The trouble with the Federal government is that its too big for its own good. Countless and pointless laws are on the books all while the basic needs of its citizens remain unmet - thriving economy, secure and safe communities, strong values-based education, and so much more. We discuss the border crisis and how nothing really has changed in the last 8+ years and we ask the question, "should individual states do more?" Daniel Miller, President of the Texas Nationalist Movement joins us for a honest and fresh perspective on how Texans should take the lead of their own destiny.
Click here to learn more about Ben: http://bit.ly/3WJ1Czl
Click here to learn more about the Texas Nationalist Movement
Welcome, everybody. Our schools are a mess. Our border is a mess. Our safety, security and health policies are a mess. So maybe now is the time to finally put an end to the overreach of the federal government. Today on the answer for a fresh perspective, I interviewed Daniel Miller, founder of the Texas nationalist movement, and proud supporter of Texas. Please consider supporting this podcast, follow me on Twitter and Facebook at Ben Armenta Texas. You can also find out more about my story at Ben armenta.com. The liberal left led by our space cadet president, they don't care about your safety. They don't care about my safety. They don't care about the safety of everyday Americans, you know, people who do not hold public office and live in bubbles protected by security details. The safety of Americans who grind it out, taking their kids to school, running between jobs, sometimes multiple jobs, making ends meet to buy gas and groceries and school supplies and deal with the inflation crisis. They don't care about the safety of those people. Democrats and liberals, they don't care about the safety of our teenagers, who are the most impressionable group in our society, who in the absence of strong values is often pressured to step out of bounds and harm themselves or others. Social media clearly plays a role in this. But when we look at issues such as the Fentanyl crisis, a drug that is 50 times more powerful than heroin. 80% of fatal overdoses in the US are from fentanyl. And this has been going on for years and years now. And nothing has changed. Over 200,000 deaths in the US are from fentanyl every year. China manufactures fentanyl and the cartels are the distribution channel. And yet what really has been done to stop the flow? Nothing. The federal government and the Democrats in charge just don't really care. They don't care about your safety. And here's this from Fox News at the end of February this year, quote, the total migrant encounters at the border were 1,008,217 for the fiscal year, which began in October. Of those 87.8% were single adults, just 328,454 were expelled under Title 42. The pandemic era protocol that allows border agents to rapidly expel border crossers, there were more than 1.7 million encounters overall in fiscal year 2021, and over 2.3 million in fiscal year 2022. The first months of fiscal year 2023 have outpaced those of the prior fiscal year. This time last year, numbers through March 1, were 839,819. Well under the 1 million mark. Meanwhile, there have been 354,522 known God aways, illegal immigrants who have evaded Border Patrol agents, but have been detected on some other form of surveillance like drones or horseback or whatever it might be. In in fiscal year 2022 there were nearly 600,000 getaways so in a matter of just a handful of months, this year, we are outpacing prior year's numbers. The border crisis isn't getting any better. 600,000 God aways 600,000 That number is almost unbelievable. That is 600,000 individuals who are undocumented and scattered across this country, everywhere. This is like an entire Tucson Arizona, or Atlanta, Georgia, or Detroit, Michigan, being released into our country, and those are just the undocumented people. There are millions more who Border Patrol has somehow apprehended and intercepted and done some kind of processing on. But you already know this, you already know that no one in power seems to care about your well being. The more you experience issues in your communities, the more nothing ever seems to happen. rapists, murderers, cartels, fentanyl pouring into the hands of our kids, people who are on the Homeland Security watch list showing up and getting apprehended. They just keep coming. And still nothing really happens. several lawmakers in Congress have proposed declaring war on Mexican drug cartels. Just this past week or so Representative Dan Crenshaw, who's from Texas authored a bill and now Marjorie Taylor Greene, a representative from Georgia is the co sponsor on it. The bill is titled The authorization for the use of military force to to combat attack, resist, Target, eliminate and limit cartel influence resolution. Oh, my goodness, that's quite a mouthful. Anyways, it's referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. And it's kind of a holding pattern for the committee to action on it. But what this bill really pledges is to authorize the use of the United States armed forces against those responsible for trafficking fentanyl, or any fentanyl related substance into the United States or carrying out other related activities that cause regional destabilization in the Western Hemisphere. logo we know this is going on. We know that these cartels are doing human trafficking. We know that they're bringing in fentanyl and pumping it into the United States and onto the streets so that your kids and my kids can be you know, can take it and be be tempted take it and die. That's what's happening. Kidnapping Americans all across the border. That's what we're doing. That's what they're doing. Here's what Representative Taylor Greene tweeted, quote, We must authorize the use of military force to eliminate the thugs who are smuggling drugs, and illegal aliens across our southern border. I love it. I love how she called them illegal aliens. Nobody says that anymore. But that's technically what they are. She goes on leading to crime and the murder of countless Americans. While cartel members wait for their fate to be sealed by our great military, we will put a hit on their bank accounts by sanctioning any government that supports or allows cartels to operate. So theory, that would mean Mexico. This legislation will use every tool available from increased federal criminal penalties bypassing Democrat district attorneys, prosecutors, blah, blah, blah, blah. She goes on. There's a war going on that affects every single American, but it's not in Ukraine or the Middle East. It's on our southern border. Yeah. Yeah. As a fact, right there. As a fact, Ukraine war, the only thing that we should be paying attention to over there is what's happening between Russia and China and Iran and Saudi Arabia and that coalition. But the real crisis, the real war is on our doorstep, our back door, the southern border. But here's the problem I have with this this bill and militarizing and to fight the cartels. Number one. Congress never takes meaningful action on the border. I don't care how many bipartisan trips happened down in the Rio Grande Valley. Nothing ever happens. And so it just comes across as puffing up their chests to say that they are doing something and they know none of this is going to get passed. So it just seems like a political ploy. And number two, the geopolitical blowback for using military force in Mexico. Really, it is pretty significant. And I have said it for a long time that we do need to do to the cartels, what President Trump did with ISIS And, but we did that at the top of the house, it had to be done with our military chiefs, and our president, trusting the generals, and going out and going after them. But running covert op deployments and drone strikes in Syria and Iraq, it's totally different, then doing the same thing with one of our longest allies and strongest allies in his place where Americans vacation. So something has to be done. But it's