The main purpose of my writing is to help educate the citizenry and to formulate common sense solutions that we can all get behind. I am very pleased to see vigorous debate in the comment section regarding a recent posting on Perspective Of Political Office | Pop Politics: When Public Servants Seek the Limelight. It appears for most people it is not a question of why as it is how. There are a few detractors and doubters though, and I wanted to take the time to further elaborate on the Convention of States and why some of the most common fears are not based in reality.
Further Insight Into The Convention Of States
Convention of states is a ratification process in which full control rests within the states. 34 states must pass resolutions and once the threshold is met, delegates to the Convention will be selected. Federal legislators play zero role in a Convention of States. Once convened, the delegates will debate and propose amendments to the Constitution.
In order to adopt a new amendment, it takes an overwhelming majority of 38 states. That means that if only 13 states dissent, the adoption fails. This brilliant method of amendment adoption was placed into our Constitution by George Mason. He demanded the states be given a method in which to control the federal government, were it to become unhinged. Do we not think this describes our current government in Washington DC? This is not some fantasy process dreamt up by a couple of loons. This amendment adoption process was actually given to us by the Framers.
A “runaway convention” is the most common fear amongst Convention of States opponents. As previously mentioned, the states control the entire process and can even limit discussion of topics at the Convention. In order to address the concerns of this audience, I have pieced together some objections and my response to each. Remember, debate is good. I only implore us all to rationally and articulately come up with well thought opinions. Resist the urge to fall into group thinking, fear mongering, or illogical conclusions.
A Continued Discussion
Now for some Q&A. My responses italicized.
Jerry Pleasant – Senior Chief Aviation Electronics Technician at US Navy Retired
“ONLY THE STATES CAN DO IT! ! !
A Constitutional Convention could be dangerous because of additional Amendments that may be proposed, passed and ratified which could be detrimental to citizen’s liberty. However, that being said, a Constitutional Convention is the ONLY way that term limits will ever be imposed on those who hold the seats in Congress. It would be a rare member who would vote to end their own gravy train. NO ONE should ever be allowed to RETIRE from Congress with the retirement benefit that they currently enjoy, nor should they have a different MEDICAL policy than what is available to the citizens.
Much needs to be changed and the members of Congress will kick and scream if ANY of their precious benefits are reduced or curtailed. Let them kick and scream!”
Jerry, what I am advocating for, is a Convention of States not a Constitutional Convention. The two are entirely different and I agree that the Constitution as a whole is not and should not be up for grabs. The federal government is completely out of control and has zero incentive to fix itself. Therefore, as you correctly stated, the change needs to come from “We the People” and from the states. The Framers of the Constitution provided Article V as a process in order to combat the very situation we face today. I hope you fully jump on board with this movement.
Len Wilson – Kaplan University
Be careful what you wish for. A convention of states would open a whole can of worms most of you aren’t willing to accept. Do you honestly think that the Liberal/progressive/safe space wanting/family wrecking/God hating/pink hat wearing demons would not try to ram through thier agenda as well? Opening the Constitution up for change means to open it to everyone. Good bye 2nd Amendment, then good bye to all the rest that the 2nd protects!
Len, I hear this argument often and it is logically incorrect. What can of worms is going to be opened that we should so fear? I implore you to investigate further Article V. There is no such scenario in which any group can “ram through” an agenda. In fact, the first meeting of states would most likely be very boring and quite possibly end with zero new amendments adopted. The reason? The very high threshold of three fourths of states needed to ratify amendments. That means that only 13 states need oppose any amendment in order to have it rejected.
Republicans control a massive majority of states compared to the Democrats. The 2nd Amendment is going nowhere as there are plenty more than 13 states that would reject a motion to remove it. As previously mentioned, the states can even set an agenda of discussion for the convention. Fear abolished. Next Comment.
An article 5 convention can also be usurped and if it is it could be disastrous for our freedoms and God given rights. Those same enemies of our constitution will attempt to steal our rights, like the First and Second amendments. It would have to be VERY carefully controlled. Getting term limits in place would be great, but losing anything would not. Remember these politicians are snakes, they are some of the lowest forms of life, heck most of them are lawyers and there is a good reason that “lawyer” sounds so much like “liar.”
