In cities across America – New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and New Orleans – in stunning, giddy numbers, millions of Americans streamed into the streets to celebrate President Barack Obama’s executive order Wednesday calling for a “Texit” vote to expel Texas from the union.
The executive order came two days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Texas law to limit the legal rights of women to abortions, and a week after the shocking “Brexit” vote in Great Britain to sever ties to the European Union.
In his executive order, Obama said he didn’t embrace the outcome of the Brexit vote, but the spirit of it – “the cathartic, throwing off of the yoke of oppression. For them, it was the European Union. For us, it most certainly is the state of Texas.”
As the news hit social media millions walked out of offices and off job sites across the nation to spontaneously erupt in ecstatic happiness.
“This is a day I’ve dreamed of my entire life,” said Max Felder, a 73-year-old union laborer in Chicago, who joined thousands whooping and hollering and chanting at passing vehicles on Michigan Avenue.
“Good-bye Tex-ass, hell-o free-dom! Good-bye Tex-ass, hell-o free-dom!”
In the New Orleans French Quarter jazz bands played “The Saints Go Marching In,” and “What Do I Do to Be So Black and Blue” as thousands danced in the streets, deliriously, late into the night.
“I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven!” said reveler Chris Chambers, a black cab driver who once spent a night in a Houston jail for loitering. “I was guilty of picking up a cigarette butt under the influence of being Black,” he said.
It all started with a low-key press conference late Wednesday morning in the White House Rose Garden.
“Our friends in Great Britain put their nation’s best interest up for a popular vote,” said Obama. “That was courageous. I think something like that here will go a long way to clear the air of the divisiveness and rancor and anger and hatred that have increasingly divided America.”
The divisions in this nation, he said, “always seem to start in Texas, or find a happy home there to stew and fester. More than any single act I can think of, giving Texas its long-overdue walking papers will restore this nation to the freedom-loving, democratic nation the founding fathers envisioned.”
Although the “Brexit” vote is still sending aftershocks around the world, experts said there would be no such repercussions if, in November, Americans vote to give the Lone Star State the boot.
The idea of having nothing to do with a state known for its repressive Baptist fundamentalism and radically un-American conservative politics that deny science and religious freedom — and laws that systematically oppress the poor, immigrants, minorities and women – for far too many people, is just too damn good to be true.
“It has been the dream of millions, for what feels like since dinosaurs roamed the earth, to be shed of Texas, with its fetid ideas and appalling geography and crappy little towns like Brownsville and Waco and big oozing sores like Dallas and Houston,” said Ted Sandburn, a professor of Humanities and Geophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“When Americans vote Texas out of the union, there will be no aftershocks. It will be like cuddling after sex.”
Early polls show that if the vote were held today 92 percent of the nation would vote to kick Texas out of the union, and 8 percent would oppose Texit (of that 8 percent of voters, said pollsters, roughly 100 percent of them are Texans).
Historians said America’s revulsion at Texas dates back to the moment it was admitted into the union, in 1845. The antipathy most Americans feel towards the state, according to polls, has only grown worse in recent years as Texas has produced two of the most miscreantic political figures in the history of mankind: George Bush, and Ted Cruz.
Obama addressed that indirectly in his announcement.
“America must pass the kidney stone,” he said. “There will, no doubt, be shaking, and sweating, and times of excruciating pain in purging Texas from our body politic, as you imagine a thing that shape, that big, with the panhandle and all, passing through our urethra. Yeah. It’s gonna hurt, I won’t lie to you.”
“But, buddy, what a relief when that thing, boom! passes. As a nation we will recoil and sag as the hugeness of what we have just achieved ricochets around the world letting freedom ring! And, when that happens, you have my permission: go ahead and light a cigarette.”
Republicans called Obama’s action another instance of executive over-reach. “You can’t just vote on stuff in this country,” said angry House Speaker Paul Ryan who, last week, refused to allow the House to vote on gun control after the murder spree in Orlando that killed 49 people in a gay nightclub.
Ted Cruz said the move was “unconstitutional.” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeted. “Big surprise. Kenyan-born president hates America. This won’t stop me from building the wall. I’ll just move it to Oklahoma. And Mexico will still pay for it!”
In New York, in Times Square, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders joined the thousands in a street celebration not seen since the end of World War II, and provided what certainly will become an image for the ages.
Like the sailor and the nurse in the famous photo, Bernie Sanders embraced Hillary Clinton and bent her backwards at the waist. Then he kissed her.