Date Added: 2009-04-23
Date Modified: 2009-04-23
Bye, Bye, Tejas… Governor Hair Hath Spoken
document 8 of 44
Bye, Bye, Tejas… Governor Hair Hath Spoken
23 April 2009
Okay, so I started out to write a completely different column. I was walking to my office one recent morning on the NMSU campus when I noticed a bumper sticker that gave me hope. It read (what was initially going to be the title of this column): “Don’t take freedom for granted.” This was not the part that cheered me up; it’s much too akin to other popular jingoist slogans like “Freedom isn’t free” and “War IS the answer” that have proliferated in the U.S. for the last several years.
No, it was the second part which read: “Thank a soldier today…” that had been altered by hand. The ‘Th’ in “Thank” had been crossed out and replaced by “Sp.” “Ah ha!” I thought, “Someone with both a sense of humor and the initiative to express it. Perhaps there is hope.”
So I was going to write about the futility of defending the notion of freedom in the context of war-for-profit - war, of course, being one of the immediate consequences of civilization (along with slavery and scarcity). I was going to suggest that ‘freedom’ itself is a silly idea in the context of a stratified society where the ‘haves’ systemically control the ‘have-nots,’ or in a corporately dominated marketplace where competition is routinely stifled. I was going to point out that freedom as an ideal is impossible in an economic system that relies on the stupidity, or at least the gullibility, of the consuming public for its very survival…
…but then I thought that a soldier would serve as a reasonably appropriate metonymic symbol for all or most of the above and that spanking one might be a sensible response.
However, when watching the Sunday morning talk shows (04/19/09), I received the (somewhat confused) impression that Texas Governor Rick Perry (or ‘Governor Hair’ as he is generally known in the state) had suggested, or at least implied at one of the FOX News sponsored anti-tax “tea parties” (or ‘tea-bagger’ parties [sic]), that Texas should secede from the Union, presumably in protest over Obama’s economic policies.
After checking it out (www.caller.com), I have to admit - it doesn’t get much better than this, at least as far as laughing at vexed-over-tax-and-spend-let’s-attack-the-world-for-democracy-right-wingers. One wonders if the governor understands what the Civil War was all about, or the North’s reasoning in reclaiming the South, or even what federalism means.
The southern states’ assertion that “states’ rights” trumped the power of the national government was central to the conflict in the 1860s. The primary difference between a federal union and a confederacy is precisely that member states in the former cannot get up and leave in a hissy fit because they don’t continually get their way.
I wonder if the governor realizes that one of the primary arguments made in the North for bothering to retain the South was that, without industrialization, the South was too weak to maintain itself as an autonomous nation and was ripe for the picking by hungry European powers like England and France. The American Confederacy was salvaged by pragmatic adherence to the Monroe Doctrine.
Read a history book, Rick.
On the other hand, I don’t think there’s much chance of Europe seizing Texas today. It is the 21st century, after all (not the 19th). Would Texas be any great loss to the U.S.? Would Mexico, perhaps, rise up against the global challenge and burgeoning industry of its drug cartels and reclaim its lost territory?
That might be interesting, so if Governor Hair continues to threaten departure, my response is simple: Bye, bye, Tejas.
In the meantime, I would like to suggest that all you concerned citizens out there delve into your recession-battered coin purses and send your pennies to the governor with a note encouraging him to taker a civics class…
…and when you’re done, go spank a soldier.
Ph.D. candidate at New Mexico State University in the area of Rhetoric and Professional Communication Amy Dalzell was also a national delegate to the Democratic Convention in Boston in 2004.
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