But when we think of nullification and the self determination of states, ghosts arise from 1832, when South Carolina refused compliance with Washington. 

These might better explain: the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, when Jefferson claimed the contracts of Virginia and Kentucky to be null and void because President John Adams had torn the Constitution to shreds with the Alien and Sedition Acts; the Hartford Convention of 1814, when New England Federalists sought secession rather than participate in the war of 1812; and the heroic Wisconsin Legislature, which declared the horrendous Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 that required free states to capture and return escaped slaves, to be “without authority, void and of no force.” 

Phil Zimmermann reports that the Wisconsin Supreme Court wrote this related passage in 1854: “It is much safer to resist unauthorized and unconstitutional power, at its very commencement, when it can be done by constitutional means, than wait until the evil is so deeply and firmly rooted that the only remedy is revolution.”

These form the constitutional footing to the contemporary state determination and sovereignty movements.

Had our history been taught properly, we might have been aware of Jefferson’s hidden wisdom, and nullification could have been a vital tool to our development. In the war in Vietnam, for example, those states which vehemently opposed it, like California, the Pacific Northwest and the New England states, might have brought state sovereignty strategies in opposition to The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution of 1964, which gave the president the authority to do “whatever necessary” in the Vietnam conflict. It was opposed in the Senate by only two senators. 

But nobody thought of it because we had not been honestly taught our history. It was not until the invasion of Iraq when Vermont’s Thomas Naylor, a retired Duke professor, and Maine novelist Carolyn Chute (The Beans of Egypt, Maine, The School on Heart’s Content Road) challenged federal action from a states’ perspective, making the claim that Vermont and Maine need not participate.

California should take leadership on state issues now to fully embody the “golden dream by the sea” that former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) envisioned California to be. “California has the ideas of Athens and the power of Sparta,” he said. And Schwarzenegger may have been the first to see it as a free and independent world state and to phrase it that way.

Maybe it was not yet time. But when this vision is fully and inevitably internalized, the nullification of the NDAA would be a giant step in this direction. And California will find itself as the singular world state Arnold suggested and will no longer accept total dominance and submission by far-away Washington. 

And she will no longer accept strange governance by uber-rich New Yorkers (2,800 miles away) and their politicized wives, which dominates California today, so much like England’s memsaab culture which conquered India, centuries back before the revolution.