Lt. Gov. Candidate and Lone Star Separatist Daniel Miller Says Texas Has 'Electile Dysfunction'

Daniel Miller, president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, is running for lieutenant governor.
Daniel Miller, president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, is running for lieutenant governor. "Neon Texas" by atmtx is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
If you ask Daniel Miller, Texans are frustrated with candidates who talk a good game but fail to please the electorate.

“We refer to it as 'electile dysfunction,'” he said.

So last week, Miller made the announcement: He’s entering the race to beat Dan Patrick for lieutenant governor.

Miller is president of the Texas Nationalist Movement (TNM), which is pushing for the state to break with the Union and become an “independent, self-governing nation” — a process known as “Texit.” He hopes to edge out Patrick in the Republican primary.

In his announcement video, Miller said the lieutenant governor's race is a rare opportunity for Texans to ditch the political establishment that “holds nothing but contempt for the people they purport to represent.”

“Angry social media posts, interviews and tersely worded letters are no substitute for wielding the power of the office of lieutenant governor to stand up to tyranny, federal overreach and the ever-growing cancer of neo-Marxist dogma,” he said. (It's unclear who, if anyone in the Texas political establishment, adheres to a "neo-Marxist dogma.")
Speaking with the Observer last week, Miller said campaigning for statewide office wasn’t on his radar until recently. He unsuccessfully ran for mayor of his hometown when he was 18 and again in 2012 for state representative, losing the Republican primary by more than 45 points.

But Miller said many Texans have petitioned him to take on Patrick in recent months. They’re upset with the incumbent for his inability to deliver on certain promises, he said.

“For me in particular, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been all about rhetoric over results,” Miller said. “He talks a good game but can’t seem to sink the eight ball at the end of the day.”

For one thing, Texans want to have a vote on independence, Miller said; they’re also upset with ever-rising property taxes and what they view as a lack of proper border security. On top of that, February’s deadly winter storm — which Miller calls “Snowpocalypse 2021” — exposed years of neglect and mismanagement by Austin bureaucrats.

“We refer to it as electile dysfunction.” – Daniel Miller, TNM president

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Texans won’t forget that Patrick stood by and did nothing as Gov. Greg Abbott shut down certain businesses at the start of the pandemic, Miller said. They need someone who will serve as a check against a governor who’s “drunk with power,” he said.

But even though his opponent has widespread name recognition and a sizable campaign war chest, Miller is undeterred. Patrick is up against some stiff competition, after all: himself.

“Dan Patrick has made promise after promise and broken promise after promise, cycle after cycle,” Miller said. “He has to run against me, but he also has to run against himself — and the things that he’s said and the things that he’s done and the ineffectiveness of his leadership.”

Texit may seem like a long shot for some, but certain state legislators are starting to warm up to the proposal.

In January, Fredericksburg state Rep. Kyle Biedermann introduced a bill that would let Texans vote on whether the state should secede from the Union and establish its own republic. Biedermann was the first American lawmaker in nearly 100 years to formally file pro-secession legislation, according to Texas Monthly.

Leadership in some Texas counties appeared receptive to Biedermann's bill, known as the Texas Independence Referendum Act. Earlier this year, the Denton County Republican Party passed a resolution in support of the proposal.

Texas isn’t the only state that has mulled calling the U.S. quits.

In California, the progressive "Calexit” campaign pushed to ditch the Union to flee then-President Donald Trump’s reign. The Laconia Daily Sun reported this September that a New Hampshire Republican lawmaker has proposed a constitutional amendment to break free from the federal government.

And earlier this month, conspiracy theorist and Georgia U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene conducted a poll on social media asking whether the country should have a “national divorce.” As of Friday, 43% of respondents had answered they thought red and blue states should separate.
Meanwhile, millions of Texas voters are waiting for a candidate like Miller, he insists.

“We’re going to continue to go out and engage the people of Texas, reminding them that all political power is inherent in them,” he said. “Through my candidacy, they will finally in Austin have a voice and a champion.”
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Simone Carter, a staff news reporter at the Dallas Observer, graduated from the University of North Texas' Mayborn School of Journalism. Her favorite color is red, but she digs Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.
Contact: Simone Carter