Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Vote for William M. McCulloch!

OK, this is a different kind of vote than we are used to.  I'm asking that you vote for a dead white Congressman!  He died in 1980, but some of his opponents died even earlier.  It is not that his opponents are unworthy of fame (Grant, Stowe, Owens, Edison, et al), but it's that I support the one real politician (U.S. Grant's deserved fame is due to his mastery of war, not politics) in the group of ten vying to be in Statuary Hall.  Good politicians, that is, those with insight and judgment, are very hard to find, as we all know.  And when we find them, we ought to support them.  So I encourage you to vote and you can vote until June 12.  You may do so by voting here

In Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol, each state send two statutes to honor notable people in their state's history.  The Ohio Legislature is replacing the statute of former Ohio Governor William Allen because of his pro-slavery views.  Because Congressman McCulloch (R) was so deeply involved in getting the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 passed, in fact he made its passage possible, I testified on his behalf.  This may be of special interest for today's politics because of the recent kerfuffle over the GOP's standard bearer in the Kentucky Senate race (also see Rich Lowry's significant comment on the issue).  Some decisions live on, don't they?  I repeat, vote here.  A statue of him in the National Statuary Hall will be a permanent reminder to all who visit there of his great act of statesmanship on behalf of true recognition of human equality, and its relation to the Constitution, the highest of all American causes.
Categories > History

Discussions - 8 Comments

Not a Ohioan (though I do hope my home state has a similiar election, and for a similiar reason), but it honestly needs to be Grant or the Wrights.

Both are symbols of the common man rising up to do uncommon things. Grant was looked down upon by those who themselves proved time and time again they could not do the job of winning the war themselves. And the Wrights showed that academic credentials do not necessarily success make. Both are fitter symbols than a politician, however meaningful and noble his service. For this Republic will stay strong only as long as we realize that its true heart lies outside statehouses and legislative chambers, but in places where real men and women do real work.

Read Schramm's testimonial before you judge too hastily. McCullouch's fitness for the honor have everything to do with the nature of his accomplishments, the history and legacy of Ohio, and--of course--the nature and history of the place wherein he is to be honored. There are plenty of ways as well as reasons to honor all of those considered for this particular honor . . . but none of these others are more FITTING than McCulloch for it. As you read Schramm's testimonial, see if you don't come to view McCulloch as a near culmination of Ohio's history and America's purpose . . . I can't imagine a more deserving candidate.

Not only that, but in honoring the humble McCulloch in this way, we would bring much needed attention to a legacy that might otherwise be forgotten. No one is likely to forget the larger than life accomplishments of Grant or the Wrights . . . or even Owens and Beecher-Stowe. But magnificent as their feats were, they were not as intimately bound up in our accomplishments together as a people. They did not represent something unique and special about Ohio and our place in our great country's history. McCulloch's work did. And we ought to do what we can to remind ourselves of it and recall and honor it . . . to say nothing of continuing to live UP to it.

The article and Julie Ponzi's comments make the strongest case for Representative McCulloch. I guess he will not be getting the vote from over the river from Rand Paul! Ohio is blest to have so many strong nominees for this honor. I will be greatly disappointed if one of the women do not get the nod. Only 9 out of 100 statues there now are women. They had a lot more to do with the greatness and growth of this country that that metric suggests. Consider a woman instead: Judith A. Resnik, Harriet Beecher Stowe, or Harriet Taylor Upton. They speak volumes about Ohio's greatness.

Schramm's piece is a must-read in any case.

I'm assuming non-Ohioans cannot vote in this.

Is this a Chicago ballot?
(early and often)

It is unclear to me whether or not you have to be an Ohioan--though I am assuming you might. As to the "early and often" question--I think, "No." You only get one shot. So make it count.

I appreciate the sentiment of Mr. McClurkin--but I hardly think that Ohio has some special responsibility to choose a woman just because there have not been very many selected from other states. An argument could be made for Beecher-Stowe--but her novel, though politically significant, was not a masterpiece of literature. And the sentiment she stirred was only stirred . . . not directed by her. So, sorry, McCulloch trumps her.

James Ashley is a better choice, and not simply because after the loss of Crystal Bowersox, Toledo needs a home town hero.

While McCullogh was instrumental in passing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the 1968 Fair Housing Act, James Ashley was the first representative to call for an amendment to the United States Constitution that would outlaw slavery. As the war wound down, he championed the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Early efforts to pass the amendment failed in the House despite Republican control. Undaunted, Ashley worked with President Lincoln to reverse the vote after they were each re-elected in 1864. Ultimately, Ashley was able to round up enough support within the House to see the amendment pass on January 31, 1865. Ashley was also instrumental in fighting Johnson’s obstructionism and seeking to impeach him. Had Ashley been more successful a hundred years latter a new President Johnson wouldn’t have had to praise McCullogh on these grounds.

In any case it is probably not logical to support Ashley and not reserve respect for the job McCullogh did in finishing the work. It just seems more defensible to think that reconstruction was needed when Ashley fought Johnson.

One hundred years later, I suppose one can say that one had the consent of the people. But high praise for the bipartisanship of McCulloch seems to leave you intellectually disarmed in criticizing Sotomayor's application of disparate impact to the Ricci case.

That is the GOP standard bearer in Kentucky might just have sensible policy reasons for opposing elements of McCulloch's accomplishments and their progeny.

I have not read the brief on McCulloch, nor have I looked at the work of Ashely, but I am going to withdraw my objections, as I understand and support the purpose:

Profiles in Courage, marble-edition.

If we want better politicians, then we need to praise and highlight that which we find worthy, so as to spur the natural ambition and desire of man for recognition to do good in order to obtain it, not just acquire power by appearing to do good. It is up to us--the people--to make sure that we properly judge what that "good" is, for the road to paved by those trying to answer the "call of history".

Nevertheless, sometimes good *is* done, and the nation improved, and progress made, and the work does not have to redone by future generations.

Along those lines, I thus now fully support recognition of those who otherwise will never be known anymore, so that they may serve as an object lesson to the ambitious on what they should be, and I withdraw my comments.

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