Is Texas becoming too self-confident?

Martine Dirkzwager Wu
July 18, 2022

Is Texas becoming too self-confident?

Martine Dirkzwager Wu
July 18, 2022

Is Texas becoming too self-confident?

Texan rebellion is likely to shake up federal politics in the U.S.
Martine Dirkzwager Wu
July 18, 2022
Is Texas becoming too self-confident?
Martine Dirkzwager Wu
Maya Turolla
July 18, 2022
Design by Zeynep Algan.

In the hilly terrain of West Austin, a buzzing high-tech industry has emerged. Amazon, Apple, Google, Tesla, Meta and many other tech companies now have a foothold in “Silicon Hills”. Dallas has become a financial hub, hosting major offices of Chase, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Charles Schwab. 

What has led to such an influx? Alongside attractive lax government regulations (which have saved Elon Musk 2.5 billion dollars’ worth of income tax), a critical convergence of engineering talent, venture capital, educational institutions and government money has inspired businesses to move to Texas. Along with their investments, thousands of Americans are moving to Texas every week, with quite a few of them coming from California.

This recent influx of left-leaning internal migrants has changed the political geography of the state: many analysts now consider Texas a purple state. Yet the Texan G.O.P. will not surrender without a fight. The party has recently advocated for the secession of Texas. The reason, as stated by the G.O.P.’s Permanent 2022 Platform & Resolutions Committee, stems from the federal government’s impairment of the Texan “right of local self-government”, and the illegitimacy of Joe Biden’s election. The full report calls for opposing gun control, abortion rights, critical race theory, homosexuality, climate justice initiatives, etc.

While secession is barely a possibility, as the Constitution does not contain any procedures for states to withdraw from the Union, the Texan rebellion is likely to shake up federal politics. Its outspoken Republican politics will add fuel to the current hyperpolarization of American politics, which is threatening the stability of the U.S.

Burning questions:
  • Can Austin really imperil Silicon Valley’s dominant position as the global tech hub, or will it remain a satellite region?
  • The radicalization of Texan Republicans can be understood as a response to the demographic shift. Given that a similar shift is taking place throughout the U.S., is Texas merely a frontrunner in this process?
About the author
With a keen interest in philosophy and cultural anthropology, Martine is researching how Eastern countries' pasts, traditions, myths and philosophies influence their approaches to digitalization. She is simultaneously working on her bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and expects to graduate in the summer of 2022. Intrigued by the many opportunities, she has set her heart on pursuing a career in this interdisciplinary field, ideally at the intersection of art, philosophy and technology.
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