complicated. And none of this is possible when Mexico doesn't really want to fix it. In business, I work with a lot of clients and companies and work to advise them during negotiations to find shared outcomes. And And typically, what ends up happening is everybody feels a little dissatisfied. If everybody's a little dissatisfied, then it's going to be a good negotiation. It cannot be a win lose. And it's very rarely a win win. It's often a lose, lose, and then you're able to move forward. Both but both parties have to feel like they're in the boat together before we can expect them to row in the same direction. And here's what the Mexican president, his name is on the dress Manuel Lopez Obrador. Here's what he stated last week. We are not going to permit any foreign government to intervene in our territory, much less than a government's Armed Forces intervene. Here we do not produce fentanyl, and we do not have consumption of fentanyl. Lopez Obrador said we, we don't they the United States take care of their problem of social decay. No, no, I'm sorry. He said, Why don't they take care of their problem of social decay. So he's calling us out the United States saying, look, it's our problem. See, the symptoms experienced by the cartels, menacing abuse, this human trafficking, fentanyl distribution, kidnappings, murders, the vast majority of these issues are experienced by you, by you, your inability to safely cross the border and go on vacation, your inability to, to go shopping in in border towns, your inability to know that your kids when they go to a party are going to be safe, and there aren't going to be fentanyl, on our streets. Those are experienced by you. And by me. And again, these elected officials, especially the Democrats and liberals, they don't really care. Here's how out of hand is gotten. According to the Daily Caller. Mexicans don't require a visa to fly to Canada. So they're now flying to Mexico, flying from Mexico, into Canada, and trying to cross into the US from our northern border. But that's not the crazy part. The crazy part is that the Department of Homeland Security is flying those illegal aliens from our northern border, back down to our southern border. That's right, and not expelling them, putting them on our streets. The invasion is happening from all sides, and our federal government is literally facilitating it. And oh, by the way, at a taxpayer funded cost of roughly $200,000 per flight. The human trafficking machine is so powerful and so resilient, that even when there is an increase in border security, and detentions at our southern border, they are bypassing it going flying from Mexico into Canada crossing and our northern borders again, outside of Windsor and Detroit and in North Dakota and everywhere our northern borders because they know that Biden is going to welcome them with open arms. And he's not putting them in those cities. He's flying them right back down to El Paso. Some people advocate for designating the cartels as foreign terror organizations or NGOs. and say it's a tried and true mechanism for bringing the full array of American power and justice against, you know, terrorist organizations. And this has been done in the past. And Marjorie Taylor Greene mentioned it earlier in that tweet quote that I said, are really about locking down financial capabilities and assets. But between us, I'm just being honest, I don't know what the positive effect will really be. If we did that, mean, we probably wouldn't be able to free some financial assets, and potentially hold some other true states like Mexico, some some true countries accountable, I guess. But it's not really going to move the needle. It's not really going to get the fentanyl off the streets. That is still going to cross the border unless we do something about it. The border is a great example, where many people probably most of you that are listening to this podcast, are reaching a breaking point. ranchers, farmers, moms, dads, everyone. And the question now is, what can individual states do to address the things that really matter to its citizens? Is it time for the states to step up? New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, take things into into our own hands. Is it helpful for National Guard troops to just basically be a backfill for state troopers as checkpoint officers on interstates? I don't think so. I don't think that's helping much. Is it helpful to line the riverbanks with empty cargo containers? Maybe politically, it's a good photo op. But is it stopping the fentanyl from hitting our streets, the stopping the killings along the border now. So some folks say way more can be done about our border. And more can be done about making life in Texas and these border states more congruent with our conservative values. And the way that you do that is by removing the federal government from the equation. I want to welcome a very special guest today, Daniel Miller. He's a true patriot, sixth generation Texan, Best Selling Author and president of the Texas nationalist movement. He's often referred to as the founder of the modern day Texas, Texas movement. And in our last election cycle, he was a candidate for Texas lieutenant governor, probably the most important statewide office in Texas. So Daniel, welcome to the show. Hey, thanks for having me, man. Look, there's so much ground that I want to cover with you today. So I just want to jump right into it. And before we get into Texas, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about the mission of the Texas National Movement and its purpose. And so explain to our audience what really is the vision that TNM is putting out there for Texas? Yeah, you know, being it's interesting, because people really fixate on the the Texas aspect, you know, the referendum and the withdrawal. But, you know, they that is the sexy topic, right? That's the one that gets everyone fired up. But, you know, from from an organizational standpoint, our mission is pretty clear. It's the political, cultural and economic independence of taxes, to secure and protect a constitutional republican form of government and the inherent rights of the people of Texas. I mean, that's our stated mission. And so for us tax, it is the process that helps move us towards securing and protecting our political, cultural and economic independence. People fixate on on tax at as they should, because let's be honest, it really is the most important question of our generation, how we are going to be governed moving forward. But they also miss the work that the organization does around the cultural and economic aspect of independence, or the work that we have done in advocacy for individuals who are being deprived of their inalienable rights or the things that we have done to push back against the erosion of our constitutional republican form of government. So, look, it's you know, for us, independence is the goal. Everything else is a means to get there. are, you know, the left and the Democrats, they love to be spin doctor, they spin everything. