Here’s one of those crazy things I got from a reader which, when I read her email, I found myself saying, “She clearly must have read that wrong.” But it turns out she didn’t, and so I’m reaching out to Chris and other readers in Texas to see if I can get them to chime in on what’s going on with their state’s Republican Party.
The Texas GOP has put together its official 2016 platform, and most of it is the normal kind of stuff you’d expect to see: promoting traditional family values, scrapping Obamacare, elimination of funding to Planned Parenthood, and so forth. Pretty traditional, bedrock, Republican-values stuff.
But then, in the middle of all of this, is the platform’s fourteenth plank:
Federally mandated legislation, which infringes upon the 10th Amendment rights of Texas, should be ignored, opposed, refused, and nullified. Regulation of Commerce in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution has exceeded the original intent. All attempts by the federal judiciary to rule in areas not expressly enumerated by the Untied States Constitution [sic] should be likewise nullified. Any federal enforcement activities that do occur in Texas should be conducted under the authority of the county sheriff.
That’s some pretty tinfoil-hat shit right there.
For those unaware, this plank is based on a century-old fringe conspiracy theory that the US Government was taken over sometime between the early 1860s and the mid 1880s, and is now secretly run by a foreign cabal. Exactly who makes up that cabal has changed over time. At various points history, proponents of this theory have insisted that the cabal has been run by the Jews, various European heads of state, the Chinese, the Nation of Islam, the Soviet Union, and the United Nations. People who promote this theory argue that everything that has been done by the Federal government since that stealth take over is by definition illegal. As you might guess based on the timing, the movement began in the South and was directly related to frustrations and anger over Reconstruction. Indeed, throughout the early 20th century it was primarily a white-supremest movement. Since then it is morphed into a movement whose followers can be white supremacists, but aren’t necessarily.
Over the past several years you’ve seen various schisms of this movement in the news. The Oath Keepers, for example, are a subset of this group. So too in Cliven Bundy. Those militias that took over federal lands outside the Southern Oregon city of Grants Pass and the Eastern Oregon city of Burns were also motivated primarily by this conspiracy theory. The whole Jade Helm thing? That, too, was an product of this fringe movement.
In other words, regardless of your opinion of GOP, this plank is in no way in line with todays Republican Party. We’re not talking Fox News-Rush Limbaugh propaganda here. This is Alex Jones-lizard-people-illuminati stuff. And it’s in the middle of the Texas GOP official platform. Hey, I might think Texas Republicans are a little crazy at times, but they ain’t that crazy.
There has got to be an inside-baseball story behind this, because the state of Texas has not suddenly decided that the United States is being run by a secret cabal of Jewish Soviet Muslims. So those of you who are in Texas, or who follow the minutia of Texas politics, please let me know: What the hell happened here?