Schumer should have been indicted and imprisoned when he worked on the city council and had city employees doing work on his private house on City time. The Federal government found he was corrupt but he violated NY State laws so they turned the case over to the Democrat D.A. of Brooklyn, Elizabeth Holtzman who refused to bring the case against her fellow corrupt democrat Chuck Schumer, so Schumer, instead of being a convict he became a conman and is to this day screwing the American people and the U.S. Constitution. He needs to be investigated by the DOJ and removed from his corrupt position of power.
John, you mentioned that this process must be “carefully controlled.” Good news, the states would be in charge of the Convention. They make the rules. They make the procedures. I would remind you again, Republicans control state legislators 32 – 5. The worry about the Constitution being upheaved in this process in nothing but fear. Fear paralyzes. Fear destroys. It will be hard for 38 states to ratify ANY amendment. The odds of states voting to remove something as significant as the 1st or 2nd amendment? Highly unlikely. This is not some wild frivolous process that is uncontrolled.
One problem…. Who do you think is going to be governing that Art.5? Those self same politicians and if you think for a second that they won’t twist it to rewrite or amend those already in place (like the 2nd and the 4th and so on) you are delusional. They have added amendments for a long time without an Art.5. The money thing is why I kinda like President Trump’s cabinet picks as most only are taking $1 because current law says they have to take a salary. These people don’t need to back door the people to get rich because they already are and seem to want to do what’s needed to make us TRULY prosper not the politicians. Why do you think everyone has been trying to hamstring him before he even has a chance?
Federal politicians will not play a role in a Convention of States. The process is controlled by the states themselves. I am finding that there is much more information that needs to be communicated to “We the People” about Article V. I certainly doubt the courage of Republicans in all aspects of government. However, those Republicans elected to state office are in my opinion much more responsive to influence than those to who fly to D.C. and seem to forget who they represent. Have you ever contacted your state Rep or Senator?
NO Article 5 Convention of States. Fascist BILLIONAIRES like George Soros would take over and install their own WE THE GOVERNMENT Constitution. ALL of our FREEDOMS would go away. Government officials, would tell you what you can do, and what you cannot do. Like your 2nd Amendment right to own a fire arm for self defense? You cannot have one. Like FREE SPEECH? They would SHUT US UP! An Article V Convention would be the end of America as we know her. Our GOD given Rights Affirmed in the Constitution would be GONE.
Jim, how would they accomplish this through a Convention of States – where the process is completely controlled by the states themselves? Furthermore the Republicans control 32 state legislatures to 5 of the Democrats. The George Soros fear mongering on this subject is nonsensical. If you truly believe they would be able to remove the 1st or 2nd Amendment through a Convention of States and get 38 states to agree to that…..why haven’t they done so already? There is more than one process to remove an amendment. Wouldn’t Soros et al have a higher chance of success going through Washington DC and that amendment process? Your fear is based in nothing sir. There is zero scenario in which 38 states would approve removing the 1st amendment.
We do not need a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on Representatives and Senators. If We, the People, the do not exercise our right to vote properly, no law requiring a change of persons who represent Us will ever change anything. We already possess a legal term limiter enshrined in the Constitution. We call it the ballot box.
John, only approximately 60% of the population vote, and that is your solution? How many of the 60% would you confidently say possess a level of knowledge of the US Constitution that they should? How about even the most basic of issues?
DC politicians are also setting up the system to favor incumbents. Take a look at Indiana in this past election cycle. During the primaries you had Todd Young (establishment candidate) run against Marlin Stutzman (conservative) in the Republican Senate primaries. Donald Trump won the Presidential Indiana Primary running on his now famous “outsider” agenda. However, the people of Indiana did not carry that same sentiment down ballot and voted for the establishment candidate – Young.
This hypocrisy in voting theory can be blamed in part on the heavy money advantage that Todd Young possessed over Stutzman. The DC insiders can handpick their candidates in the current system. As much as I love our citizenry, voting is but one aspect of our governmental system. For instance, I would never want to turn over private property rights to “a popular vote”. Everything has its place my friend. We cannot rely on the popular vote alone to control DC.
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