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the 10th Commandment: Don’t mess with Texas

There’s just something about Texas.

You can’t help it. Cross into the state and suddenly everyone’s driving faster, with purpose, with polite aggression. You have a mission. You are going…somewhere. And the journey is a competition of agility, quick lane changes, traffic openings, and efficient wheel manipulations.
This is legendary country, producing greats like Nolan Ryan, George Jones, and Howard Hughes. In Texas you walk taller, harder, with sure-footedness and boldness. You look people in the eye, nod, grin even, and say things like, “Excuse me, but you dropped this.”
Individuals are still individuals. It’s the idea of personal liberty on steroids, like finding your favorite cinnamon scented candle and sniffing it until you get a slight headache. There is so much of a good thing you wonder, ‘Can I handle it?’ So you take a deep breath of unscented air and then sniff the candle some more.
When Gov. Rick Perry announced his support of the 10th Amendment state sovereignty resolution, even Matt Drudge’s ears perked up, giving the story a banner. The movement isn’t new. In fact, Texas is just one of 33 states filing a 10th resolution, with Oklahoma debated as the possible first.
But that’s Texas for you. It has charisma, like the one truly cool kid in the classroom all the faux cool kids pretend to ignore and clandestinely covet. This kid wears cowboy boots and spouts personal philosophy in one-line sentences like, “Make me” and “No.”
You can’t follow him. He’s going his own way and neither wants nor needs company. But maybe, just maybe, you can mimic his movements and earn his respect.
That’s Texas.
Their size might have something to do with it. No one wants to mess with the big landmass boy. Or perhaps it’s their unapologetic lifestyle. They are red, gun toting, autonomous, self-sufficient, and in case you didn’t notice, adventurous. Life on the border means asserting their culture constantly, with walls and guns and military, if need be. If you think New Yorkers are rude, try camping out with the Mexican drug cartel in your backyard.
At the end of the day, if the worst thing they face is someone not liking them, they don’t care. That is freedom in a post-politically correct world.
Gov. Perry has that independent spirit, that call of the wild western days where men knew a thing or two about survival and judged each other by their handshake. His words are not pretty sounds. They are precursory warnings. Even in this day of talking a problem to death, he might be a last dying breed of action heroes.
“Millions of Texans are tired of Washington, DC trying to come down here to tell us how to run Texas,” Perry said, as if drawing a line in the dirt with his boot and daring the federal government to cross it. You can almost hear him saying, “Now git!”
Texas has legitimized the 10th Amendment movement, not only giving it a voice but making it holler. The clatter of states already aboard could turn into a clanging noise and that could mean bad press for an administration only afraid of one thing – bad press.
Like author John Steinbeck said, “Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word.”
That means the 10th Amendment has gained its greatest ally. And this gunslinger of a state won’t ride off into the sunset, won’t stop until they get their way, and won’t go quietly.
God bless Texas.

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