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what it is. But the reality on this is that the the rights of individuals are often infringed on by Republicans too. And that that really strengthens the the message and the purpose of Texas nationalist movement, because it's not necessarily about Republicans or Democrats. It's about Texas first, right? Yeah, you know, the thing about independence is, and Ben, I'll just take you on a trip down memory lane. Before we founded the organization in 2005. We did a pretty massive two year intensive study of independence movements around the world, historical and current, you know, at the time. And, you know, one of the things that just really leapt out was how independence as an issue really transcends sort of the normal partisan divide, right? You, you, it's reflected in the poll numbers for Texas. We've talked about that here in a minute. But it really does. And, and the the thing that we have to remember is when you when you get above sort of a normal partisan wrangling about the independence issue, or really any issue, what you find out as it becomes the absolute clearest litmus test, does someone regardless of party affiliation, or no affiliation whatsoever? Do they support our right to govern ourselves? Or do they not? There is no real middle ground, right, there is no gray. And so it becomes a really effective litmus test as to what someone believes. And I'll tell you the practical effect of that. You know, Article One, Section two of the Texas Constitution says that all political power is inherent in the people, all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their benefit, and the people have at all times the inalienable right to alter reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think. expedient. Okay, so that's, that's current Texas Constitution, right in Article One, which is our Bill of Rights to Article One, Section two. So every elected official, regardless of party affiliation, when they take office, they put their hand on a Bible, or you know, sometimes maybe a comic book, and they jam their right hand in the air, and they swear an oath both to the US Constitution and the Texas Constitution. And so when when an elected official comes out and says, Look, I may not be protected, but I believe that you should be able to vote on this issue. That's, you know, that is wholly in keeping with their constitutional oath. But when you have an elected official, again, regardless of party affiliation, who says, I do not believe that you have the right to govern yourself, because either you are too stupid, or I just know better? Well, then that tells you everything you need to know. So it is absolutely a very clear litmus test much clearer than any other term or label that we affixed to anyone, whether that's conservative or Republican, or liberal or democrat or any of those. It's about as clear cut as you could possibly get. One of the things I've always respected about the Texas nationalist movement has been this foundation principle around preserving history. And I mean, you brought up the Texas Constitution. I found as I've met politicians all across the state that there is a lack of, of understanding of the Texas Constitution. I mean, it's like it's just forgotten, and people aren't paying attention to it. And they're not using it as their weathervane their guide their compass towards governing the will towards the will of the people or for the will of people. Is that just me, or do you find that to be the case as well? Well, no, it's true. And I'll look, I'll give you two two very concrete examples. Number one is very recent, you know, State Representative Brian slite, and filed the Texas Independence Referendum Act. And current State Representative Jeff Leach got on social media and had just an absolute meltdown. I mean, it was a bad look for him. It was a bad look for the party. He had he had a meltdown. And he you know, he said that anyone who supported it was guilty of treason and sedition. Okay. Now, when people tried to correct him, you know, trot, you know, not, not initially not being hostile toward it, but tried to correct him. You know, someone posted said, Hey, look at Article One, Section two, he said, No, you go look at Article One, Section One and Article One, Section one starts with the words that Texas is a free and independent state subject only to the Constitution of the United States. Okay. But that's not all that it says. It goes on to say that the perpetuity of the Union depends on the right of local self government unemploy heir to all the states. Yeah, right. So essentially, effectively makes the case for us and it makes it about whether or not this is, you know, we have really a right of self government here or we can be overridden at the stroke of a pen by two and a half million unelected bureaucrats, right. So, you know, he wanted to fixate on the first part, because he probably didn't know the second part. And the the, probably the answer that that brought it home for me, was many years ago, back when David du Hurst was lieutenant governor, on the first day of the opening session, we had a legislative action day. And do hearse found out, we were there, and he wanted to meet. So I went in and met with him. And, you know, he wanted to know more about what we were trying to do and what our basis was. And one of the things I did was I quoted verbatim, Article One, Section two of the Texas Constitution, and he kind of kicks back in his chair a little bit, and he looks at me, he goes, hang on just a second. And he stands up, he walks behind his desk to his little bookshelf that he had there, and he pulls out a copy of the Texas Constitution. He sits back down, he thumbs over to it, he goes, Okay, say that again. And he began to follow along with his finger. And let you know, he was he was fact checking. And then he looks at me and he says, I've never seen that before. And it's Wait a minute, this is a lieutenant governor, who just got off the floor administering an oath of office to that very document to the brand new senators. Yeah. And he did not know that was in there. Yeah, in our case was Bill of Rights. So look, it's very clear. They don't, by and large, know it, they don't understand it. And at a minimum, look, cover article one, the Bill of Rights. I mean, you know, the Ultimate Duty and probably sole duty of government is to protect our liberty. And if they don't know what our rights are hurt, couldn't possibly do that. Yeah. And I don't fault. Anyone individual for not having the Constitution memorized. I just fault individuals who go and make decisions. And they disregard what is in the Constitution. They disregard the will the people I mean, and, you know, I could expect that type of lack of understanding coming from, you know, some county commissioner, newly elected official somewhere, but for to be a sitting lieutenant governor. I mean, that's a challenge because it's the tenant Governor sets that the the the plan and the strategy and the priorities primarily for for the legislature and of course, the Senate. That's a that's a challenge. That's a challenge. I mean, is that how did he respond at the end of that conversation? To Well, he was excited know, the story, the story goes on, and I talked about it in the Oh, yeah. You know, the, it was it, he was fascinated by it. But you know, the story goes on, that ultimately, he wanted to help us with this legislation. He wanted us to get it to, to a vote of the people. But at the time, he wanted to buy in from the Attorney General's Office, you know, he basically said, Look, we're gonna have some probably some legal and judicial things that we've got to deal with. And and you know, we're gonna need a buy in from the AGs office, that they're going to work with us on this. And so his office reached out to the AGs office and the AGs office responded back and said, Yep, we're not touching it. Because Attorney General Abbott is afraid that it will about how it will affect his run for governor. And that was the end of that for that session. You know, it was political expediency, over foundational principle. So it's, you know, it's been part of the challenge that we've had with our relationship with Greg Abbott. I don't I don't like political career ism. And I don't like you know, disregarding the rights of the people, because you're afraid of how it might affect your, you know, achieving the next rung on the political ladder. So, well, let's let's go back then to what, what Representative Slayton filed in this referendum. He's a great guy got a lot of respect for him, because he likes to just roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty. And I've got a lot of respect for for people that that do that. And so he he drafted this rough referendum, what what is the trajectory on this? Where do you think it's gonna go? Yeah, so a little bit of background. So the Texas Independence Referendum Act, it's a draft it was draft