Texas Secession 2020

Security Council Simulation at Yale

Letter From The Dais

Howdy Delegates,

Y’all are in fer a hoot of a time here in the Texas Secession Committee! We here have been fixin’ this committee since we was wee ‘tots, an’ we are ‘bout as happy as a dead pig in the sunshine ta finally start on chairin’ all y’all! Mosey on over to our New Haven ranch an’ saddle ‘er up ‘cause we dern near startin’ committee!

Y’all have three rowdy cowboys who have don’ tussled with the strongest and rowdiest of ‘em all, an’ this here committee ain’t ar’ first rodeo. Betweens us, we done have ‘bout 11 years of MUN in our overalls, includin’ a few win here an’ there on the renownin’ MUNTY, an’ we all ‘preciate a rousin’ debate. One way or another, we all done made it to our second year here at this fine institution, an’ since we here men are pretty gosh-darn different, we would be mighty proud to go ‘bout introducin’ ourselves.

Danny, despite his funny methods of speakin’, is a bonafide Texan in his heart. He done start his ranchin’ in “The Texas of the East” (Australia), an’ he is known ‘round those parts fer his kangaroo-wrestling talents. Y’all can find ol’ Danny streakin’ cross campus covered in vegemite, or actin’ as a funny man in one of those sketch comedy groups ‘round here. While he might go an’ try pretendin’ ta be a pig on ice, he be as smart as all get out an’ y’all never gon’ find any cowboy as classy as Danny this side of the Mississippi.

Rene Alberto Olivarez is as country as a baked bean sandwich, sharper than a mother-in-law’s tongue, an’ strong as a bull’s breath. He was done raised in Mission, Texas, but Rene done knows how to get gussied up like the rest of us. A redneck of many talents, he can go calculatin’ and usin’ chemicals one minute an’ then switch ‘er up real quick an’ start yellin’ an’ debatin’ like a true statesman. Rene has been ready to lead this here committee since he was knee-high to a duck, and he is quite the cat’s pajamas.

Jacob is the Yankee in this bundle, though he was done proudly born to a different form of thems farmers in Wisconsin. Everythin’ he does is pert near, but not plumb, an’ while he can act a bit uppity, he is ‘bout as country as corn flakes. Writin’ fer days, Jacob pleasures himself with politics (those city folks ‘bout as slick as an otter’s snot), an’ he is darn-tooin’ excited to run this committee with his fella amigos who ar’ ‘bout as close as three beetles on a bacon bit!

Feel free to give yer local postman a letter with any inquiries or comments fer us, an’ we will try to write y’all back as soon as the farmin’ is done.

Jacob Malinowski — jacob.malinowski@yale.edu

Rene Olivarez — rene.olivarez@yale.edu

Danny Rice — daniel.rice@yale.edu

About this Committee:

A quick explanation of this committee/our style

While this committee uses real people and places, it is a fantasy committee. The events discussed in the topic guide are mostly imaginary, but we do recognize that secession in America has a terrible history. The primary goal of this committee experience is to provide series of events where secession is not racially-based but instead caused by a true split in identity —much like secessionist movements in many nations throughout history.

While we will provide world-class debate and discussion in a serious setting with appropriate procedure, the dais team likes to have fun and will look favorably on good-natured roleplay and a full commitment by delegates to the premise of the committee. This is not for the faint-hearted. If you have any questions about this committee or what we’re looking for in a good delegate, please contact the dais team.

Topic History


The sun is settin’ on the ranch here on a cool January evenin’. It is clear ta us that this here election is over, ‘n’ while former President Trump ran a good campaign, he jus’ could not git over the lies ‘n’ corruption of the Democratic party here in 2020. Us Texans made it prutty clear durin’ the past few months that we could not stand toleratin’ the promises President Oprah Winfrey made. These were the last straws fer us here in the Lone Star State; we no longer find ourselves identifyin’ with the crazy American Left that has taken over the Stars ‘n’ Stripes.

