Austin (KXAN) – There may be plenty of Texans who don’t quite care for what comes out of Washington from the politicians, judges and bureaucrats. It probably always has been. Now, the Texas Nationalist Movement wants to do something about it: a statewide non-binding referendum to “Take Texas Back” and regain the state’s independence it last had 170 years ago.
Their 21-city campaign came to Austin on Thursday looking for volunteers to sign the 75,000 petition signatures to get their idea on the 2016 ballot.
Six flags have flown over Texas, the group wants to make it one, once again; the lone star signifying the Republic of Texas.
“Texans are tired of answering to bureaucrats in D.C. they didn’t elect and having to deal with policies they don’t want,” said TNM President Dan Miller.
Miller spoke to a room full of enthusiasts. Longtime Texans like Joe Glass. “We live with a lawless government,” he said. “The constitution was written to provide freedom to people and constrain government and now we live in a country where the government does whatever it wants to.”
Recent transplants to the Texas way also attended. Carmen Rao moved here from New Jersey. “I like the right to self determine, I think that’s important, free spirit and independence. That’s why I moved here.”
“Now there’s a state killed by regulation and bad decisions by politicians,” said Paul Jones, who moved here from Michigan. “I don’t dislike Michigan but I have to feed my family and I think a lot of people around the United States feel the same way.”
Should Texas ever go independent it would be the 46th largest country in the world by population. The 17th largest oil producer. The 15th largest economy with the same GDP as Australia. Any truly binding referendum would have to originate with the legislature, but this movement hopes to make a splash in 2016 that gets their attention.
It is important to know outside forces are playing a part in the secessionist movement. Politco reported last month that Russia hosted a conference for various separatist groups. including the Texas Nationalist Movement. Last year Russian President Vladamir Putin talked about how America is hypocritical for grabbing Texas from Mexico. State-run media there have run with the idea – saying Texas should be “free.”