So Obama renamed Mount McKinley, and I suppose we are supposed to be outraged about that. There are a few problems with that outlook, however. How we respond to the renaming of Mt. McKinley will be a great test of just how Liberty-minded we really are.
As the story is told, Mt. McKinley was named by a prospector in 1896 after then-presidential candidate William McKinley. McKinley never visited the mountain named after him or spent any time in Alaska at all. The Native Alaskans named the mountain Denali long before the prospector came along, and Alaska had been “petitioning” the federal government to change the name back to Denali since 1975. The Interior Department claims the US Board on Geographic Names had been deferring to Congress this whole time regarding the name change. According to an Associated Press article, a “bipartisan effort by Ohio’s congressional delegation has blocked the effort by introducing bills requiring it to be named after McKinley, who was born in Niles, Ohio and buried in Canton.”
Let’s start unraveling all the problems with this story.
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- The Sovereign State of Alaska had been “petitioning” the federal government since 1975 for permission to change the name of a mountain that lies within their State.
- The Department of Interior feels it has the authority to grant or deny permission to Sovereign States on what they name and how they maintain their land. (Note, there is no Constitutional authority for the Department of Interior to begin with, much less to dictate policy to the Sovereign States.)
- Congress has been BLOCKING the Sovereign State of Alaska from naming their mountain how they choose.
- A band of delegates from Ohio have prevented the State of Alaska from changing the name of their own mountain since 1975.
Are we beginning to see the big picture? I do not propose that Obama can constitutionally, by executive order, change the name of any part of any State. However, can we see how unconstitutional this entire scenario really is?
Why in the world should any Sovereign State have to beg the federal government for permission to do anything with their own property? That is absurd. But even more ridiculous than that is the fact that politicians in Ohio have been dictating policy to the people of Alaska regarding their own property. Really? I am 100% certain that if James Madison were alive today, he would be completely amazed at the stupidity of this situation.
Enter in the Republican political establishment that seems to be completely ignorant of their own party platform of small government and more power to the people. Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, says: “This political stunt is insulting to all Ohioans, and I will be working with the House Committee on Natural Resources to determine what can be done to prevent this action.” Insulting to Ohioans? Really? It is the Alaskans who should be insulted by Gibbs’ egotistical claim that Ohioans should have any feelings whatsoever regarding the land that belongs to Alaskans! Gibbs’ description of Obama’s renaming of Mt. McKinley as a political stunt is truly rich, considering that the original naming of Mt. McKinley was apparently a political stunt to get McKinley elected president.
The Associated Press says that: “Ohio politicians reacted angrily, although it wasn’t immediately clear if or how they could stop it. Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, said McKinley deserved to be honored, and invited his colleagues to join him to try to block what he called Obama’s ‘constitutional overreach.’” Rep. Gibbs, if Mr. McKinley “deserves to be honored,” why don’t you do that in YOUR OWN State instead of making a State with NO connection to the man whatsoever do your irrational bidding? Obama certainly doesn’t have the authority to rename it, but Gibbs classifying Obama’s actions as “constitutional overreach” is the veritable pot calling the kettle black. One State dictating to another State is just as overreaching as the actions of presidential executive orders.
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So here is the question. How many will jump on the bandwagon against the renaming of this Alaskan mountain, according to the will of the Alaskans, just because it has been turned into a Republican vs. Democrat battle? Who will see the real troubling issues in this quintessential constitutional learning moment?
- States are Sovereign and have the authority to name and maintain their own land. Period.
- Executive Orders have no authority upon Sovereign States to dictate how they name and maintain their own land.
- If Alaskans want to change the name of the mountain, they should change the name of the mountain and tell the rest of the States and the federal government to take a flying leap if they don’t like it.
- Ohio politician should shut up about Alaska’s business.
It is not a Republican vs. Democrat thing. It is a Liberty and Sovereignty vs Big Government thing. And if we can’t see that, we have bigger problems that we could ever imagine–and no election is going to fix that kind of ignorance. We should be patently offended by the entire scenario. We should be holding all constitutionally ignorant politicians accountable, regardless of political party. Liberty over Security. Principle over Party. Truth over Personality. Liberty First!
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