We are gathered here in Austin, one of the finest and shiniest cities across the entire state, to formally announce our pride and show the United States we mean our business. The members of this historic moment, one which we will remember jus’ like the Alamo, must act with the courage of a cowboy and pledge allegiance under a different banner. Like coaxin’ a rattlesnake, secession is a tricky task, but the political, economic, and military leaders will need to rise to this here occasion and find any solution which could help every boot and spur within our borders. Texas will fight, Texas will bleed, but Texas must survive.

How We Got Inta This Mess

History of Independence

Beginning in 1835, Texans clamoured for independence from Mexico. Previously incorporated into the nation as a province, Texas was primarily composed of immigrants from Mexico and the United States. These immigrants were prejudiced against many key tenets of Mexico: Abolition of slavery, Catholicism, and an ethnically-different group know as the Tejanos of Mexico. After general instability and the expulsion of Mexican troops, Texans launched their offensive in 1835. This battle for independence, commonly referred to as the Texas Revolution, included famous battles such as the Alamo and San Jacinto. In 1836, Texas signed its Declaration of Independence, and following the capture of Santa Anna, the Treaties of Velasco were signed and the war was over.

After 9 years as an independent Republic and a slow annexation and statehood process in Congress, Texas was admitted to the Union in 1845. Mexico, clearly unhappy with a burgeoning America, rescinded its diplomats and disputed territorial claims along the shared border. Tensions heightened, and the Mexican-American War began in 1846. After two years and many decisive American victories, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in 1848 and ended the war. This treaty gave Mexico a lump sum of American currency in exchange for full control over Texas and a large portion of land in the southwestern United States.

Recent Independence Woes

Independent streaks remain alive in the former Republic. Some fringe leaders claim that American sovereignty over Texas is illegal by domestic or international law. They claim that after seceding during the Civil War, Texas nullified its position within the Union and the United States military is currently occupying their land illegally. Furthermore, these groups say that the method used to annex Texas (a joint resolution within Congress) is legally-dubious and should not stand. Residents of Texas have petitioned both United States District Courts and the International Court of Justice but neither see any action.

The Texas Nationalist Movement, a larger secessionist group, has urged the Republican Party of Texas to debate and vote on secession at the party conventions. Republican leaders rarely entertained the idea and often joked about it, and the secession movement had only 200,000 members in 2016 (less than 1% of the state population).

Shifting Sentiments from 2016 to 2020

2018 Midterm Elections and Republican Instability

Following the sweeping anti-administration sentiments across America, the Democratic party made substantial gains in 2018.

Surprisingly, every Senate Democrat held their seat (25) and 8 Senate Republicans lost their seats. Only Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas kept his seat, defeating his Democrat opponent with 59% of the vote. Many Republicans up for reelection in 2020 began to break with their party on principles like abortion, tax reform, and healthcare, which often lead to filibuster-proof whip counts for Democrats.

Republicans barely maintained their majority in the House, losing 14 of their 22 seats to create a 226-209 distribution. While the party appeared to be relatively strong in this chamber, the party continued to fracture with far-right members solidifying their base and moderate Republicans swaying further left.

Democrats, unified in their resistance to the President and other Republicans, rarely deviated from their voting bloc and continued to stymie much of the Republican legislative agenda. While neither party truly passed much legislation, Democrats garnered political support in their opposition to President Trump.

Disaster in Texas

As the federal government descended further into turmoil, Texas began to face a statewide crisis in 2017. Droughts plagued the farms and ranches across the state, and this lowered crop yields. Furthermore, as the state legislature attempted to respond with water imports and an expansion of water infrastructure, a previously unknown waterborne virus arrived in the state. It thrived in small bodies of water and swept north, affecting both agriculture and public health. As households got sick and yields plummeted, tourism declined in Texas’ major cities throughout 2017 and 2018. Many technological investments and enterprises which formerly resided in the “Silicon Hills” and “Silicon Prairie” of urbanized Texas left the area for better opportunities elsewhere. Panic ensued for over two years as Texas’ economy, once diverse and large, began to collapse industry-by-industry.

Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas legislature turned to the federal government for aid. Begging the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for help, Governor Abbott pleaded with President Trump to save his state and its residents. While the President was more than happy to comply, the newly-Democratic Senate refused. The problems in Texas, which would cost taxpayers in other states billions of dollars in relief, were seen as self-inflicted and strictly-regional. Why didn’t Texas adapt to a changing climate and regulate water and agriculture more effectively? Why should the other 49 states, especially those far from the affected areas, pay for a Texan relief effort? While the President was able to provide some relief through issuing Executive Orders, much of the aid, supplies, and any shot at hope died in the Senate.

Despite these trials, Texas prevailed. Relying on the Texans’ tenacious spirit and work ethic, the state legislature rallied its residents. The legislature carefully monitored every single expense. Unaffected residents opened their homes and donated to farmers. The sick were transported by any means necessary to city hospitals. Oil moguls donated their profits to charities, and many Texas companies sponsored their own relief efforts. Texans began to experience the rise of a new sort of identity, something unique to their state. Even after complete rejection and abandonment by the federal government, the state came together and beat drought, disease, and utter collapse.

Current Situation

2020 Elections

A beleaguered Texas still recovering from its woes only months prior would find another federal fight to endure. The 2020 elections were even more frenzied than those in 2018. Democrats fought tooth-and-nail to attach President Trump to the GOP and destroy him. Republicans, wary of President Trump themselves, hesitated to renominate the incumbent. Among scandals, corruption, and ignorant behavior with the Trump administration, the President's Executive Order for Annual Texan Relief became a huge political liability.

The Democratic Party capitalized on this blunder with a superstar of their own: television personality Oprah Winfrey. Her name recognition and charismatic oratory made her an instant favorite, and Democrats across the country flocked to vote for her in the primary. Winfrey made the Texas relief effort a huge tenet of her campaign, proudly targeting the wasteful spending and vowing to eliminate it. It played well in poor Republican states which needed federal dollars, yet the Republican Party still nominated President Trump to run for his second term.

The conservative movement fractured. Governors, Congresspeople, prominent party strategists and celebrities left the party in droves. Hoping to win the nation on principled small government, these people formed the Conservative Majority Party (CMP) and nominated Speaker Paul Ryan as their Presidential candidate. The CMP distanced themselves from President Trump and lambasted his decisions on Texas, alienating specific Texans for "wasteful spending". While these stories were often exaggerated or false, they painted an awful picture of Texas.

The campaign was categorized by infighting and slander between the GOP and the CMP. Republicans would claim that the CMP made sure to remove President Trump from the ballot in a few states and purge RNC records. CMP staff claimed that the GOP would regularly send spies to try to dismantle the CMP network or put fake supporters of Paul Ryan in the media to ruin the CMP campaign.

Unity and party strength within the Democratic Party carried them down the ballot, delivering liberals more Senate seats, a majority in the House, and most importantly: A routing of the electoral college.

During her acceptance speech, President-elect Oprah Winfrey announced plans to cancel all funding to Texas within the first 24 hours of her presidency. Many high-level Texans watching the speech feared a second collapse of their state and worried about the future of all Texans. Clearly alienated from their fellow Southerners, the individuals in this committee first met as the Governor’s Advisory Council. It was here that they debated the future of the Lone Star State.

After much deliberation and secret sessions of the Texas legislature, Governor Abbott announced that if President-elect Winfrey blocked the funding, Texas would be forced to secede.

Order of Events

At 12:00pm on Wednesday, January 20th, 2021, Oprah Winfrey was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America.

At 3:00pm, she signed her first Executive Order cancelling any payments to Texas and demanding a full repayment of all prior monies.

At 3:30pm, Governor Abbott announced that the Republic of Texas had seceded from the United States.

