Some of you may have seen this proposal discussed in the press. I have contacted the Republican Party of Texas Chairman, Vice Chairman, and State Republican Executive Committee members to voice my displeasure and disapproval of the proposal. Here is the text of the letter.
December 2, 2015
Dear Chairman Mechler, Vice Chairman Clark, and SREC members:
Having recently written to you in opposition to the ill-advised efforts to move the 2016 RPT Convention, I had hoped that the need to confront serious threats to the integrity of the Republican Party of Texas would have subsided. Unfortunately, there appears to be an additional threat before us – one that threatens to undermine one of the founding principles of the Republican Party. That threat is the proposal to include a referendum on Texas independence on the 2016 Republican Primary ballot. I urge you to reject this proposal.
While the proponents of the proposition talk a good game about “letting voices be heard”, the reality is that the question of the Republican position on the matter of secession (and make no mistake, that is what this proposal is really about) was rejected by the GOP in its first national platform in 1856. Those who adopted the platform were quite clear in proclaiming that the Union “must and shall be preserved”. Four years later, in 1860, the Republican Party elected its first president on a platform that declared that “we hold in abhorrence all schemes for disunion, come from whatever source they may”. Again, in 1864, our forefathers in the Republican Party declared that “it is the highest duty of every American citizen to maintain against all their enemies the integrity of the Union.” Has “must and shall be preserved” now become “may and should be dissolved”? Can it be that “abhorrence for all schemes for disunion” has now become “support and advocate disunion”? Can we now reject the duty to “maintain. . . the integrity of the Union” and instead unite with the proponents of disunion in support of sedition and secession? As the descendant of one of those who early Republicans who participated in the 1860 Republican Convention in Chicago, I firmly declare that the SREC has a moral obligation to the generations of Republicans who came before them to stand firmly for the first principle of the permanence of the Union by rejecting any scheme to place this resolution on the 2016 primary ballot.
Recall, too, that the matter of secession has been definitively settled in both the courts of law and through the shedding of blood. It cannot be denied that the sacrifice of the men of the Grand Army of the Republic from 1861 through 1865 was one based upon the principle that the United States is a nation which cannot be divided. As Abraham Lincoln said at Gettysburg, the war was one to determine whether this nation could long endure. To place this measure on the ballot would be to dishonor the loyal sons of the United States who fought to preserve this nation. And in 1869, the United States Supreme Court ruled as follows in Texas v. White:
“The Union of the States never was a purely artificial and arbitrary relation. It began among the Colonies, and grew out of common origin, mutual sympathies, kindred principles, similar interests, and geographical relations. It was confirmed and strengthened by the necessities of war, and received definite form and character and sanction from the Articles of Confederation. By these, the Union was solemnly declared to 'be perpetual.' And when these Articles were found to be inadequate to the exigencies of the country, the Constitution was ordained 'to form a more perfect Union.' It is difficult to convey the idea of indissoluble unity more clearly than by these words. What can be indissoluble if a perpetual Union, made more perfect, is not?”
This proposition is therefore nothing less than an act of rebellion against the Constitution and the rule of law – another abrogation of essential principles of found in our state and federal Republican platforms from the beginning of the GOP and up to the present day.
Remember, too, the words of Sam Houston regarding secession from this indissoluble Union when he refused to take a traitorous oath following the putative secession of Texas from the United States:
“Fellow-Citizens, in the name of your rights and liberties, which I believe have been trampled upon, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the nationality of Texas, which has been betrayed by the Convention, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the Constitution of Texas, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of my own conscience and manhood, which this Convention would degrade by dragging me before it, to pander to the malice of my enemies, I refuse to take this oath. I deny the power of this Convention to speak for Texas….I protest….against all the acts and doings of this convention and I declare them null and void.”
Do any of us dare to declare ourselves greater advocates of Texans than the victor of San Jacinto? Do any of us dare to declare ourselves more loyal to Texas, more wise or prescient than he? I tell you that no, we must not dare to do so – and that we must therefore resist the call to sedition that lurks just below the surface of this proposal.
Make no mistake, my brother and sister Republicans – this is a battle for the very heart, soul, and survival of the Republican Party of Texas. To place this proposal on our primary ballot is to declare the GOP to be disloyal to the United States of America. It will make our party a laughingstock, and lead Texans loyal to the United States to question whether or not the Republican Party of Texas is in fact a serious party which is worthy of being entrusted with the governance of the state of Texas. What’s more, this will reflect on the GOP nationwide, and do damage to the standing of the party nationally and our ability to elect Republicans to the presidency
There is also a real question as to whether this abominable proposal even has the support to merit inclusion on the primary ballot. The Texas Nationalist Movement, an organization that stands in opposition to the Republican values of Union and support for the Constitution of the United States, attempted to collect sufficient signatures to put this proposal on the ballot. They failed in their effort. Why, then, should we take the extraordinary step of putting this proposal on the ballot for them when they cannot meet the requirements? That would set the precedent for opening our primary ballot to pro-abortion, pro-gay rights, pro-gun control and pro-socialist measures that contradict our beliefs and lack the signatures needed to mandate their inclusion.
Let me leave you with one final thought. At the beginning of this weekend’s SREC meeting, as at virtually every Republican event I have ever attended, those present will recite the words of the Pledge of Allegiance. As each of you does so, you will pledge your loyalty not to a mere piece of red, white, and blue cloth, but “to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible. . . .” Will you betray that profession of loyalty at the start of the meeting by then voting to place a disloyal proposal on the ballot of our party? Will you vote to put the Republican Party of Texas on the record as saying that the United States may be divided? If you do, you will have broken your pledge – and taken in vain the name of God Almighty. Do not, I beg you, do anything so dishonorable.
Gregory S. Aydt
Precinct Chair, Harris County Precinct 333