March 1, 2003 is the 200th anniversary of Ohio Statehood. We had intended to draft a brief historical review, tracing settlement in the Northwest Territory; discussing the Virginia roots for the southern seventy-seven Counties, while acknowledging the New England origin for the eleven in the north, what had been the Connecticut Western Reserve. We had wanted to acknowledge the special contributions of the Virginians, with Jeffersonian values, who settled Ross County, and built our first Capital at Chillicothe; to celebrate the spirit of our people, expressed at the time we seized Lucas County from the soon to be State of Michigan, in the "Toledo War," when Governor Robert Lucas told Andrew Jackson what would happen, if he attempted Federal intervention. (The Ohio/Michigan issue did not start with college football!)
We had planned to pay tribute to the achievements of Ohio arms in the unfortunate War in the 1860s; noting both the valor of our soldiers and the fact that it was a group of Ohio Generals, Grant, Sherman, Sheridan and others, who directed the key campaigns of the Union forces; as well as the chivalrous respect that Grant showed to General Lee at Appomattox. We had intended to point out that notwithstanding Ohio's role in achieving a Union victory, that our people went to the polls in 1867 to reject the vengeful and hate-filled concepts, implicit in the proposed 14th Amendment; when they voted for a Legislature pledged to rescind an earlier ratification of that proposal in the heat of post-war passion. And we had planned to go on to describe some of the many achievements of Ohioans since.
But we have a report that "Liberals" in the State Legislature are planning to seize what was to have been a patriotic commemoration, a symbolic session to be held in Chillicothe on Saturday, March 1st, to push through a new resolution (S.J.R. 2) ratifying the 14th Amendment! The Amendment is controversial, not only because of the vengeful and hate filled concepts, already referred to; but because many legal scholars believe that it was not validly ratified. It has also been the source for most of the Leftwing Judicial Activism that so grievously impacted American Society in the 20th Century. It was, and is, the ultimate vehicle for the expansion of Federal power at the expense of State's Rights and local self-government. Under such circumstances, to write a nostalgic piece simply celebrating Ohio's past glory, seems inappropriate.
If the report is correct--if the Left intends to take advantage of an event supposed to honor heritage, to in fact undo part of our Conservative past, and to endorse a Federal right to interfere in the future decisions we make for our own affairs, in our own State--to mock the very concept of self-Government--they shall not go unchallenged. This will be our initial response:
To ratify the 14th Amendment (also discussed in the Last Chapter of the Conservative Debate Handbook below) under these circumstances, is wholly inappropriate. First, there has obviously been no opportunity for the serious public debate so momentous a decision should require. In contrast, the Legislature that rescinded ratification of the proposed Amendment in 1868, had been elected precisely on that issue; elected for that purpose, after a full and frank debate.
Secondly, the Amendment was originally drafted by Radicals, in a vengeful spirit, to punish the South in the aftermath of America's bloodiest War. It directly and deliberately contradicted the spirit invoked by Abraham Lincoln in his Second Inaugural Address, shortly before his death: With Malice Towards None, With Charity Towards All. Most of the Amendment's provisions relate directly to punishing the South. Some of them had no other function, and are now completely dated; long ago ceasing to have any point or effect, since the former Confederates are all dead. Since that era, Americans have fought together for common causes in one war after another. What reason could any reasonable man or woman have for wanting to resurrect and reaffirm sectional hostility, 138 years after Lincoln and 135 years after Ohio, each rejected the concept?
Yet more important, the Amendment changed the basic symmetry of our Federal system, and is incongruous to the intended division of State and Federal responsibility. The Amendment, in its lasting aspects, effectively punishes the formerly pro-Union States as effectively as it now punishes the former Confederate States. Consider its effect on specific aspects of Ohio life, since it was embraced as the principal vehicle for Leftwing Judicial Activism in the 20th Century:
When a Federal Court or the Justice Department interfere with local law enforcement, the justification is not an exercise of arbitrary power, but the 14th Amendment. The Founding Fathers left the Police power with the States; that is, the power to protect the public health, safety and morals. Before the 14th Amendment, if and when we wanted to change our Criminal Justice system in Ohio, the choice was ours alone. It still should be. What sort of a "representative" for the people of Ohio, would want to take away our basic right to self-government in dealing with our own local crime problem? What motivates such a man, other than pandering to agenda driven groups, with which no statesmen would have any truck?