legislation that we had been working on for many years. You know, back I think a session after the thing with do Hurst James White tried to file it as it became HCR 77 ledge council stripped the vote out of it, turn it into a resolution. And then the last session, cow Biederman filed the legislation as HB 1359. And essentially what it does, as a piece of legislation is it does really two things. Number one, in November of this year, it would ask the people of Texas a simple question on the ballot, should the state of Texas reassert its status as an independent nation? Right? A very simple question a lot of complexity to the discussion and the debate, but culminating in answering that question, letting the people decide. The second thing that it does is if the people respond in the affirmative, it forms a committee, a Joint Legislative Committee, between the house in the Senate to work through the issues of how to best implement the will of the people to come up and list the, you know, deal with the constitutional issues, the statutory issues, international covenants, treaties and agreements, and finally, the negotiated issues with the federal government and then gives them time to craft what that plan would look like, and then present it to the next legislative session. So you know, it's very, very simple. And what it does, there's not a ton of complexity, contrary to some of the opposition, the bill does not withdraw Texas from the union. That is ultimately a choice that has to be left up to the people is that the one thing the opposition likes to likes to raise? You know, there are a lot of things, the opposition, the one thing that we have found over the years to deal with the opposition is they don't know what to do with this. You know, they, they refer to it as a secession bill, it is not they they talk about what we're doing is secession and it is not, you know, they reject, they try to claim that ultimately, no one in Texas believes in this issue. But yet, they still won't allow it to go to a vote. And we know the poll numbers are solid, one of the reasons they don't want it to go to a vote is they know what a win. But you know, it's a lot of that sort of misinformation, these knee jerk reactions. They want to debate Texas issues, before we even get a chance to have a vote. And let's be honest, any discussion on this issue is purely academic. And people can say whatever they want to, until it actually is going to be on a ballot, and we have a date with destiny, then then it goes from being just the discussion goes from being an academic exercise to being one about discussing the future of Texas. And really, that's what this issue deserves a real discussion, a real debate and a real vote is Texas, but even necessary, if our elected officials would do their jobs, you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, you know, and I'll give you a really good example. Right? So the short, something this side of Texas would be nullification, right? The problem that you run into with a lot of these particular issues is they ultimately rely on other people for that for that solution to be implemented. Right. So you know, that that would be so about the Convention of States would fall into that, you know, that those sorts of things. The one of the other is a problem of velocity, right? The federal government is growing at such a rate and eroding our sovereignty and our rights. It's such a right, that, you know, the legislature could make 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days out of the year, and still not even be able to make a dent and what the federal government's doing to us. You know, you know, part of that is just it's structural, right? I mean, we could talk about from a policy perspective, and say, well, we don't like the party in power in Washington, DC. But the problem is structural, right? Because the federal government has wound its way into every aspect of our lives. It's a big challenge. And look, I'll give you a good highlighted example. When the Obamacare penalty came down the pike, right, it was going to be sued for not having health insurance, the penalty was going to be assessed by the Internal Revenue Service. Okay. So that is a direct relationship between the federal government and an individual, the state doesn't get in the middle of that, nor is there a mechanism for them to do that. So they could put together a fist shaking resolution, they could put together a law to say, well, you don't have to pay it. But at the end of the day, it's the individual that signs that tax return under penalty of perjury, and when you write that on there, you know, whatever your your healthcare status is, you know, they're forcing you into a situation and so as individuals, you have to weigh out, wait a minute, do I trust the state of Texas to defend me when the Internal Revenue Service comes and says that you filed a fraudulent tax return? You know, you look at how the federal government has manipulated education by the use of funds through ostensibly a school Lunch Program. But the moment you take dollar one from the federal government, you're beholden to them. So we're at a point now where Texans overpay, and this is an overpayment, anywhere from 103 $260 billion annually into the federal system that gets sucked out of Texas and doesn't get to come back. It never we never see those dollars, again, in any shape, form or fashion. So, you know, you you look at, I think it was two, three sessions back 41% of bills filed on the Texas Legislature, reference, the federal government, a federal agency, a federal law, federal regulation, a federal court case. So you've got a situation where, on average, about a quarter to nearly half of the bills filed in Texas are written by unelected, unaccountable Washington bureaucrats or K Street lobbyists. So, you know, Texas fixes those things, we could say that these guys could do their job. And certainly, there is an element of that, you know, when we talk about border, we talked about the border is a great example of that. But But by and large, those are sort of band aids, they do not address the structural imbalance that we have as being part of the federal system. Yeah, yeah. I, I totally agree. I mean, makes it makes a lot of sense. So you, you had said that the Texas National Movement, spend a lot of time probably continue to do so studying other examples around the globe mail folks talk about what happened in Britain most recently. Is there a blueprint that Tech's it should follow? or lessons learned, perhaps from the UK leaving the European Union? What's sort of your take maybe on that particular example? Cuz I think people are somewhat familiar with that. Yeah. And you know, the great part about this is there's no shortage. When we did the study, there were no shortage of examples, right? I mean, in one stat, that kind of, honestly, that I heard before, I crossed my proverbial line in the sand in 1996, that one of the statistics that really kind of opened my mind to this issue was, at the end of World War Two, there were roughly 54 recognized fully sovereign countries around the world. In the mid 90s, there were 192. By the end of the 20th century, that number had grown to well over 195. So, you know, we're, we're now in the 21st century, and the issue of brand new nations around the world hasn't slowed down. One thing that we became abundantly clear, and it's kind of a paraphrase of Mark Twain, you know, Mark Twain said that history doesn't repeat, but it rhymes. You know, there are there is a thread of similarity among independence movements, you know, these nascent nations that want to come about are old nations that want to reclaim their right of self government, there is a thread that runs through them, but no two are exactly alike. You know, you cited Brexit and obviously, Brexit was kind of a watershed moment for a lot of people over here, it was a country that can relate to Yeah, right. I mean, you know, when when you talk to people over here