa Anna was determined to reclaim Texas, and Mexico didn’t recognize Texan sovereignty until 1848. The Texas militia also warred with the Comanche tribe while it faced continued pressure from Mexico.
Finally, the Republic of Texas racked up almost $10 million in debt during its time as a Republic ($385 million in today’s dollars). So the United States inherited a war with Mexico and debt that wouldn’t be paid off until the end of the 1800s.
Texas was a country in multiple conflicts and racking up debt it couldn’t pay off alone. Anyone who wants Texas to secede probably don’t want Texas to draft its own international trade agreements. Instead, they’re part of the legacy of Texas politicians who believed Texas was destined by God to expand west.
Indifference To National Election Lies
While Texas independence is a cultural quirk, the Texas Republican Party’s official embrace of the 2020 election lies have national consequences.
The first January 6 hearing showed far-right militia members quoting Trump’s election lie as they instigated that day’s violence. The third hearing revealed that the Proud Boys would have killed Vice President Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi if militia members had captured them. That came from an FBI mole embedded in the Proud Boys before and during the attempted insurrection.
Giving the motivations of these violent groups political cover can only embolden them. The specter of further political violence is still on the horizon. If that doesn’t reduce the election chances of Big Lie proponents in 2022 and 2024, PredictIt users’ impressions of the electorate and its future choices are sad.