Sam Houston

The possible entry into the Republican race of Gov. Rick Perry of Texas brought to mind this quotation from Sam Houston:

“Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may.”

Gov. Perry is high on federalism, and the notion that Texans are best situated to run their state.

This used to be a common virtue among the states, but history has not been kind to it since the Civil War. Or, as Texans (and Virginians, for that matter) are still wont to call it, The War Between the States (what I have not heard since I moved to Virginia from Louisiana is “The War of Northern Aggression”).

Sam Houston is an American original, yet one of many, many Scots-Irish without whose spirit we’d still be under British rule. Or speaking French and Spanish.

As for his political philosophy, here’s a quotation (from the Sam Houston Historical Museum website) that would seem to sum it up:

“I have ever been opposed to banks, – opposed to internal improvements by the general government, – opposed to distribution of public lands among the states, – opposed to taking the power from the hands of the people, – opposed to special monopolies, – opposed to a protective tariff, – opposed to a latitudinal construction of the constitution, — opposed to slavery agitation and disunion. This is my democracy. Point to a single act of my public career not in keeping with these principles.”

Sam Houston was a Union man, but he probably had some colorful things to say about the harsh abolitionists of New England. He was a Southern man, a Texas man. In a federal republic such as ours, there is no contradiction, and Rick Perry may well be the man who ignites the GOP to take back our nation.

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