Whether Rick was right or wrong about secession... although he did not use that word himself back when this controversy stirred... if you grew up in Texas at a certain time in our history, you learned in school that secession was our unique right. Most of us are extremely loyal to our country, but ask a Texan if he is an American or a Texan first, and a majority of them will say Texan.
It never fails to amaze me when people discuss secession in a very cold and calculated sense... this blogger Pavel Podolyak from New York blogs that Texas secession makes total sense... and he is not just mocking (link). Excerpts follow...
The entire state is a vast transport hub and a heart that pumps goods and supplies to other regions. It is more interconnected than even the northeastern Boston-NYC-DC transport axis. Without Texas, the country's regions would be virtually cut off from each other bringing economy to a standstill. As such, the state government in Austin has a bigger political leverage on Washington DC than Kiev or Minsk did over Moscow during Soviet times. The loss of the region larger than that of France (269,000 sq miles vs. 260,000 sq miles) would leave a lot of United States cut off not just from itself but from Central American supply feeds that Texas straddles.
Texas is one of only 6 states that is not currently running a budget deficit. Since national news are filled with tales of sorrow from California and New York state budgets, it's easy to think the whole country is in the same boat. Texas is in a totally separate boat. It has consistently run trade and budget surpluses and is even equipped with a multi-billion dollar fund for a rainy day. By being part of the American federal union, Texas is actually losing money by contributing more than it receives in return (94 cents back for every dollar it gives). The average national GDP growth has lagged behind Texan for years and is now showing negative growth as the depression takes hold. Austin government is trapped in an increasingly impoverished political union that has sharply escalated the printing of money for survival.
I remember having some of these debates as a child decades ago... how "far out" it would be for Texas to become its own country... but how we don't really want that... but we like being able to hold it out there as an option... but we don't like to remember the Civil War. It was always interesting, but we always went right back to our games all around the neighborhood and forgot all about it.