about Bougainville, they don't know where that is, you know, you tell them Well, that was part of Papua New Guinea. It's like, where's that? You know, I mean, they don't know what that is. But Brexit was a kind of a touchstone, a first world example for them Scotland, probably, as well in 2014. That they could relate to. And, you know, you look at sort of the way that Brexit went down. And you understand that, oddly enough, a lot of the arguments that the UK was making the Euroskeptics whether it was you, Kip, what eventually became the Brexit party, you know, the after that formation, pretty much any of the Euroskeptics a lot of the arguments that they were making against the government in Brussels, are very similar to ours. Something that we also saw in Catalonia is complaints against the Spanish central government. You know, we saw a piece of literature, this is a funny one, we saw a piece of literature, translated into English from the Catalans about independence, and you literally could scratch out Catalonia and put Texas and scratch out Spain and put Washington DC. And every argument. I mean, it could have been a piece of literature. It's rhyming again, it's rhyming, but but each one so you know, from that standpoint, there is that common thread, but at the end of the day, every one of them has to maneuver based off of, you know, their own history, their own culture, their own political system. And so, you know, while we were able to do those studies for two years, the other thing that we had to do was we had to look at law, you know, the Texas election code, our Constitution, our laws, we had to look at how politics works here in Texas. One of the bigger Reasons that, you know, the political party was never on the table for us in those discussions, because it did not make sense given the realities on the ground here. So, but you know, there are a lot of common beats. But at the end of the day, there is no blueprint, we can't go and say, Okay, what did they do with Brexit? Okay, let's do exactly that same thing, because it just doesn't fit. Well, either way. I kind of liked that. Because, you know, Texas, we like to chart our own path. I mean, we, you know, we love independence. And now we say this a lot. And I think most Texans do, right. But there is a sense of comfort in the status quo, just in human nature in general. And I think as I talk with folks that aren't paying very close attention to politics in the in the movement as much as you and I do, you know, that that's really where they fall on these things where they say, Well, I'd like that, I would like independence. I'm definitely a proponent of self governance, I want my voice to be heard, I want my voice to matter my votes to matter. But they're very comfortable in the status quo. So there's, there's a gotta be a bit of this around getting people to be comfortable with being with being comfortable with the uncomfortable and and being okay with some change, right? Well, you know, it's a lot of perspective, right? We're who you have to remember right now, we're not selling taxes we can write, we can go out there and make the pitch for why Texas is better off as a self governing independent nation. But what we're talking about right now, is even just a fundamental right to have the discussion and the vote, right, just to have the debate in the vote. And what we find is, in large numbers, people are wanting to have that conversation. Now. You know, you talk about making people, you know, that, that they're comfortable in the status quo. But, I mean, let's be honest, more and more people are becoming quite uncomfortable with the status quo, you know, whether it's the border and immigration, whether it's monetary policy and taxation, I mean, they go, they go to the gas pump, or they go to the grocery store, and they're getting they're quite uncomfortable with the status quo at this point. But for us, it's about shifting perspective for people. Okay. Yes, so many years ago, because they love the opposition loves to drill us with questions, right? Well, what if this, but what about that, you know, dandy Don Meredith, if ifs and buts, were candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas, right? And so we just we started flipping the script. And we said, okay, look, let's just let's just play a game. Imagine for a moment that Texas was already a self governing independent nation, right, just like 200 other self governing independent nations around the world. And we had control over our own border and immigration policy, we had control over our own taxation and monetary policy, on military and defense policy, you know, our own, we could do our own trade deals, had travel agreements, you know, we had all of the things that 200 other countries around the world have. And instead of talking about Texas, we were talking about whether or not we should give up that control and join the union, knowing everything you know, about the federal government today, would you vote to give up that control and join? And if you wouldn't, then why would you tolerate staying one day longer than you had to? I mean, what are the polling numbers on a question like that? Well, look, I can tell you right now, I mean, we we have we focus groups that question, you know, and and not, you know, we didn't do it ahead of time, we just started making that shift of the narrative and the perspective and saw people but we did eventually focus group and say, Okay, what do you think about this, but at the end of the day, when it comes to that question, or really the question of Texas, we know where the people of Texas are, because the polling numbers are clear, you know, the survey USA poll, which, you know, followed the trajectory of all the polls before it, but that survey USA poll from last summer, showed that if this question goes on the ballot tomorrow, 66% of likely voters will jump in, you know, they'll say, Absolutely, we want we want to exit they just by and large, don't know that they have that option. And that's a lot of the work that we do is we have to go out there and let people know that they have the option and I'm going to tell you what one of the biggest one of the biggest, biggest opponents that we have on this issue is mainstream media. Because they don't want to talk about it and when they're forced to. You will always find some dig in there that they say we don't have a right to do this. Now. They never back it up. Nor do they take an opposing viewpoint as to why they're wrong. But they are probably the one of the biggest opponents of this in you know And they maintain that propaganda arm. It's difficult to overcome. So we have to go, you know, group to group person to person straight retail politics, asking that question that I just asked you. So we're in the middle of March Madness here. So I'm gonna go ahead and ask the betting man question. What What are the odds that we're going to be voting on this come November? Well, look, anything's possible. There's always a way to win. And you know, it's going to be tough. I mean, it's like we said when Biederman filed it last time, you know, but when Biederman filed it last session, they said he would be the only person to sign on that bill. They called it you know, they, they described it like a like a Don Quixote situation where it just Biederman tells and it windmills nuts cheering him on. By the time it was over with you had James wide who was you know, at the time Chair of the Homeland Security Committee signed on as a joint author and he wound up with four or five other co authors on the bill. So, you know, we've always had a habit of defying expectation. This time around, I think we're going to be in a better position where this bill is concerned. We'll get we'll get more co authors, I think we'll get Senate action on it. And we're going to slog it out, because like I said, there's always a way to win. And you have to play the game all four quarters, right to get in there and get the thing done. So the odds, I don't