Friday, October 1, 2010

The state of secessionism in Ohio

Yesterday, in “Kerfuffle in Vermont,” I agreed with Kirkpatrick Sale that The Ohio Republic is not a “real secessionist movement.” Ohio does not have a secessionist movement; and in my view, that is not a problem. In this post, I shall explain why.

The idea that Ohio could secede from the union is a very new one. As far as I know, I made the first serious public reference to secession outside this blog at the Southwest Ohio Liberty Conference in Beavercreek, November 21, 2009 (photo at left). Those who were in attendance were remarkably open to secessionism. Ideas as radical as this take time and favorable events to take hold. We are not ready for such a movement.

Secondly, Ohio has a well-developed, well-coordinated liberty movement, in which the various Tea Parties, 9-12 Projects, and similar organizations are working together – thanks to the hard work of people like Joe Bozzi, Jason Rink, Jason Mihalick, and many others building the Ohio Freedom Alliance, the Ohio Liberty Council, and The Ohio Project (which is working to nullify forced health care). Ohioans who have thought about and discussed secession agree that it should be resorted to only when it becomes clearly evident that less radical measures, such as nullification, have been tried and failed. As I noted yesterday, nullification has not yet been tried in Ohio. If the result of next month’s election for the Ohio General Assembly proves favorable to the liberty movement, I anticipate that several nullification bills will be introduced and passed. If these and all else fail, I have little doubt that the liberty movement in Ohio can be persuaded to support secession – but such talk is clearly premature at this time.

Finally, we have to consider the fact that the success of any movement requires favorable public opinion. Frankly, the public opinion I have observed has viewed most existing secessionist movements as rather flaky. We do not need this kind of public relations baggage.

We have a good thing going in Ohio. We don’t need, and shouldn’t even want a secessionist organization at this time. If the situation changes in a way that would make such a movement desirable, we can reconsider.

Photo by Andy Myers

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