Written and Illustrated By: Amanda Hart
We all rolled our eyes and hung our heads a few years back when Governor Perry stated at a tea party rally in Austin that Texas could secede from the union if, “Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people.” Perry was under the impression that in 1845 when Texas entered into the union that it was with the understanding that Texas could pull out of the union whenever we got a wild hair up our ass. Just to be clear, this idea is not based in any reality that we live in. And I guess what happened in 1861 seems to have slipped Perry’s mind. We did in fact secede. A little something called the Civil War occurred and the North shut us down. Nevertheless, Perry and his secessionist threats instigated a statewide grassroots movement demanding we do just that. I know you all have seen the bumper stickers (normally attached to the back of an F750 and located just above the ball sacs secured to the hitch) of our ever so familiar Texas flag with the word, “Secede” printed over it. Just in case you somehow missed them, I chased one down on the highway last week and snapped this photo for you. And although the option to secede was never written into our constitution we were in fact granted the right to divide ourselves into as many as 5 separate states when we entered the union. Consider this a methadone clinic for the secessionist itch that so many Texans are dying to scratch.
I present to you the idea of the Third Coast Commonwealth (TCC). (I’ve made us a map and a flag but am open to redistricting and will happily take submissions for a new flag design.)
The first boundary I drew, which would include Houston, I have affectionately labeled The Third Coast Commonwealth. Our boundaries would stretch from Brownsville (as to allow for trade with Mexico and to apologize for the decades of racist policy attributed to our border), up through San Antonio and Austin and over to Beaumont (minus Vidor because we would just set that racist place on fire and call it a day.) Houston would be the new capitol and ultimately would come to be known as a liberal haven of the five proposed states. Perry and his groupies would either have to move to Dallas, or if they so choose, relocate to sector 3, also known as Salvation Station as I’ve labeled it on the map. In our new commonwealth racism, sexism, and homophobia would not be tolerated and would carry a strict punishment of being banished to Dallas. For the purposes of this proposal just think of Dallas as our Alcatraz. Sorry Dallas, try sucking just a little bit less and then we might not feel the need to exile assholes to your new state. I know I know, the idea of you sucking less is laughable but I’m trying to be diplomatic during this transition. I debated just giving you to Arkansas so just consider yourself lucky. Also, I’m gifting you the Woodlands. You’re welcome.
I referred to Salvation Station earlier and think the panhandle would be an ideal place to send all the religious nuts residing in our current state. Mainly because it would be the furthest away from us. Well, technically El Paso would be the furthest distance but I have no beef with El Paso and their sector has Marfa and Big Bend which I would like to visit without the fear of being labeled a baby murder for having a uterus or condemned to hell. So cheers El Paso, it appears we are going to fair quite nicely from this plan. Logically El Paso would be the capitol of sector 4 and Salvation Station can pick their own capitol. Turn Amarillo into Jesus Land if you so choose. You guys can invite Westboro Baptist Church and the KKK to your opening parade. Right after you make it illegal for women to vote or work anywhere other than a residential kitchen. And everybody said, Amen.
Our first plan of action here in the TCC would actually be to remove any border that separated Mexico from Texas and reposition it to the top half of our state. Central Texas will act as a buffer zone between the two of us. Central Texas really just does not have a lot going on but that was the case prior to any redistricting on my part. But hey, at least we got rid of Dallas for you. You are more than welcome to some of the recycled border fence if you would like to build it up around Dallas. Here in the TCC we are all about sharing and working towards the common good.
I vote this is a win win for everyone involved. The reality of it is many of our state citizens are just unbearably racist, sexist, homophobic or in this day and age known under the umbrella term: conservative. Everything from women’s bodies to our public schools are being negatively affected by archaic policies being enacted by our current state government. I love Houston and Texas and long for a better future for the children, women and anyone else who isn’t a rich white male currently residing in our state. And I just don’t think I could allow for any possible future children I might have to grow up in our current political climate. So I vote instead of seceding from the union we just secede from each other.
Basically, we will be creating one gigantic Montrose here in the Third Coast Commonwealth. We can have community gardens and artist collectives on every street corner. Feeding the homeless won’t be illegal and we can turn the Astrodome into one gigantic grow room. Together we can enact responsible public policies and create a future for next generations to be able to remain in Texas. Screw it, let’s create our own Texas. I mean, that’s what the conservatives have been doing for the last two decades anyways. Let’s revolt.
All jokes aside, (Except, Dallas. That was not a joke.) dividing Texas into five states would actually do wonders to balance the power in our massive sprawling state. Currently Texas holds 38 electoral votes, 36 for our representatives and two for our senators. But in a five state Texas our electoral vote would jump from 38 to 46. This is because our senators would increase from 2 to 10. This would not just be an improvement for Texans but for the entire country seeing as the last time Texas went blue during a presidential campaign was in 1976 with Jimmy Carter. Come on ya’ll, it’s the least we can do to try and make up for the 8 years that Bush spent in office. You know the rest of the country still blames us for that gigantic pile of dog crap we lit on the nation’s doorstep.
Writers note: Technically our constitution states that Texas can be divided up into up to as many as four states and the area of land left over would be considered the fifth state. It also states that the area that was left over would get to keep the name “Texas”, I’m guessing as a concessionary prize because it was picked last in the regional division kickball game.