When each of Ohio's rural counties lost its right to its own Representative in the State Legislature in the 1960s, the justification for the arbitrary Federal intervention was found in the 14th Amendment. And note, here, the complete change in the American direction: The framers of the Constitution wanted a Republican form of Government. They specifically warned against Democracy, where power would be determined purely by counting noses; a system, which almost always ends in mob rule and tyranny. The check on the power of population alone, which the guarantee of at least one Representative for each County provided, was absolutely within the spirit of the American system--indeed essential to the American system. But it was held to violate the 14th Amendment, which these new Ohio Radicals, would now endorse. Should any Ohio farmer or small town resident ever again vote for such Quislings?
When a Doctor uses high tech equipment to suck a tiny baby, struggling to grow and enjoy life and the pursuit of happiness, out of its mother's womb--as an acceptable medical procedure, even though both the baby and mother are healthy and normal;--or engages in the even more despicable practice of allowing a baby, in the process of its birth, to enter the world just far enough to have an incision made in the back of its little neck, so that its brains and life may be sucked out of it, in what in any normal age would have been a Blessed moment; you again see the 14th Amendment in operation. It was the 14th Amendment, which provided the justification for Roe vs. Wade--the legalization of abortion on demand. Will those morally motivated Ohioans, who have worked so hard to correct this legalization of barbarism, forgive the Legislator who votes his implied endorsement for such doctrines?
When a Federal Court, in effect, takes over a local school district and orders the busing or reassignment of students, or teachers, in order to pursue some arbitrary form of "racial balance," or to apply some other leftist theory, the looney sociology being imposed upon the parents and children of that district, is being imposed solely because of someone's interpretation of the 14th Amendment.
The same is equally true, whenever an ACLU lawyer, whether merely by the threat or by actually obtaining a Court order, denies an Ohio community the right to honor God in its schools or public places--or to even post the Ten Commandments. The Constitution, absent the activists interpretation of the 14th Amendment, clearly permits school and public prayer. (Try to find a public address by one of the Founding Fathers--including Jefferson and his disciples--which did not end in prayer or in an acknowledgement of the Creator's Bounty.) This is just one more example, of where the Amendment, and the strange doctrines that flow from it, are the absolute antithesis to the whole warp and woof of our American heritage.) Will religious, faith motivated Ohioans, soon forget those who would mock the celebration of our heritage, by endorsing such intrusion?
When an illegal alien claims the right of citizenship for a baby born while they are here illegally, the basis for that claim is in the first Section of the 14th Amendment--a reversal of traditional concepts of Nationality, not only in America, but throughout the Western world. The lack of any meaningful waiting period before which someone moving into your community may vote for issues or candidates, with which they have no familiarity and even less understanding, is directly attributed to the 14th Amendment. And it is the 14th Amendment, which impacts our daily lives and local community actions in a host of other ways.
If the Legislature had ever actually believed, in its collective "wisdom," that any of these changes, which the Federal Courts have wrought in our political system, were in fact desirable; they could certainly have so legislated, or submitted the issue to the people of Ohio. That is obvious. What this reported ratification attempt actually comes down to, is an endorsement for our surrendering a significant part of the right of self-Government to others. Is a celebration of our obtaining the right to self-Government, the appropriate time to push such surrender? Will we, the constituents of such perfidious Legislators, respond appropriately to such mockery of both heritage and reason?
Let those who would mock the celebration of Ohio sovereignty--of Ohio's admission to the Federal Union on terms of full equality with the States that created it--by affirming a legal doctrine, which in effect gives back most of the attributes of the sovereignty that was afforded us in 1803, take note: No such Legislator deserves the respect of any loyal Ohioan--or of any other traditionally minded American. They certainly will not deserve reelection or to be allowed further office. If such suggested travesty goes forward, this Web Site, and all whom we may influence, will employ every honorable means to see that such men get the full recognition that they will have come to deserve. That will be our promise to our fellow Ohioans on this significant Anniversary--on what should have been a genuine celebration of our beloved State. We would expect to be judged, hereafter, by how well we keep it!
Hopefully, the report was premature.