You might expect that the birthplace of state’s rights would be leading the way. But ironically, Virginia is forfeiting its right to help reign in the federal government.
George Mason warned that the federal government would never self-limit its power. Mason and Madison would likely be speechless and shake their heads at the current Virginia Republican Party and some conservatives who perennially campaign against federal mischief.
Let’s consider three main arguments against participating in an Article V convention.
#1. We just need to elect more Republicans
Not surprisingly this is the incumbent and party answer, but electing Republicans, at best, has only slowed the Left’s agenda.
Instead of merely trusting politicians, Jefferson said, “let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
Even prudent men and women can become infected by prolonged exposure to power. The vaccine is a constitutional network of durable legal firewalls that transcend election cycles.
#2. Runaway is inevitable
This concern is that nefarious groups with alleged Soros money will hijack and create a runaway convention, like a normal day in DC, which apparently we cannot win either.
First, this concern always fails to acknowledge the controls. An Article V convention has three multi-year hurdles:
- 34 state legislatures must want to participate;
- Legislature-selected delegates must pass amendments with a majority vote;
- Then 38 state legislatures must ratify the amendments.
By design the entire process is state driven and Congress’s only role is to pick the date and time. Furthermore, states can simply disengage if the convention’s objective or their directives change.
Second, it is one thing to influence a large majority of DC-centric politicians who share the same big government mindset and quite another task to intimidate 38 right-leaning state legislatures.
Third, don’t worry about the Left. They are quite satisfied to effectively “amend” the Constitution every day using the unelected federal bureaucracy and courts.
Fourth, this is not like the Equal Rights Amendment fight in the 70’s. Our advantages today are:
- This time we are defining the agenda and are on offense;
- A healthy majority of state legislatures are center-right;
- We can bypass the media narrative by using talk radio and social media;
- Our younger generation, while currently obsessed with social issues, is beginning to realize that federal policies are standing between them and the American Dream;
- The degree of usurpations and abuse of power by the federal government grows at an accelerating rate so evidence abounds, in case Republicans want to use it.
An Article V convention is the opposite of runaway. Runaway is the current process which has given us Obamacare, $18T debt, $100T+ unfunded liabilities, and a massive unaccountable bureaucracy passed by federal lawmakers who can’t write and won’t read a bill before voting on it.
#3. Article V has never succeeded, It just won’t work, Too messy, Too much work
The world also said that self-government and free enterprise was impossible. Maybe parties by nature will always oppose anything not under their control. Maybe a convention every 10 years would have prevented Our Mess.
Imagine a country where Marbury v. Madison had been cut down in its infancy. Or one where there was no 16th Amendment and the states funded the federal government. Or how about where commerce meant commerce. The Founders expected that future generations would amend the Constitution based on experience guided by common sense.
However, the Founders could not have foreseen the federal government becoming a National Business, technology’s benefits/threats, or that a people who once pushed back the greatest military power (with a little help from our friends) would devolve into politically uneducated, entertained-to-death, tax paying sheep that are afraid to voice an unpopular opinion. But we see what they could not. Now we are accountable.
Our Constitution is an intergenerational legally binding contract that embodies the People’s core wisdom. You and I are sworn to uphold it. It is not a piece of paper containing mere guidelines protected by argon gas stored under the National Archives to be routinely redefined by linguistic gymnastics played by Ivy League elitists. If times change then how we use the coercive power of government must also change. Which law then in our rapidly changing society deserves more frequent review than the Constitution?
A convention is not bad process. The real issue is that too many Americans have outsourced their citizen duty to self-anointed experts instead of practicing self-government. Too many incumbents claim to be constitutionalists but will not lift a finger to defend states’ rights. Even Republican controlled Congresses cannot report a constitutional amendment out of their committees.
We can trust the wisdom of 38+ freely collaborating diverse states that exist outside of DC-NY-LA District 9’s far more than our current crop of DC incumbents. A convention can yield tangible results in less time that it takes to fire a senator. It gives hope for those who yearn for the rule of law. It is the sovereign states exercising power over power – for a change.
Finally, a convention of the states is a unique opportunity to educate, focus energy and contrast us to the McAuliffe, Herring, Kaine and Warners. Let’s hope that the Marxist Iron Dome that extends from DC west to Route 15 and south to 234 has not permanently rendered Virginia irrelevant in the fight to restore constitutional government.
An Article V convention is not to be feared, it is the alternative when elections are not working. Use it while there is still time.