America Torn: Secessionist Movement Brewing Deep in Heart of Texas

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," June 23, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: People across the country are fed up. And it's not a Republican or Democrat issue. It is an American issue. Yesterday, we talked to a man from Vermont whose group wants to secede from the country and they're far, far left. Today we head to Texas.

First, we decided to go to the streets of New York City to see if people even knew what the heck we were even talking about:


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secession — like a state would secede from the union.

FOX NEWS PRODUCER: Do you think there is any state that would secede from the Union?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: States like Vermont.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That would be Texas.





FOX NEWS PRODUCER: Do you think there's a state that would leave the Union?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely not.

FOX NEWS PRODUCER: Would you ever want to leave the Union?




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love the United States and want it to be together in America.

NAKED COWBOY: But either way, get your muskets. Let's go!


BECK: Well, you know, The New York Times has blamed me and Bill O'Reilly several times that we're ripping this country apart. Really? I love it all together. I think we should just really maybe kick in a link with common sense.

But I wanted to show you that there are people that disagree with each other and disagree with me vehemently all across the country that are actually trying to secede.

Video: Watch Beck's interview

In Houston, Daniel Miller — he is the president of Texas Nationalist Movement — is pushing for Texas independence. I'm just assuming that you are on the right.

DANIEL MILLER, PRESIDENT, TEXAS NATIONALIST MOVEMENT: Well, you know, one of the things that we in the Texas Nationalist Movement do is we reject those labels of right and left.

I saw you on your program — hey, I saw you on your program, Glenn, reject right and left and talk about it. It's all about larger government versus smaller government.

BECK: OK. So you're smaller government?

MILLER: Yes, definitely.

BECK: OK. So it would be — did you see the show last night with the guy from, where was he? From Vermont or from New Hampshire?


BECK: Yes. And he says the same thing. Do you think that — like he did — that America was un-repairable?

MILLER: Well, I think definitely the federal government is irreparable. I mean, you know, I look back at my history and my involvement and my engagement in politics and engagement in the political system as a whole, and I have done everything I can since the time I was — at the age of 18 — to protect the Constitution and the rights that it upholds.

And what we are seeing here is a federal government that has spun wildly out of control. And this is not a recent phenomenon. This has been going on for quite some time.

BECK: Oh, I know. A hundred years —

MILLER: Here in Texas, we feel it.

BECK: Yes.

MILLER: In areas where they don't need to be active, they act too much. And in areas where they are supposed to act, they fail miserably.

BECK: Can we just go back — can you go back to the video of the big bloody arm? People from Texas, I love you to death. The flag with the big bloody arm, you've got to stop sending to me, because they don't understand it up here in the North. They don't get it. It puts me on watch lists.

Daniel, are you anti-government?

MILLER: No, not by any stretch of the imagination. It may put — our position may put us against what the federal government wants. But we are pro-good government, which apparently is something that is lacking in Washington, D.C. now.

BECK: Are you — how big is your movement?

MILLER: Well, over the course of our lifespan — you know, we have been around since the tail-end of 1995 — we've had over 250,000 people in and out of our organization at various times.


So, you know, what I would consider a fairly broad base of support, probably more than any other secession movement in the United States.

BECK: OK. More with Daniel after the break, from Texas. Hang on.


BECK: Back again. We have Daniel Miller. He is the president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, which wants independence for Texas.

Daniel, I've got to go back to the question where I asked you, you know, "How many members do you have?" And you say, "In and out we've had," what a quarter of a million?

MILLER: Yes, slightly over quarter of a million, at last count.

BECK: All right. Let me — no offense here. But I have to ask you. When you say, you know, "Hey, over the years, we've had them come in and out," you mean they coming and they come one time and they're like, "Oh, no. I can't join," and then they leave?

I mean, how many current members do you have?

MILLER: Well, based on the forms that we have on our paid memberships, our affiliate memberships, we push over a quarter of a million as we speak right now.

BECK: OK. Now, are you a group — I mean, because I can't imagine that the federal government is going to go — Texas. I mean, you guys are the only successful state in the union, almost. I can't imagine they're just going to say, "Texas, go ahead."

They're not going to let you secede.

MILLER: Well, you know, I would disagree with that. I mean, for those out there who believe that the federal government is going to hang on to us, I would say — look, the very fact that you're saying that plays very well into the fact that Texas is like an abused spouse.

You never go to be to an abused wife, Glenn, and say, "I'm sorry, I'm afraid you can't leave, because I'm afraid your husband will beat you." It's morally reprehensible to say something like that.

BECK: But I have this —

MILLER: But the fact of the matter is that's where we are. We want a divorce, Glenn. We want to be divorced from the United States federal government.

BECK: Here's what — and I have had this discussion off air with several scholars, because the Constitution, somehow or another, has become a suicide pact, where you can't get out of it. Once you join the Union, you can't get out, which leaves no place for threat to the federal government. You know, once you're in, you're always in. That's you know — that's "Hotel California." No thanks.

Where are you reading that — I mean, the Civil War, they say, solved that. Where are you reading that you can just leave?

MILLER: Well, I mean, you're obviously a friend and a colleague of Judge Napolitano.

BECK: Yes.

MILLER: Judge Napolitano can answer that question for you very easily, where the right to secede preexisted the Constitution. It's why they never spelled out. I mean, who would ever enter into some sort of contract ...

BECK: Nobody —

MILLER: ... that said when one of the parties broke the contract, that the contract was still in force and you had to live under that abuse. No one. No one would ever make that argument and maintain any intellectual honesty whatsoever.

BECK: You actually — we only have 30 seconds, so I have to go quick. You actually believe the tea parties are the gateway drug to secession, is that true?

MILLER: Well, I think that's definitely the case for a lot of folks, because, you know, the tea parties have been about venting frustration, and anger with what is going on in Washington, D.C. And what we're seeing here is people are looking for solution. And the solution for Texas is Texas independence.

BECK: Unbelievable. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

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