Portfolio Powers

Your Dais Team Will Represent:

Greg Abbott — Current Governor of Texas

Dan Patrick — Lt. Gov and President of the Texas Senate

Joe Straus — Speaker of Texas House

We reserve the right to remove any member of this committee and replace them with any other Texan


Facilitate debate, bring news before the committee, and suggest agenda items

As the leaders of our respective branches of state government, we serve a purely advisory role and can, at the will of the committee:

Introduce bills to our respective houses of government

Issue Executive Orders

Sign/Veto bills which have passed both chambers

Issue any press/media communications

Members of the committee:

Mr. Rick Perry — Former Governor and Secretary of Energy

Mr. Perry is well-known in Texas politics and has a strong following within the state and throughout the United States. His political connections run deep across the globe, and his former position as a cabinet secretary in the Trump administration gives him extensive knowledge of the United States’ nuclear stockpile. While he sometimes comes across as ignorant, Mr. Perry is adroit in tricky situations.

Mr. Rex Tillerson — Former CEO of Exxon and Secretary of State

Mr. Tillerson knows that there is nothing better than a long glug of Texas tea, black gold, oil that is. He has strong ties with Exxon and knows how to run a company. He has former ties with the US government serving under President Trump and plans to keep it that way. He also has done personal deals with Russia for oil and still keeps those friendly relations. He is loved by the Boy Scouts of America for his large contributions. Mr. Tillerson plans to get his agenda passed.

Mr. Ted Cruz — Former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate

Mr. Cruz is one of the most prominent figures in Texas politics. He has a strong background in helping out with the US Supreme Court and has done legal work with the National Rifle Association and other large corporations. He has also held a variety of positions within Texas government and knows the capitol inside and out. Mr. Cruz is currently the leader of the Tea Party, a group that consists of “courageous conservatives” who are willing to reform the Republican Party. Stand with the true conservatives as you make Texas a great nation!

Secretary Rolando Pablos — Secretary of State of the State of Texas

Mr. Pablos is Texas’ recent Secretary of State. He is an executive attorney with both a law degree and an M.B.A, and Mr. Pablos has strong ties throughout the state and within the Mexican government through his diplomatic visits to the country. His corporate ventures also formed connections throughout the business world, and he is present is both the rural and urban areas of the state.

Commissioner Sid Miller — Commissioner of Agriculture of Texas

Mr. Miller is a controversial figure throughout Texas known for his maverick behavior and extreme policies. He previously served in the Texas House and is currently the Texas Commissioner of Agriculture where he has begun ambitious programs throughout the state. He knows prominent Republican Party operatives and is no stranger to the national media.

Commissioner George P. Bush — Commissioner of Land of Texas

Mr. Bush is the current Commissioner of Land of Texas. His role is to maintain public land in Texas and preserve it for future generations. Being the son of Jeb Bush, his blood runs thick with the Bush legacy. He still calls his uncle and grandpa for anything he needs to get done. As of recent, he is a rising political leader in Texas and will do whatever it takes to rise to the top. Even if that means getting a little help where he needs it.

Honorable Nathan Hecht — Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice

Mr. Hecht has had a long run with courts in Texas. He has been involved with the courts since 1984, and that isn't gonna change anytime soon. Currently he is the Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice and it has been this way since Rick Perry appointed him in 2013. He has a vision for Texas and he does not plan to change it. In Texas, he sees himself as the law, and no one is above the law.

LTG Michael Oates, Ret. — Retired Lt. General of the United States Army

Lieutenant General Oates’ 40-year career in the Army is distinguished and his time at West Point shaped him into a qualified soldier. He has experience combatting terrorism, and his military service gives him a unique opportunity in the committee. Stoic, sharp, and humorous, Lt. General Oates is a charismatic presence in any meeting.

Admiral Patrick Walsh, Ret. — Retired Admiral of the United States Navy

Admiral Walsh was the former commander of the U.S. Pacific fleet and also commanded many other operations throughout his 40-year history with the Navy. As one of the only military members of this committee, Admiral Walsh has considerable power and merit. He’s well-known throughout the Navy, and his demeanor makes him approachable yet intimidating.

Mr. Joel Olsteen — Senior Pastor of Lakewood Church, in Houston, Texas.

