Pro-Trump Republican secession rhetoric is more than a punchline

And it’s not just a tiny fringe that’s thinking about these concepts anymore. As the Bright Line Watch, a group of researchers from places like Dartmouth University, the University of Rochester, and University of Chicago, noted in a study released earlier in February, one-third of Republicans said they support secession. Disturbingly, half of Republicans across the former Confederacy (plus Kentucky and Oklahoma) are now willing to break off to form a newly independent country…

While much of the secessionist rhetoric remains couched in claims about things like fiscal responsibility and burdensome federal regulations, it doesn’t take much to discern the ethno-nationalism driving the push. Just like so much of Trumpian America, secession in places like Texas is rooted in a combination of nativism, xenophobia and white racial grievance. Texas secession Facebook pages are saturated with fantasies of forcing Democrats to leave the state, seizing their property and forcing them to “convert” (to what is unclear). Just like the Confederates before them, this modern secessionist ethos is rooted at least in large part in maintaining white supremacy and authoritarian governance, regardless of the costs.

On their own, the increasing marriage of secessionist chatter and GOP ideology would be cause enough for concern. But this month’s disastrous winter storm in Texas also points to how idiotic such secessionist dreams truly are.