I know many Texans who are full of themselves, and sometimes I see one in my mirror. But the notion of Texas exceptionalism has grown absurd, fueled by a state leadership that would rather promote ideology than lead us to a prosperous future.
No, Texas isn’t going to follow the lead of British voters and try to secede from the United States, Gov. Greg Abbott told a radio host last week. No fooling?
Texas can’t secede, period. The Civil War settled that notion 150 years ago, although the governor’s political party had to beat back a politically delusional attempt only a couple of months ago to resurrect the idea in the party platform.
Abbott doesn’t talk about secession, but he does promote something called Texas “sovereignty” and, on the same radio show, declared: “What Texans believe in is that we need the United States to be more like Texas. In fact, I believe America longs to be the way Texas is.”
Think about how absurd that statement is.
Although some Texans may want the rest of the United States to follow them over the cliff, many of us would rather the Texas brand espoused by Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick and Ken Paxton be expunged, not exported. The rest of America doesn’t long to “be the way Texas is.”
Other states don’t want to be the leader in adult residents without a high school diploma. They don’t want to be the leader in residents without health insurance. They don’t want to lead the nation in the number of prison inmates and incarceration rate. And, they don’t want to rank in the bottom tier of states in resources they invest in their children’s education.
They also don’t want an attorney general who is under criminal indictment for securities fraud. They don’t want a lieutenant governor who can’t wait for his next opportunity to cut money for public school funding. And, they don’t want a governor who would rather criticize and sue the federal government than exercise any real leadership of his own.
That is the brand of Texas “exceptionalism” the rest of the country can do very well without.
Abbott’s job is to make Texas better. Let the rest of the states take care of themselves. Many of them, in fact, are doing a better job than Texans are seeing at home.