Saturday, February 3, 2024


On Thursday February 1st, the CNN started the day criticizing the Republican candidate Nikki Haley for her support to the right of Texas to secede from the USA. To be fair, she was reacting to a question, and not explaining her program. However, it is not the first time that she shows lack of clarity on matters concerning the history of events related to the US Civil War in the XIXth century. On another occasion, she failed to acknowledge the tragedy of slavery.

However, on the evening of the same day, Jake Tapper interviewed Haley on the same TV network, and he didn’t mention the issue of “Texit” at all, although it had been the main headline some hours earlier. One can imagine that the office of candidate Haley had agrred to the interview on the condition that the secession of Texas would not be one of the topics of conversation. They talked about Iran, Hamas and the likelihood of defeating Trump and subsequently Biden.

Of course, Texit is not a serious proposal. But that does not mean that some people does not take it seriously. Brexit was not a serious proposal, but it is now a tragic reality. One can imagine millions of Texans believing the arguments of populists to “take back control” in front of the invented risk of rapists crossing the border.

“States rights” in the US have been on many occasions a synonym for the rights of elites to exploit others, and to take advantage of the prejudices of voters. The secession attempts of the Southern states preceded the Civil War in the US, which luckily was won by the federalists and lost by the confederals. Because of this victory, the US enjoys today the advantage of a large market and scale economies with a diverse and mobile population, which is also the dream of the European Union. South and Central America failed to fulfill the federalist dream of Simon Bolívar, and the African continent also failed in consolidating federations that would have replaced the current structure of small and sometimes isolated and hungry states. Egyptian leader Nasser also failed in his project to create a Federation of secular Arab states. We know today the price we are paying for this deficit of federal structures.

US Presidential candidates should be surrounded not only by communicatins experts, but also by serious historians.

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