Photo: Ohio welcome sign (2018); creator: EEJCC; Lic.: CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED
The “will of the people,” as expressed by outcomes of heavily funded ballot initiatives, is a canard that should be rejected by Republicans. Direct democracy was feared and opposed by our nation’s founders, who established a representative government for the United States and guaranteed quote “a republican form of government” to each of its member states.
Yet Republican Presidential candidates seemed to misunderstand this crucial point, as reflected by their senseless responses to questions about Ohio’s abortion and marijuana ballot initiatives. Ron DeSantis, for example, unjustifiably blamed the pro-life movement for being “caught flat-footed” by Issue 1, the abortion initiative, without mentioning that God-given rights should not be decided by a popular vote.
Republicans should be defending representative government against misuse of the ballot initiative process, which allows out-of-state industries and liberal billionaires to pass laws contrary to the informed decision-making by each state’s elected representatives. Ohio’s Issue 1 will benefit the billion-dollar abortion industry, while Issue 2 will profit the expanding marijuana industry by invading Ohio with a predicted $4 billion worth of pot.
Fortunately, some members of the Ohio state legislature have risen up against this misuse of ballot initiatives to change the culture of the Buckeye State. Ohio’s elected representatives should not take a back seat or bow down to ballot initiatives contrary to what has been the well-established tradition of Ohio and our Constitution.
America was founded so that the people’s will may be properly expressed through the political process. Ballot initiatives are deceptive in this way. While they may seem to simply be a way to increase democracy in a more direct manner, they provide an avenue for special interests to exert their will on citizens. The passage of Issues 1 and 2 in Ohio can be credited to the out-of-state industries and liberal billionaires, not to an organic expression of public desire in a Constitutional and American manner.