know, I don't I don't play odds, I play reality. And right now, you can have it's like we some preliminary conversations we had before the bill was filed. I said, you know, right now, the you know, the expectations might be low on, you know, the part of some folks about what the progress of this is. And I said we will defy those expectations. And we will play it all the way to the end. But the other thing is something external can happen. You know, the federal government could do something so egregious that half of the dadgum House and Senate are marching down to the office to put their names on this bill. Right. And let's be honest, the odds of the federal government doing something egregious, pretty good are always pretty high. Yeah, that it's been known to happen from time to time. So. Okay, so we we just recently passed the bill filing deadline in the in the legislature here in Texas. What Yeah, I'm sure you've followed quite a few of the filings thus far. What kind of grade would you give the Texas Legislature? Well, that's tough. I've seen I will tell you I've seen I've seen a lot of decent bills, you know, some that are squarely in our wheelhouse. Mark DeRay, Zo, filed a bill that that deals with the establishment of an electronic gold currency for Texas. That's an outcrop of the, you know, obviously the the Texas Gold Depository act that we champion many sessions back, and it fits squarely in the economic independence wheelhouse for us. By and large, I think from a from our standpoint, you know, I don't know that I would give him a pretty strong grade right now. I think there are a lot of issues that are that need to be addressed. And I think they're soft pedaling. I think they're being kind of a little too cautious. There's a lot of infighting between the Senate and the House. I still, you know, I don't expect any traction on the abolition of property tax, we will yet again get peanuts for property tax. There's smoke and mirrors, you know, and they will not eliminate I think that Schaefers bill about a border security force is okay. Again, I would have preferred that to be shifted to the state guard state, you're being fully militarized. But look, it's it's a move in that right direction. But there are some other things. But But you and I also both know, from dealing with this for a long time, it's not really about the bills that are filed, it's about the games that they play, right. You know, we always talked about in the house that the calendars committee is where good bills go to die. And these guys, a lot of times will follow legislation that appeals to the base, knowing full well that they will just go whisper to the calendars committee and go hey, don't let this thing see the light of day and then they'll go and say that they Well, we ran out of time. So I don't I don't ever really grade the legislature moving in because a lot of what they're doing now is for campaign mailers in the next cycle, what what really counts is once that gavel slams down and you know, it's Sunday die, what happened? You know, not not what they want to happen, but what actually happened. Well, well, no, here and in a couple of months, for sure. Well, it's I'm gonna tell you it's a sprint, is it not? I mean, you know, 140 days every it's funny because, you know, when when I have to explain to people about our legislative process and you know, they wonder well, okay, well, why? Why is it? Are you on these two year cycles for the referendum? It's like, Guys, our people only meet 140 days for every other year, and then they spend the rest of the time convincing us why they should be led to go by, you know, allowed to go back. So and the good ones gotta go back to work, ya know, right. So it's a, you know, it's just, it's one of those things, it is a sprint. So I know, Texas nationals movement spends a lot of time identifying and working with strong Texas first candidates getting robbed getting Texas first folks into Office supporting them when they're there. For for our listeners, who are some of the ones across the state that you would say, Look, these are some good folks who are in office, we need to continue to have their back keep them in there because they always look at things through the lens of what's good for Texas. Yeah, you know, it's it's a that's an interesting question. And I would just direct people to go to the website and look at the candidates that have signed the Texas first pledge, you know, they go to take Texas back.com I mean, I'm, I'm talking with a guy who had the courage to sign that pledge alongside of 99 100 102 others, you know, I'm looking at you. But, you know, it's it's, there are you've got some champions, but look, look, I'm gonna be straight. This is all straight, no chaser. There are not enough. Right? We need people to challenge these incumbents, every cycle look, competition. Competition breeds greatness. And the fact of the matter is, is that these guys had not been pushed so hard. During the election cycle, we may not have even gotten anything like, you know, what we what we've been talking about, like, you know, Shaffer's border bill or any of these other things. I mean, you know, those things might have gone away had these guys not been challenged, but they they understand that they are under legitimate threat in their particular districts. That you know, you had a race up there with Lynn Stuckey, who's a state rep that, let's be honest, man, he's not a great, he's not a great rep. But he was challenged by a guy named Andy Hopper, one of one of our pledge signers, and Andy came within 100 votes of winning that race. 100 votes. And you know, so Stuckey is feeling the pressure. Now, does he understand he's feeling pressure? That's another story. But that really needs to happen across the board. You know, let's look at if you look at the governor's race, okay, so during the primaries, we had all of the major challenges against Abbott signed the pledge, okay. How funds went on? I mean, he went on a crusade about the border. I mean, he did, I mean, a crusade and he said, This is what needs to happen. He says, We need to shut down commercial traffic at the border. Right, we need it. And so, you know, that was one of the things that he stated. And there were, you know, a whole series of other things. Well, all of a sudden, you know, after the primaries before the general, what happens, Abbott shut down commercial traffic at the border. So, you know, a lot of these things that were talked about have begrudgingly, I believe, become policy issues. And, you know, and that's why I think we're gonna get a little more traction on the text issue, because these guys know that when the session is over with, they've gotta go back in their districts. And they know people like us aren't gonna go away. Yeah, I think your comment about competition, being good is so important, because getting more of these voices into races ensures that the public can hear good policy ideas, good. Good frameworks for how Texas can solve its own problems and how Texas can stay in the driver's seat. And if at the end of the day, it at least influences the current elected officials to do right by Texans. You know, that's a win on the board. But we do need to get more of those folks elected for sure. Well, look, I look oh, you know, you mentioned Brexit a moment ago, and I'll bring this back around to an exit thing. You look at the primary pressure group that helped push Brexit across the finish line was the UK Independence Party. Okay, yeah. Now, by by electoral rules. The EU Parliament elects via proportional representation. So you Kip was able to get seats, but you kept them never won a single seat in the British Parliament, not one. The only members of parliament they ever had were ones that converted and I think the high watermark for that was two members of parliament. Okay. But what happened was, they got a guy elected as a member of the European Parliament named Nigel Farage. And Nigel Farage gave a phenomenal speech that went