Ohio historically has been one of the most pro-Lincoln unionist of states, but my personal encounters with people suggest a rapidly growing acceptance of secession (especially if attempted gradually after a few nullifications of federal law). Ohioans today are less likely to be hostile to secession in principle than convinced that it will not work, or that it will result in an extremely violent federal backlash. If a poll were taken today, I think 20-25% of Ohioans would be open to secession, nearly double what I estimated from a Zogby poll two years ago.
Here is some additional evidence of that shift, coming from my friend Joe Bozzi, executive director of the Ohio Freedom Alliance, who posted this on their website today. Being quite brief, I will quote it in full:
Those who support concepts such as nullification and secession have often been accused of being un-American. However, that statement begs the question: what exactly does it mean to be American? America was founded on a tradition of self-government and local control which made us strong.Those who embrace nullification and secession are seeking a return to government by the people, which first requires that the system of government be on a human scale -- that is, one that the population can understand and relate to, and that those they elect can effectively manage.
Unfortunately, in this century we have drifted more and more towards a centralized form of government. While more power, money, and decision-making has gravitated towards the central bureaucracy in Washington, it is not a coincidence that we have seen our standard of living start to flatten out and decline in this country. It is clear that we have been paying the price for moving away from an American form of governance and towards something more akin to a Soviet model of governance.
Nullification is an important way for states to opt out of unjust and illegal actions on the part of the federal government (individuals may also take recourse against injustice by opting out through jury nullification). Opting out of tyrannical and unjust laws will not result in the loss of the American ideal, quite to the contrary, it will only make it stronger. After all, what is America? Is it really the politicians and bureaucrats that claim to represent us in Washington? Or is it the the unique character and spirit of the people here in the villages, towns and cities across Ohio and this country? [Emphasis added].
I am not trying to kid anyone, including myself, that Ohio is anywhere near ready to secede. Ohio's readiness to embrace nullification is a question that won't be resolved until next year, when the health care amendment to the Ohio Constitution gets on the fall ballot, and a General Assembly elected this year will hopefully be more receptive to acts of nullification.