Our Crazy Uncle

Every few years, when the political season is in full swing, there’s always sure to be a spate of breathless articles about Texas secessionists followed by even more breathless blog posts telling Texas to just get the fuck out already. Eventually, these things pop up on my radar by way of Twitter and Facebook, and after seeing them pass before my eyes some undetermined number of times, my one remaining nerve begins vibrating frantically, and I must speak or risk my head exploding.

When your crazy uncle/aunt/whatever says something outrageous at the Thanksgiving Day table, do you stand up, stomp out of the house, move to a different state, and disown your entire family? Or do you roll your eyes and sigh quietly? Well, the secessionists are Texas’ crazy uncle/aunt/whatever. We all roll our eyes, sigh quietly, and go on living our happy Texan-American lives. It’d be great if the rest of the country could learn to just roll their eyes and sigh too.

At most, according to their own reporting, the Nationalist Movement (or whatever they call themselves these days) have 200,000 members. Now maybe that seems like a large number to you, but if it does, you must live in a small village, in a tiny, county, in a minuscule state. Here in Texas, that represents .76% of the population. Does that number seem small? Well, it should. It’s a really REALLY small percentage of the population of my state. The secessionist movement is a microscopic fly in the giant bowl of soup that is Texas. They are totally irrelevant, completely unimportant, and entirely impotent (politically, I can’t speak for their sexual prowess). The only correct response when one hears a secessionist bleating their nonsense in public is to roll your eyes and sigh quietly and go on living your happy American life.

Or … you can write breathless news stories which lead to breathless blog posts which eventually make my last nerve threaten my head with explosion, but that course of action is like yelling at your crazy uncle/aunt/whatever when they say something outrageous at the Thanksgiving Day table. All it does is make your cousin cry, your dad have a panic attack, and then everyone starts drinking heavily and the day is ruined. Isn’t it just easier to roll your eyes and remember that everyone has a crazy uncle/aunt/whatever and that it really doesn’t matter if they believe Illuminati lizard people are running the government?

Furthermore, I would request of all friends, family, and strangers alike … please consider these two things before stamping the entirety of Texas with the “crazy” label:

A) The overwhelming vast majority of Texans are sane, law-abiding, America-loving, completely normal human beings living completely normal American lives.

B) Your state’s population undoubtedly contains at least .76% people with crazy political beliefs. It’s just that no one is writing breathless news stories and blog posts about your state’s crazy uncle every few years. Stop feeling so smug.

And in closing, I would like to correct a factual error I encountered in every single news story and blog post I read on this subject. There are 254 counties in Texas, not 270. This is a ridiculously easy fact to check, and I am appalled by the number of people who couldn’t be bothered to do so before pressing “publish” on all those breathless news stories and blog posts.