Texas Republicans not quite ready to secede from the union

Story highlights

  • State delegates met and struck a resolution on secession from being added to the party's platform
  • This once grassroots movement is becoming mainstream

Dallas (CNN)Texas isn't going anywhere. At least, not yet.

At the Texas Republican Convention here, state delegates met and struck a resolution from being added to the party's platform that endorses the idea of a referendum for Texans to vote to secede from the United States.
    Just the fact that it got this far is pretty surprising for the Lone Star State, and shows this once grassroots movement is becoming mainstream.
    The Texas Nationalist Movement has been leading the effort for 10 years to get the referendum on a ballot, and the president of the group said he won't give up.
    "We want Texas to become an independent state. It's not that far-fetched of an idea," said Daniel Miller, the group's president. "This idea that people have the right of self-determination and places like Texas can assert their right of self-determination and become independent nation states is not that odd at all."
    Miller compared the idea of a Texas secession to Scotland's independence referendum in 2014 — which didn't pass after voters decided that Scotland shouldn't be an independent country from the United Kingdom.
    During the last four Texas legislative sessions, Miller said he's pursued the legislature to file a bill to give Texas voters the opportunity to vote on independence.
    "No matter what we do, all roads to this lead through the Texas legislature," Miller said.
    Miller said he believes it's important for Texans to have a right to vote on the issue, adding that the issue itself has increased in popularity since its inception 10 years ago.
    The independence referendum began as a grassroots movement, with the idea voted at county districts, eventually reaching the Texas convention.
    Had the state delegates approved the resolution, it would have been a plank on the GOP platform. Miller could have taken that to the Texas Capitol and used that as a reason to file legislation to get a referendum on the November ballot.
    The idea of a secession isn't a new idea in Texas. At a 2009 rally, then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry didn't rule out Texas seceding if the federal government didn't change its fiscal policies.
    "There's a lot of different scenarios," Perry said at the time. "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."
    He later clarified that he didn't mean to suggest Texas should secede.
    And in 2012, there was a petition that called on the White House to allow Texas to withdraw from the union. The White House responded, writing back that they don't let political debate tear the country apart.
    Miller told CNN that he plans to continue his fight for secession -- that this is just the beginning.
    "We're very optimistic," he said. "We're pretty excited."