Texas Governor Greg Abbott set off a firestorm…  of ridicule.

When he discovered military exercises would be conducted in 7 states – including Texas – over the summer in one of the biggest peacetime military exercises in six decades, he knew Texans were going to have questions. After all, residents of Houston can still remember being terrified by a military exercise they were not warned about in 2013. Plus, two hundred people in rural Bastrop County questioned a U.S. Army commander about the training. Was the government planning on confiscating guns or implementing martial law?

Responding to these concerns, Gov. Abbott directed the Texas State Guard to monitor the exercises dubbed “Operation Jade Helm 15.” He said it’s “important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.”

Texas, of course, is a state that has long prided itself on its self-reliance and self-governance. This was demonstrated most recently in Garland, where jihadists who tried to cause a Charlie Hebdo-style massacre were gunned down and killed. In doing so, the Garland police showed the world how they defend the Constitution in Texas.

Texas Representative Louie Gohmert says the concerns of the Texans were understandable, especially considering the Obama administration’s belief “that major threats to the country include those who support the Constitution, are military veterans or even ‘cling to guns or religion.’”

Texas Senator Ted Cruz agrees. “We have seen for six years a federal government disrespecting the liberty of the citizens, and that produces fear. When you see a federal government that is attacking our free speech rights, our religious liberty rights, our Second Amendment rights, that produces distrust.”

But there’s nothing like a Southern governor standing up to the federal government to get eyes rolling. Reporters and politicians accused the concerned citizens of fanaticism. They claimed extremism has gone mainstream in the Lone Star state. The host of “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart, called these Texans “Lonestar Lunatics. Dallas Dipsh-ts.”


Let’s talk a walk down memory lane, shall we? In 2012, groups applying for tax-exempt status were subjected to harassment, suspicion, and unbelievable amounts of bureaucratic red tape just for sounding patriotic or conservative. Or in 2011 and 2013 when supporters of the duly elected governor of Wisconsin woke in terror to the sound of home invasions by their own local police. Or in 2013, when business owners had their bank accounts seized just for doing business in cash.

Of course, some have amnesia when it comes to our overreaching federal government, but not those who have been targeted.  Now we’re all on the alert.

When the government views patriotic Americans as their enemies, those patriots will be suspicious about all of the maneuvers of the federal government.

Governor Abbott was clear: he did not take the action he did because he thinks Texas is about to be invaded by the U.S. military. His intent is to keep communication open between the Special Forces, his office, and the citizens so they know exactly what’s going on.

There is nothing wrong with the leader of a sovereign state monitoring the federal government. In, fact, there’s everything right about it.  Thankfully, someone is keeping them in check. The government’s accountability to citizens is the bedrock of self-governance.

And it’s no laughing matter.

This article was first published by The Daily Caller.

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

One Response

  1. Jim Gager

    I wish to write to Mark Meckler about how I might be of help in this part of the country. However I cannot find an address for his office. If someone would send me, by email, letter, or phone I’d appreciate it very much.

    Jim Gager
    7109 36th Avenue Court
    Moline, IL 61265
    [email protected]
    (309) 792-2427 – Home
    (309) 792-2560 – FAX


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