I am working with Occupy to trigger an Article V Convention to propose amendments to the Constitution. I have recently learned of a plan by Conservative think tanks and lobbyists to use a convention, but lock the people out of the process. We call that a hi-jacked convention. I find myself soul searching a bit now that the increased possibility of this tool may be used for the first time in our nation’s history in a way predicted by so many who feared this convention all along.
This is, in part, a confession of my internal conflict. I have to ask myself again, if this is not what I hoped for, am I still a convention advocate? Why do I do this? I first need to accept that the fears are grounded in reality, here they come with a big war chest ready to put our Constitution in a headlock. These groups can really succeed.
The plan is to send only the Governor of each state to the convention and they will only vote on one amendment. This is the most troubling part to me now because of the way they wish to stack the deck with 30 GOP governors and if you count Chafee as an Independent, they have almost 34 of the required states needed to pass the amendment.
Then there are the possibilities that this group could figure out a way to introduce an entire agenda of amendments rolling out like train cars. We call that a runaway convention. If that is the the case, look out, there could be all kinds of stuff coming, the good part is that there are still 38 states required to ratify any of those amendments but at least they squeak through the first step.
That is not acceptable to anyone on the left, most of the middle, and many libertarians. There are rules in the compact between the states to prevent this from happening but the body becomes an independent fourth branch of government which will have the ability to defend itself. They are in control.
That leads to my second question, why do I do this?
Many of us that work on this effort do not talk about why we want a convention or what drove us in this direction. The reasons are deeply personal to us. I can tell you what the convention is supposed to be. In the Declaration of Independence it describes the right of the people to alter or to abolish. Article V of the Constitution provides a tool in the convention clause to exercise that right. It is the people’s convention because it is the people’s Constitution.
The authority our government has over us is an illusion. There are 350 million of us and we the people are the armies, cops, firefighters, and hired security. All we need to do is realize that we could easily take the boot of our government off our neck. Anne Frank wrote “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
Most countries they call that a revolution, here in America, no one needs to get hurt because of our brilliant forefathers. We can choose to come together in a convention and define the identity of our nation. We all know things are so wrong in the world and our elected politicians can’t seem to sort out the solutions in D.C. It is a government that can barely manage to pay its bills.
I do not believe in second amendment solutions. I believe in Article V solutions. I don’t believe the Supreme Court gets to tell us what our Constitution should say, we get to tell them, and if they mess it up, we can make it clearer. They may rule based on our Constitution, but they do not dictate the Constitution to the people.
I promise you that if we the people actually got together, we would solve problems. There is no problem we the people cannot fix. We would want to put petty politics aside and make sure we don’t keep making the same mistakes. However the plan we see coming our way is not a convention of we the people, it’s those slimy governors.
Do I support an Article V convention to propose amendments?
Hell yes! The effort to coordinate a governors convention is not an Article V convention, that is a cabal. It may look like a convention and act like a convention in many respects but the way they have stacked the deck or loaded the dice, that’s a hijacking of OUR convention.
“But the governors are elected representatives,” sure I get it. However the convention is set up for one state – one vote. It won’t matter if there are 1 or 1000 delegates, it is still one vote. So … would you rather send your governor or various people from all walks of like and varied experiences? I have always felt that when the time came, the states would opt to send many people. All of us are smarter than any one of us. Also the governors are the elites not the people. We need to defend our convention of the people to alter our Constitution.
We need to make a demand of Congress when they are presented with the compact joined by 38 states. We want OUR convention, and we want OUR delegates. Bring on the amendment they wish to present, bring on more, America has nothing to fear from open debate. There is nothing so terrible we cannot talk about it. Maybe we would like the proposal once we had a chance to work together on it. However this proposed convention of governors is not allowed to change the language in open debate. They are supposed to vote on it like a ballot measure. If this is supposed to be like a ballot measure, the people should get the chance to vote on it.
There is what is and what should be. Do not accept what is. We don’t have to.