viral, you know, the damp rag speech where he was just slamming Van Rompuy. But anyway, he gave the speech became exceedingly popular kind of known as the face of this. But you, Kip never achieved electoral success. But what they did was they were able to operate as a pressure group, right. The general election that happened before David Cameron called for the Brexit referendum showed that you, Kip still did not gain a single seat in Parliament, but they were cumulatively the third highest vote getter, right? They blew the Liberal Democrats out of the box, the Lib Dems completely collapsed. And what it showed was as a pressure group, if you know, if the Conservative government at the time did not call for the referendum, there was the potential that Brexit become, could become the wedge issue and lead to a collapse of the Conservative Party. So effectively. You KIPP never was a great political party, but it was a great pressure group, and ultimately, were able to move the prime minister in that direction to call for a Brexit vote. So, you know, it's why it's important for us to challenge every race, every cycle to have pressure groups out here pushing these issues. Because you never know, again, you have to remember a lot of these elected officials, their number one concern, every time they roll out of the rack is how am I going to get how am I going to win reelection? And if that, you know, the, I think I was when I was talking to Dr. Courtroom about this. I said that, you know, if if your elected official is a wind sock, you got to be the wind. Yeah, I mean, it has to happen. And it it doesn't always happen overnight. A we we have tons of races that have happened in the in the Valley for years. Yeah. And then never had Republicans get into it. Right. County Commissioner county judges, local municipality seats, congressional seats, and now conservatives are starting to get in those races. They're certainly not winning them all. But we are getting wins on the board. We are changing the narrative we are highlighting and creating a sense of urgency on things like border issues, because those people are in those fights. And so you know, look, you you take Texas nationalist movement, y'all been chipping away at this? Since since the 1990s. Every two years getting this getting this going? It's yours. It only took 20 years to become an overnight success. Yeah, I like it. I like it. But now you can claim you are so and it's, it's what has to happen is people have to say, I'm not going to give up i might might not win them all. But I'm not going to give up so well. Look before we let you go wanna play a little little game with you little this or that so people can kind of get to know know our guests know what you're all about. So I'm going to state two things and you pick one, whichever one you prefer. And we'll start off a little easy. All right. Okay. Okay, here we go. Barbecue or burgers, Barbecue, barbecue, chicken fried steak, barbecue brisket or ribs. Brisket. Janis Joplin or Stevie Ray Vaughan. Oh Sophie's Choice. Well, given where I'm sitting, which is down here in her home, it's got to be Janis Joplin or somebody may come throw a rock through my window. All right. All right. Well, we'll see if she if she holds, holds the line then on this one, Janis Joplin, Willie Nelson. Willie, Willie or Roberto King, Robert O'Kane. Shiner Bock Or Lonestar. Shatter shiner or Tito's shatter. Alamo or San Jacinto. Oh. Alamo. Stephen F. Austin or Sam Houston. Houston, Houston or Crockett Houston, Houston or Travis. Travis. Okay. Salt life or lake life. Salt life. Yeah, I figured I figured hunting or fishing. Fishing. Okay, is the thing. Like, it's the thing I say I'm gonna do. People say, what are your ambitions after you get texted? I say, Look, I've not had a vacation day since I was 22. I'm going fishing. Yeah, heck yeah. Man that that's, that's a good life. All right, fixing schools or fixing property taxes? Oh, that is a Sophie's Choice. Well, I mean to find fixing, right. I mean, if you're talking about if you're talking about eliminating property tax, then that's the that's a that's starts there. But the schools is another one. I don't know. I don't know where I would be on that. Because honestly, both of them have moral implications and need to be addressed. So broken, so many moral and ethical implications. I'll put you down for eliminate property taxes. Look, I'm all about eliminating the property taxes. Because honestly, Look, man, I mean, from a policy perspective, and I know these are supposed to be rapid fire. Right. But from a policy perspective, if you eliminate property taxes, that actually does have an impact on addressing the school education situation, everything right trickle down. Yeah, that's a that's a catalyst for so many good that things that we could do here in Texas. So I agree with you on that one, for sure. But no one cares about me they care about you. All right, eliminating property taxes or gun rights. John rights, gun rights or securing our border? Gun Rights. Okay. Okay, what what needs to be done to secure a border? What What should add it in everybody? What like, what should we be doing right now? Fix the border? Well look, very clear. Look, I sent it during the LG race. And honestly, when I said during the Lieutenant Governor's race was exactly the policy position that the organization has advocated for many, many, many years. And it's simply this what needs to happen right now, this side of Texas is the obviously a declaration of invasion, but a real one not not a mailer, but a real legal declaration of invasion straight out of the legislature, the whole nine yards, okay. Then what needs to happen is the state guard as one of the three components of the Texas military department needs to be fully militarized. Right now, you know, they operate as basically a Red Cross in camo, okay. But when you fully militarized them, you essentially are saying, Okay, this is going to be our military component that answers only to the governor, which they do now. But they're not truly a military, but you need to fully militarize them, you need to open the enlistment. In other words, remove the enlistment caps, you need to shift funding from the National Guard over to the Texas State Guard, you need to shift the funding that's being used for the DPS the expanded funding that's being used to send DPS patrols down there to do you know, traffic stops, and you know, what they call their their border security funds, you need to shift that to the Texas State Guard as part of that militarization effort. And then you need to deploy them to repel the invasion. And when I say repel, I mean belly up right to the river. And there is no there is no crossing. And the challenge that you're going to run into there is they're going you know, there are people who say from a federal standpoint, that, you know, once they get halfway across that border, they are part of it, you know, it's there, the Federal it's a federal problem now, and the federal government will claim that, but at the moment that we have actually declared an invasion, and we're repelling the invasion, the federal government is going to be put in a in a position which will effectively create a constitutional crisis, which needs to happen related to the border, they will say that they can't do that, that Texas can't return them or push them or repelled them across the border. But the fact of the matter is, with an invasion declaration and an actual, you know, actual action acting like it's an invasion, the federal government's gonna be really put into a position where, number one, you know, they've got to come down and start prosecuting a newly expanded Texas State Guard as our military force for you know, interfering with federal jurisdiction or whatever kind of nonsense, or they're going to have to do something about the border. But this is the only way you can address critical issues like this. Uh, sometimes you just gotta force the hand and say, Look, federal government