Musings of a Free Ohio – “The Becker Doctrine”

Disclaimer: The following is not a proposal but rather an academic exercise for the purposes of discussion, debate, and consideration. (Maybe it should be a proposal…)

What might a free Ohio look like? Would she be an independent sovereign nation? Or perhaps a semi-autonomous state? There could be many possibilities and tactics regarding an Ohio Declaration of Independence. Here is one idea and a broad outline of how it might work. In a word, it’s called “nullification.” The states were originally intended to be autonomous, with limited powers delegated to the central government (that they created) as their agent. As a result of repeated and flagrant breaches of contract, the message to the agent is: You’re fired!

  1. Right to self-rule: The people of Ohio would need to agree that the US Constitution did not set up a Hotel California (from the Eagles, “You can check-out anytime you like, but you can never leave!”). The founding fathers never intended the individual sovereign states to be captives to Frankenstein’s Monster. (I use that reference because Dr. Frankenstein created the monster. It got out of control and became destructive. Similarly, the states created the central government. It is out of control and destructive.)
  2. US Declaration of Independence (as an example):
    Consider these words from the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government… But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government…
  3. Government Gone Wild: Read the enumerated powers outlined in Section 8 of Article I of the US Constitution and ask yourself if Frankenstein’s Monster is in compliance?
    Think of it this way: If you hired a stock broker to manage some of your money, and you eventually realized that the broker is now controlling you and all of your money, would you fire him and reassert your independence? Or trust him to continue to control you?
    You could also think of the federal government as a cancer, if you catch the disease early enough, you can fight back and win. Once it fully metastasizes, well, …
  4. Referendum: Volunteers would circulate a petition containing Ohio’s Declaration of Independence and calling for a vote.
  5. Result: If voted down, Ohioans would continue to live under the full control of Frankenstein’s Monster as part of a post-constitutional republic. (Some would call this tyranny.)
    If approved by the people, Ohio would declare herself to be a free and fully autonomous state.
  6. Compact or Treaty: A compact or treaty would be negotiated with the United States to ensure that the American flag, with all 50 stars, would continue to fly over the statehouse in Columbus. We would retain a sister-like and united partnership for the purposes of the military, ceremonial, and foreign affairs. (The pledge and national anthem would continue unchanged.) Ohio would remain functionally part of the United States for those limited purposes. A common currency, open borders, and free trade to the US would continue.
  7. Models to Consider: Consider Ireland’s relationship to the United Kingdom. Another model to look at is the European Union and how those nations are united. And if you think about it, consider the “limited purposes” and enumerated powers outlined in the US Constitution. “The Becker Doctrine” much more closely parallels the original intent of the founders than current practice.

A few other thoughts on organization and implementation might include:

  • Recognize the authority of the US Constitution with a few exceptions:

o   The US Constitution is not the problem; the perversion of it is. Some of the federal abuses and usurpations of power were highlighted in the August 2013 issue. (And that was before the infamous “gay marriage” ruling.)

o   No recognition of the Article VI Paragraph 2 “Supremacy Clause.” The words, “in pursuance thereof” were meant to restrict federal power. Like “state sovereignty,” those words have been reduced to the punchline of a joke. Ohioans would have the final say over what federal laws and regulations (if any) would be recognized in Ohio.

  • Case law would be deemed advisory. This is because law is created by the legislature; not the judiciary. (The Courts were never intended to be superior over the executive and legislative branches.)

o   No recognition of the 14th Amendment. It’s been so badly abused that its current interpretation would be unrecognizable by the authors.

o   No recognition of the 16th Amendment. The power to tax is the power to destroy (Daniel Webster, 1819).

o   No recognition of the 17th Amendment. Our US Senators would be appointed by the General Assembly (with term limits). State sovereignty must be restored. Our members of Congress and US Senate would act more like ambassadors and would only vote on military issues, foreign affairs, and perhaps other issues to be negotiated.

  • The people of Ohio would no longer be subject to the federal income tax, business taxes, social security, Medicare taxes, gasoline taxes, etc. All of that would get redirected to Columbus. We would get out of the business of sending our money to Washington and then begging to get some of it back.
  • The government of Ohio would take full responsibility for funding and managing all current federal social and welfare programs. Those programs would be redesigned to work more efficiently and effectively for Ohio. All highway construction and maintenance would be fully funded by Columbus.
  • The question is: Who decides? My vote is for the people of Ohio.
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

o   Good: Without federal interference (Think of the volumes of laws, regulations, and bureaucratic red tape.), Ohio could work much more efficiently and effectively. All of North America (and the world) would benefit from a strong and vibrant Ohio. With a zero or low corporate income tax rate, imagine the job creation from the multinational conglomerates that would flock to Ohio to establish their world headquarters and manufacturing centers. Ohio has oil and gas production, mining, refineries, forests, farming, fishing, power plants, hospitals, green technology, old industry, new industry, and cutting edge innovation. The list goes on! We have an economic full house. Without federal interference, the costs of doing business would be much lower. Utility rates would drop (although it would be too late to save the Beckjord plant in New Richmond). Higher wages would be the result of increased demand for additional labor. The people’s ability to start new businesses with the opportunity to succeed would be restored. Full employment would be the norm. Churches and charities would be awash in donations to care for those in need. Ohio’s Constitution and laws would be respected and enforced by the people of Ohio rather than being urinated upon by Frankenstein’s Monster.

