Wikipedia On Nullification: Lesson In Popular History And Media Blindness - Thinking Caps Recommended

In comments after the post, “Nullification News And Thoughts,” I responded to a comment that making such an assertion will require courage; I responded that yes, it will require courage AND understanding… Popular education and media, which is all that most people get, only marinate the public in MISunderstanding. I said ALL of us must educate ourselves and take what we learn to EVERY forum we go into.

I pretty much only watch news television now; the rest being so shallow and errantly centered. A house of understanding that is built on the faulty foundation of popular culture, like any construction on a poor foundation, will easily and inevitably come to ruin. I get most information from the Internet, where even there it has to be culled and tested. Being on the Internet is certainly no guarantee of truth. It’s just a mammoth pile of information and you can seek out that needle of truth in the haystack of debris. In searching information on Nullification, evidently a little demon prompted me to select the link to the Wikipedia page. Wikipedia is the grand encyclopedia stop on the world wide web. There is no accountable source of origin for Wikipedia’s information. But, it’s no worse and probably often better than what you will get in media or in college. Wikepedia is user-constructed and policed. Not unexpectedly, those users are the relatively educated and interested in education. However, this is a relatively educated and educating subset of a mis-educated popular culture. So the Wikipedia discussion was instructive as an able articulation of the popular misunderstanding of the topic.

Wikipedia’s statements of dismissal are covered at the link below, as are those of a recent article at The Heritage Foundation, Rejecting Nullification: Idaho Draws the Constitutional Line. For one thing, the case for Nullification has nothing to do with states picking laws they like or “being the final authority” on constitutionality. The final authority is The Constitution itself, and all authorities federal, state and local are sworn to uphold it and are accountable to it. You will find my comment among those following this article, mostly disagreeing and expressing their disappointment with The Heritage Foundation. I began it with, “This article comports wonderfully with the consensus of contemporary legal scholarship. Congratulations on that. Unfortunately, the consensus of contemporary legal scholarship does not comport with The Constitution or the deliberations surrounding its establishment…”

So, the popular consensus is wrong? Yes, and that is not a surprise: it is more often than it is not. Read Woods’ answers to objections below and perhaps the book. I’m not the historian that Woods is, but I did Biblical Studies in college. You interpret a historical document in light of the context of the history, culture and language in which it was conceived, not in the context of your own culture’s language and consensus. Honestly, particularly in light of the extreme unconstitutionality of contemporary American government, I see the case for state nullification as open and shut. Arizona is another state that has passed a Health Care Freedom Act. Texas should do likewise and open its expanses to a free market for medical development and practice: it would become an industry magnet.

Here is the reply to typical objections to Nullification, Nullification: Answers to Objections of Tom Woods, the author of the book, “Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century”.


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Actually the idea on wikipedia is to have the information referenced to a reliable source (newspaper, textbook, peer reviewed jurnal...). This does happen in most important or contraversial articles but not so much in small ones.

The references are available at the bottom of the page.

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