Letters: On The 'Republic Of Texas'

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Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish read listener email about a story on the imagined Republic of Texas.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Time now for your letters about a story on Friday's program that explored a big what if: What would it be like if Texas were to secede from the United States? Texas was once a republic and Governor Rick Perry's swipe at the federal government last year added fuel to a current discussion of whether his state would be better off on its own.

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY: Texans know how to run Texas.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

So we asked scholars, businesspeople, journalists and regular Texans to conjure up a modern Republic of Texas. Dallas Tea Party leaders Ken Emanuelson and Katrina Pierson imagined it this way.

KEN EMANUELSON: The nation of Texas is a living experiment into what we call the empowerment society. It is no longer a caretaker society.

KATRINA PIERSON: Yeah. There's a safety net that's always been out there. We don't have that anymore. You will be a productive member of society and our environment doesn't allow for people to not be productive.

CORNISH: Well, a lot of you voice disapproval with this story. Peter J. Manson(ph) of Brooklyn, New York wrote, really, NPR? Really? We had eight minutes to kill and absolutely nothing going on in the rest of the world and we had to devote it to this?

SIEGEL: And Manson added, this piece was ridiculous.

Well, Peter Bowen(ph) of Houston was also not amused. He writes this: It is interesting to me that you would do a story that, despite its spin, puts on the table the breakup of the United States and the idea which your reporter said was not very popular. But giving the idea air time is to promote the discussion of that idea, an idea which the bloodiest civil war in history was fought to defeat.

CORNISH: And Mr. Bowen concludes: I am saddened by the poverty of mind I hear from NPR.

Well, there are a few of you who liked this story. Here's the subject line of one such email: Thank you. I laughed out loud at the piece on Texas secession.

SIEGEL: This is not from a Texan. It's from Robert Lord(ph) of Amherst Junction, Wisconsin, who said that the whole thing reminded him of John Steinbeck's 1962 book "Travels with Charley." In it, Steinbeck wrote of traveling through Texas and Mr. Lord quotes from the book: We've heard them threaten to secede so often that I formed an enthusiastic organization, the American Friends for Texas Secession. This stops the subject cold. They want to be able to secede, but they don't want anyone to want them to.

CORNISH: Well, we want you to send us more email. Go to NPR.org and click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.

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