While it is important for Texans to educate themselves on the current political crises threatening our future, how many of us have really considered what an Independent Texas would look like? This is one of the questions that causes the most distress to the average Texan. The idealists use buzz words like overreach and tyranny to describe the federal government.To those more practical voters, however, these words are meaningless without concrete examples. Examples that lead them to questions they never considered. With so many to choose from, the list is likely to be a tad overwhelming, so the key is to examine the differences between a large federal government and Texas in specific ways.
Take, for instance, law enforcement and intelligence. You might raise the question of how many three-letter criminal/intelligence agencies does Washington have for a general population of 326.651 million in the United States?
FBI: around 35,000 employees
CIA: an undisclosed number of employees
NSA: around 100,000 employees
Homeland Security: an undisclosed number of employees
ATF: around 5,000 employees
NRO: reported to use an undisclosed number of private contractors
This short list does not include the untraceable number of private contractors and companies working for these agencies. With 4.3 million people holding security clearances, the United States has a lot of secrets. The NRO is a great example of one of those secrets. The agency was founded in 1960 but not declassified until 1992. How many other intelligence agencies exist without the knowledge of the citizens who pay for them?
The list also does not include the 200,000 federal employees of the FDA, IRS, Department of Veterans Affairs, and others agencies permitted to carry guns and make arrests. If the feds are worried about gun control they could do a lot by cleaning their own closets.
In contrast, how many agencies does it take to do criminal/intelligence work in Texas for a population of 28.449 million?
Texas Rangers: 222 employees
With a world-renowned reputation, the Texas Rangers are still named when global citizens are asked about well-known law enforcement agencies, joining names like Scotland Yard, The Pinkertons, and The Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Ranger notoriety even caused the Nazi press to falsely report that Texas Ranger paratroopers had invaded France during WWII, causing a retreat when, in fact, it was raining U.S. Army Rangers.
With such a respected agency in Texas, our future looks bright, but questions regarding the Rangers’ destiny should be forefront in our minds as Texas begins to consider a vote.
How much should the Rangers grow?
Today, the force has 162 commissioned officers and 60 support personnel that are recruited from DPS.
Should the Texas Rangers continue as a police agency or would they join the Texas Military Department?
Historically, the Rangers have acted as private security, a military force and a police agency. Currently, the Texas Rangers enforce state laws and maintain several special units including SWAT, Bomb Squad, Reconnaissance, Special Response, Crisis Negotiation, Border Security, Public Corruption and Public Integrity.
Should this force continue to report to DPS? Should they report directly to the Governor or to the Texas Attorney General?
The Rangers reported to the Governor until 1934 when they became part of the newly created DPS. However, the history of the Texas Rangers begins long before Texas was even a nation. Stephen F. Austin gave birth to the Rangers in 1823 when he authorized a group of ten men to defend settlers. The volunteers furnished their own horses and guns. The force was raised when needed and disbanded during peace. Aside from smaller skirmishes, they also provided protection for Texas during the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, WWI and WWII while civilians were called away from home.
When considering a vote, Texans should be mindful of not repeating the mistakes of the federal government. No matter the future, the Rangers of the past have proved the agency is capable of adapting to any required situation. As we continue forward, Texas should hold fast to the ideals and people who have made us strong and resist the temptation to use an ever-increasing government to block the sun from shining on the things that make Texas unique.