NPR’s Sci-Fi Fantasy of Secession
NPR recently imagined an alternate reality where Texas becomes an independent nation again replete with real life political figures pretending to assume new roles as representatives of a liberated Lone Star Nation. This thought experiment only seems plausible beyond a punchline because current Governor and reigning champion of opiate karaoke, Rick Perry, has used secession to burnish his cred with the faux Federalist fringe. No one seriously believes that Texas would consider this option, just as no one takes seriously the legislatures perennial vote on the issue. This persistent trait of local culture contains the amputee remnants of Civil War southern identity, given a quirky Texas twist tied to the state’s history as a former independent nation.
The idea that this satirical thought experiment represents – as the introduction tells – us “real political sentiments” has about as much veracity as the claim that the average pack of teenage skateboarders represents a viable anarchist insurgency. Culturally, especially in Austin, we are in far more danger of becoming the sixth borough of New York City than we are in being ruled in a breakaway cult of laissez-faire secessionists. But the premise has zeitgeist written all over it and NPR took a fascinating feature of local character, conflated it with with right wing populism, and then painted a soft-focus dystopian portrait of Texas as the United State of Jobland.