The Wisconsin Republican Party will be voting this weekend on whether it endorses the right to secede from the rest of the country and nullify any federal law, a clear departure from the legacy of Abraham Lincoln.
Daniel Bice at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that delegates at the state Republican convention will consider a measure on Saturday "that directs lawmakers to push through legislation nullifying Obamacare, Common Core educational standards and 'drone usage in the state of Wisconsin.'"
It also asserts the right, "under extreme circumstances," to secede from the United States of America.
Secession and nullification are not new ideas. In fact, they're what Lincoln was fighting against as he tried to preserve the union. In the 1830s, South Carolina created a national crisis when it tried to nullify a federal tariff with which it disagreed and threatened to secede. The doctrine of nullification was no good after the Civil War, but some Southern states advocated a similar philosophy after the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation in public schools.
The Wisconsin resolution is opposed by many Republicans in the state, including Gov. Scott Walker (R). Walker is often mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2016, and it would be tough to run for president if your state isn't even part of the country.
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United" (http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/notes-and-references-for-discussion-e.html). Affiliated with Georgetown University (http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/jhb7/) for over ten years, he still shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."