make a choice. Are you going to choose the cartels? Are you gonna choose the people of Texas and at that moment that they don't choose the people Well, if taxes, then, you know, I think our support jumps from 66% to about 85 or 90%. Because that'll definitely facilitate taxes. And, you know, I'm a little concerned, because so many of these things are within the control of Texans and within the control of Governor Abbott, and many of our elected officials. And the concern I have is that, are we at a point now, in which they're not going to take action? Because everybody's going to look up and say, why haven't we done this over the last 345 years? Yeah. Well, you know, I think that for people, the vast majority of people out there, I still think there is a general sort of ignorance about what's happening at the border. They live happy, peaceful, blissful lives, and in it, for them is not the primary issue. Now, I will say this, I think it's interesting if you go back last decade or so, you know, University of Texas, Texas Tribune Poll, they think what do they pull every quarter every six months, whatever it is. But, you know, when poll after poll after poll, every single one showed that the number one concern for Texas voters was the border and immigration, you combine those two, that's the number one issue for Texas voters. So you know, they're they understand some of it, but I will tell you that anecdotally speaking, most people that I have talked to about the border issues, only know it know that it's an issue, generally, they do not have a depth of knowledge about the issue that tells them they understand the seriousness of it, right. So they know what's a problem. They will say a lot of the things about it being a crisis that needs to be addressed. But they're not because they're not dealing with it in their minds on a daily basis directly. They don't really kind of grasp it. So it allows guys like Abbott to get by with, you know, saying that they're doing something, and people go, Oh, well, isn't he? You know, isn't he securing the border? And it's like, no, he's not. Okay, well, what about the federal government? Why the federal government should be doing this? What about border patrol, you know, they don't have the depth of so it's important for us, as people who have experienced it firsthand, who see what's happening down there, to carry that message to as many people as possible so that they do understand the seriousness of it, and can then affect the appropriate political pressure. But but being here's the bottom line, you know, I can talk about, you know, what we can do right now to secure the border. But at the end of the day, the only way that we're ever going to be able to secure the border and get sensible immigration here in Texas is going to be self governing independent nation, and do like 200 other countries to set our own immigration policy set our own border policy. too, too often on too many issues. The border, especially the federal government is the 800 pound gorilla in the room, they've got to They not only have a seat at the table, but they're the ones who throw the tantrum, you know, they're the ones who are really guiding the conversation. You take them out of the equation and say, Texans, how would you address this? Texans are gonna go here's how we address it. We're going to we're going to, you know, we're going to secure our border, whether that's with a wall, whatever that looks like, we're going to remove, we're going to remove the magnets for illegal immigration. And we're going to implement a sensible, sane immigration policy that is not draconian or Byzantine, it will make sense for everyone involved, and takes into account the the unique dynamics here in Texas, something the federal government will never do. Why are we having our border immigration policy written by Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and the rest of those people? They don't live here. It's the people that live here that need to be addressing those issues. And we can't do it as long as we're a state of the United States supply. No. So as the future bright for Texas, we got a lot of challenges. But is it bright? Look, I believe, Ben, I believe the next 100 years of Texas history being written right now, I mean, tech, Texas, is our independence is not a hope, wish or dream. It's an inevitability at this point. It's just a matter of timeframe. Right? Where are we doing it? Are we having the vote this year? Are we having it in two years or two years after that? How bad are things going to get in our relationship with the federal system before the vote happens? The vote will happen. And we know ultimately what the outcome of that vote will be. It's just really for us it's a matter of timeframe. So I believe that the future of Texas is very bright, but every day that drags on that we don't have our right of self government means that it's going to get darker and darker and darker and it's always darkest before the dawn. So, you know, I'm ready, I'm ready for Texans, to take our own destiny in our hands to be able to write our own ticket to be able to govern ourselves, to implement policies that make sense to us and adjust the level of government that is most comfortable for us and set our tax policies and, you know, have that 103 $260 billion back in our economy. You know, I'm ready to see Texas go from the ninth largest economy in the world to the fifth or sixth. You know, I'm ready to see what Texas can do when it is unleashed. When it becomes a state a beacon of unlimited opportunity and freedom of the protection of our inherent rights a in a model an example of what a free people living in a constitutional Republican do. i For me, the future is very bright, how close we are to that future is ultimately up to the people of Texas. Yeah, as it should be. And and we need to ensure that we give a platform to the people of Texas, so their voice can be heard. So I greatly appreciate you coming on the show sharing your thoughts. One of the issues we have in all forms of government and all across public policy are people who share what they want to do but they don't really cast a vision. And you in the Texas nationalist movement cast a vision for what Texas can and should become and and then absolutely sounds bright. So look, I appreciate you being here. Where can our listeners find out more about Texas nationalist movement and how they get involved? Well, easy peasy lemon squeezy. My good man, it's so simple. Anyone who wants to know more about the issue can go to Texas now.org. I love it. I love it Texas now.org. Find out more get involved volunteer, support the candidates that are advocating Texas first policy support the elected officials who often are on an island, but they are they're doing great work for for you, the Texas voters and constituents. So, Daniel, again, thank you for being here. I appreciate it. Thanks for having me. Man. It's good to see you again. Good to see you too. We'll catch up more sales. Great. Thank you so much for listening. As always, you can email me your thoughts to Ben at Ben armenta.com. Whether you think now's the time for Texas to leave the United States, or you believe the point of no return isn't even on the horizon yet. I'm sure we can all agree that Texans should be in the driver's seat to determine our destiny. We have a Texas Constitution for a reason. And it's important that our government is held accountable by its people. I want to thank Daniel Miller again. And you can find out more about the Texas nationalist movement at t n m.me. Until next time, thank you again. And God bless. The answer with Ben Armenta is sponsored by the kickin crab, the latest and greatest Cajun concept to hit the southwest. They offer down home flavors and it's one of those places where you're gonna want to take the kids, no plates, just good times brought to you by folks that have strong conservative values. Like you and me. Visit them off of Highway six in Houston or at the kicking crab.com