The Rio Grande Frontier (Libertarian commentary on the News, #14-33D)

By Nathan Barton

While there is a lot going on in Missouri, California, and of course Ukraine, Syria, Mesopotamia, Nigeria, Liberia, and Canaan (Gaza), we should not forget that bad things are continuing to happen other places, and some good things too.

One place with such mixed messages is the Rio Grande, Texas’ border with the “United” Mexican States.  Unlike many lovers of liberty, I think that borders and boundaries, even invisible lines in the dirt, mean something and are important.  The boundaries between my house lot and those of my neighbors are both respected and maintained, with our without fencing.  It is not just illegal but WRONG to trespass, much less squat or take from my neighbor: a principle clearly stated in the Law of Moses and restated by Christ Jesus.

The Mexican federal government is complaining to DC and the Fuehrer about Texas mobilizing and deploying a battalion of the Texas Army National Guard to border defense along the Rio, as reported by Freedom Outpost in a neat article with some great photos (warning, some disturbing) and some interesting comparisons.

Ciudad Mexico is sounding a bit more like it did when Santa Ana was “el Presidente” right now: thinking that DC can run roughshod over the Fifty States the way that dictator (and other Mexican dictators over the years) has over the Mexican States.  And of course, being hypocritical at the same time, while doing the same thing on the Guatemalan border.

The history is interesting.  Texas has claimed (if not always enforced) the Rio Grande del Norte as its border with the neighboring states of Mexico since it fought for and gained its independence from Mexico in 1836.  (That was a fight originally triggered by the trashing of the “liberal” (by 1830s definitions – libertarian (minarchist) today) Constitution of 1824, and the rise of Santa Ana’s dictatorship.  The Rio Grande border was finally recognized internationally by the treaty ending the Mexican-American War, in 1848.

Since then, although the United States Army (and Confederate States Army) have garrisoned the river border (including posts such as Fort Brown near Brownsville and Fort Bliss in El Paso), for more than a century and a half, Texas troops have defended the border against rustlers, raiders (Hispanic, AmerInd AND Anglo), tried to (more or less) prevent the nastier kinds of smuggling, and encroachment.  Since most of the north bank of the Rio (with the notable exception of Big Bend National Park) is private land, this seems to me to be morally justified and ethical.

Texas has defended its border mostly with a variety of state forces, especially the Rangers.  Indeed, one of my great+ uncles was killed  in a firefight near Laredo between a company of Rangers and a “bandit” group (which seems to have had an awful lot of people in uniforms).  State troops during the War Between the States carried more of the burden than did the few CSA detachments (whose priority was defending the fellow Confederate States).  A variety of Public Safety organizations did so in the early 20th Century, but were slowly replaced by US Border Patrol, as the FedGov pushed its camel’s nose further into the tent.

Until, today, the current regime in DC clearly believes that states not only have NO role in border defense, but no power or obligation to defend their citizens and their citizens’ property against theft, invasion, trespassing, or occupation by ANY one or ANY thing coming across the river.

And it is very easy to come across.  Another story this week talked about this:  CNS News seems to think it WAS news that a 2011 intell report pointed out how easy it was for the “Rio Grande River [sic] to be breached by smugglers.” (The poor writing skills and limited vocabulary of the CNS News writers is hard to excuse. By “breached” they mean “waded.” And Rio MEANS river.  As stupid as talking about the “Big Lake Reservoir,” or something.)  This was, of course, prompted by James O’Keefe’s latest video escapade, of wading the Rio Grande in an Osama bin Laden costume.

Any Texan who cared to know, and anyone who knew anything about Texas, has known this fact since BEFORE 1836, but today – well, let us just say that some people are very uninformed.  Especially those inside the Beltway.  (Even those who claim to be Texan who live and/or work inside the Beltway have taken the “forget” drugs, it seems.)  Still, a river beats an imaginary line in the dirt or a fence.  There is no reason to believe ANY border jumper who says, “gee, I didn’t realize I’d snuck into Texas.”  Not even in El Paso.

It is not only within the powers of the State of Texas, like the Republic of Texas before it, to protect their people, their people’s property, and their cultures and society and institutions, from evil people who come across the border to rob, steal, destroy, maim, kill, rape, or even steal identities. It is their obligation, and NOT one that DC or anyone else can take away.

Oddly enough, for most of the 170+ years the Rio has been the border, honest and peaceful people doing business or even migrating across the border to live and work honest and non-aggressive jobs have been able to do so, despite the border protections.  It was only after the FedGov tried to take over from Texas that the severe problems with border jumpers and the nasty sort of smuggling became such a problem, and at the same time, peaceful intercourse over the river became so difficult, as it is today.

In this, honestly, it seems that DC and DF (Ciudad Mexico, District Federale) seem to agree that Texas is in the wrong.  Fortunately, morality isn’t decided by popular vote.

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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2 Responses to The Rio Grande Frontier (Libertarian commentary on the News, #14-33D)

  1. Barbara Cunningham says:

    I am ambivalent on the issue of immigration. However, I do not believe that DC has any right to tell the individual states and the citizens thereof how to enforce their respective borders. The United States is supposed to be a federation of sovereign states. We need to remember that and remind DC of that fact.


    • MamaLiberty says:

      The federals rarely actually contribute any meaningful dimension to anything, and have actually created the terrible problems that make open immigration nearly impossible and highly undesirable. I don’t personally see the individual states as having any more legitimate authority than the federals, and they have each contributed tremendously to the actual problems.

      End all the theft, the welfare, the skewed “laws” that have destroyed much of our productivity, industry, farming, and business of all kinds. End the war on drugs, which is responsible for much, if not most of the real crimes against people – by criminals and the government. Eliminate government “schools” and return responsibility for children to their parents, families and communities. And, not the least, eliminate the barriers that prevent so many people from defending their lives and property from anyone who would harm or destroy them.

      There is no good solution from government. Nothing they propose or do will solve the problems. People must take back full responsibility for themselves and their property. DC isn’t interested in our opinion… so “reminding” them is fruitless. The politicians and bureaucrats need to be fired… then arrested and prosecuted as appropriate.


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