Mr. Olsteen is a Pastor of Lakewood Church, a Non-demoniotal Christian church. No other man has a larger pull on the Christian community than Joel himself. His sermons are heard by over 7 million people weekly and 200 million people monthly. Along with that, he has followers in over 100 different countries. He broadcasts 24/7 over the radio and is a best selling author. Mr. Olsteen will have to use his talent to spread the good word in order to keep Texas united.

Mr. Michael Dell — CEO of Dell Technologies

Mr. Dell is a technological magnate, and no other committee members have his prowess in the telecommunications field. His philanthropy make him well-liked, and Mr. Dell is known as a nice but shrewd businessman. To continue a successful Texas, Mr. Dell will have to transfer his knowledge of the private sector into public service.

Mr. Mark Cuban — Owner of the Dallas Mavericks and entrepreneur

Mr. Cuban is one of the most famous members of this committee, and his outspoken criticisms of President Trump make him stand out. He’s invested in hundreds of startups throughout his reality television career, and his charming wit make him a force to be reckoned with. He’s involved with veterans’ organizations and while many committee members have outright power and expertise, Cuban’s wealth gives him an advantage.

Ms. Melinda Gates — Co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

With her husband Bill, Melinda Gates founded one of the biggest philanthropy organizations. Her net worth can only be estimated at hundreds of billions, and she has dabbled in countless industries and professions. She worked in multimedia at her career in Microsoft and understands the press and how to maintain a clean image.

Mr. Robert J. Underbrink — CEO of King Ranch

No landowner is your equal. Mr. Underbrink owns over 825,000 acres in glorious south Texas known as the King Ranch. He has a large employee base in south Texas and provides the state with both crops and wildlife. Business moguls are lucky to get a hunt at his ranch. He has ties with the Ford Motor Company, as they sell the exclusive, Ford F-150 King Ranch. His ties in land are next to none and when it comes to Texas, Land is Money.

Ms. Wendy Kopp — Founder of Teach for America

Ms. Kopp graduated from Princeton University and created the global non-profit Teach For All. She has worked tirelessly in the nonprofit sector and her books are read by hundreds of thousands of educators. Her background in education makes her a household name for teachers, and her friendliness and good-nature should not be mistaken for a lack of ambition.

Questions To Consider

Comin’ Together: Consider how Texas will present a unified front

How should the state deal with the different interests, goals, and strengths of the people of Texas? e.g. race, age, ethnicity, political opinion, way of life, religion, income...

How should Texas reconcile the overwhelming pro-secessionist opinions with those that are not as extreme?

If the United States detects disunity or more than one leader, it may try to pit Texas against itself.  How can Texas prevent divisions within itself?

Settin’ Up a Country: Consider the essentials for a strong Texas

When this committee first convenes, all Texas has done is announce secession. How can the state become fully independent? What steps are left to take?

A successful country needs a lot of things. How can Texas set up...

A functioning government and bureaucracy?

Regulations, rules, and laws?

A taxation system, banks, currency, and economic essentials?

A judicial system, police, courts, and rule of law?

Talkin’ to Others: Consider diplomatic means for Texas’ success

Independent Texas is merely minutes old. How can Texas convince other nations of its legitimacy?

Do certain nations take priority over others for establishing diplomatic ties?

The United States is incredibly angry over our secession. This means:

They may attempt espionage or other tactics of disruption

They will petition and persuade other countries to embargo or ignore Texas

Makin’ Money: Consider how to sustain Texas’ massive economy

No longer a part of the United States, Texas may want to begin trading.  How can Texas continue its strong industries (agriculture, oil, etc) while improving or building other industries that it lacks?

Agriculture was hit hard only a few years ago. How can Texas continue its recovery while preventing another disaster?

Protectin’ Ourselves: Consider how to defeat threats to Texas

Many residents of Texas own firearms. Are local militias enough or should Texas raise a standing army?

Would there be a draft? What would they be armed with?

How much money should go towards defense and what should it be spent on?

Navy, Air Force, nuclear weapons?

We predict the United States will escalate their anger into military options. What might those be? How can Texas defeat them?

Will other nations seize the opportunity and attack an exposed Texas?

What are the emergency procedures or protocols for a besieged Texas?