A long time ago, I wrote Archie Lowe: Before the Republic of Texas, about a friend who became involved in the Republic of Texas militia movement.
On a recent visit to Texas’ Secretary of State site, I noticed two interesting sections.
The first was the Texas Border and Mexican Affairs part of the site. Isn’t Mexico an independent country? Doesn’t one independent country border another? So why does the "State" of Texas treat this border in this way? It’s true that Texas’ longest border with anything else is with Mexico. And it’s also true that same border is very important to Texas (it’s been the gateway for many of its residents; Texas is now a primarily non-white state.) All the same, it looks to me like Texas is treating this like one independent country bordering another: Texas and Mexico.
The second was the International Protocol section. The site informs us of the following:
By Executive Order, Governor Perry (’72) has directed the Secretary of State to serve as Texas’ Chief International Protocol Officer. In this capacity, the Secretary represents the Governor and the State of Texas at meetings and events with members of the international diplomatic corps.
Wait a minute. Isn’t that the job of the Secretary of State in Washington? The site also lists the consulates in Texas, and the list is pretty extensive. Doesn’t look like a very far leap from consulates to embassies.
Having lived in Texas, I know that Texans regard their state as a world apart from the rest of the U.S. To give that such official expression is both amusing and intriguing. As our world shrinks, the need for states in federal systems to reach out around the world and across "international" borders increases. But it also begs the question of the role of the nation that’s supposed to be handing international affairs. In a way it’s the question that faces the European Union, only in reverse. And some of the "states" there (such as Scotland and Wales) are definitely having second thoughts about their status.
Perhaps the real reason Archie went to Huntsville was because he was ahead of his time.
In his honour, this week’s podcast is his rendition of Keep Your Eyes on the Second Coming Sunset.