o   Bad: Ohio’s Constitution would require a few changes along with new laws that might be required to replace federal involvement. State government would necessarily expand to do the work previously done at the federal level.

o   Ugly: Frankenstein’s Monster might be less than cooperative and choose to bully the people of Ohio. Does “might make right”? The world would be watching.

  1. Becker, are you out of your freaking mind? There is no chance of any of this happening.
    A. The state of Ohio’s motto is: “With God, all things are possible.”

    Q. Isn’t this treason?
    A. According to Article III Section 3 of the US Constitution, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” Is reestablishing state sovereignty per the ideals of the founders’ treason?

    Q. Look Becker, everybody already thinks that you’re a right-wing nut case. Doesn’t this remove all doubt?
    A. Being as “The Becker Doctrine” much more closely resembles the intent of the founders than current practice; I think that I’m in good company. President Thomas Jefferson is my mentor.

    Q. Are you talking about secession? The Civil War determined that to be illegal.
    A. “The Becker Doctrine” more closely resembles original intent rather than secession. To argue that the so-called Civil War settled the issue of secession is to argue that “might makes right.”

    Q. The Supreme Court has ruled secession to be illegal. How would you get around that?
    A. Only Congress and state legislatures can make law. And Congress can only make law that is “in pursuance thereof” the Constitution. Therefore, Frankenstein’s Monster does not have the legal authority to stop any state from seceding. That being said, Frankenstein’s Monster controls the military and adheres to the doctrine of “might makes right.” In other words, just because they legally can’t stop secession, they very easily could use military and/or economic might. The so-called Civil War is the historical precedent.

    Q. What do you mean by the “so-called” Civil War? That’s the historical record.
    A. History is written by the victors to be whatever they say it is. The Confederate States had no interest in conquering the United States. They were simply asserting and defending their independence. They were the ones who were conquered and reassimilated. Star Trek fans understand the Borg, being assimilated into the collective, and that, “We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.”

    Q. Becker, you sound like a Confederate sympathizer. Have you no compassion for the black people who suffered and died as slaves? What about the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves?
    A. Slavery is America’s original sin. Many slaves suffered unspeakable horrors. It was wrong, should never have happened, and needed to end. It is very sad that it was a major issue sparking the revolution. Unfortunately, the Emancipation Proclamation only applied to the states in rebellion and not the other slave holding states. It was the implementation of the 13th Amendment that finally freed all of the slaves.

    Q. How can you ensure that slavery won’t return?
    A. I don’t know of any legal slavery anywhere in the western world or any civilized nation. (However, many otherwise “civilized” nations treat women as slaves.) Ohio’s Constitution outlaws slavery.

    Q. So, are you talking about open warfare? A modern-day “firing on Fort Sumter”? Or raiding the armories at military bases?
    A: No, no, and no. The pen is mightier than the sword and it would be up to the people of Ohio to decide. Should the people of Ohio decide to reestablish state sovereignty, then peaceful negotiations and resolutions would necessarily follow. My opinion is the opposite of those who fired on Fort Sumner. I want the military bases to stay. They are an important part of Ohio’s economy and culture.

    Q. What about the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Americans for Disabilities Act, etc.
    A. Those are examples of policies that would be reexamined by Ohioans, accepted as a whole, in part, or thrown out, depending on what makes sense for Ohio. Ohioans would decide, rather than a one size fits all per the dictates of Frankenstein’s Monster.

    Q. What if a coastal state got hit by a hurricane or California with an earthquake? What role would Ohio play?
    A. I would expect Ohioans to be very generous with manpower, time, and treasure.

    Q. What about fixing America’s problems via nullification of unconstitutional laws?
    A. Nullification works only when Frankenstein’s Monster won’t, or can’t, act. The bully can send in federal marshals or federalize the National Guard at any time.

    Q. So, does that mean that “The Becker Doctrine” is not workable unless the federal government won’t, or can’t, act?
    A. That’s correct. Frankenstein’s Monster would likely prove that “might makes right.” As mentioned above, Star Trek fans understand the Borg, being assimilated into the collective, and that resistance is futile.

    Q. What about an
    Article V Convention of States initiative?
    A: Being as we live in a post-constitutional republic ruled by an oligarchy, we are way beyond the point of simply amending a document that had been repeatedly and flagrantly ignored, abused, and effectively rewritten by whoever happened to be in power at the time. Even if such a convention were successful, the same people entrusted with safeguarding the Constitution would still be in charge. So, would it really matter?