A large and growing number of Americans are coming to recognize that the federal government is out of control. Our national debt currently stands at over $30 trillion. Just 2 lonely Democrats stood between us and another $5 trillion in government spending. If we lined up 100-dollar bills end to end, that debt would reach to the moon and back – over 60 times! The average family of 4 is paying more interest (via their taxes) to service the national debt than they are for their own home mortgage.
Our federal government behemoth now reaches into every aspect of our lives. The EPA is no longer assuring clean air and water. It is seeking to regulate the very gas that we exhale, on the basis of unproven climate change theories. The Department of Health and Human Services has forced nonsensical virus precautions on us, breaking the supply chain and triggering inflation in the process. The Department of Education dictates what local schools are and aren’t to teach. As parents have learned from remote schooling, that guidance has nothing to do with reading, writing, or arithmetic.
As if the spending and overreach weren’t bad enough, now our government is working to crush our constitutionally protected rights. The Department of Homeland Security has even issued a threat advisory designating citizens who speak against the government narrative on COVID protocols or the 2020 election as “threat actors.” That is a clear violation of the 1st Amendment. Freedom of speech is protected specifically to allow citizens to challenge the government on such things. Open debate is essential to the health of a self-governed country. Perhaps that’s why free speech is under attack – to kill the notion of self-governance itself.
If there is one thing, we should have learned in the last 50 years, it’s that these problems will not be fixed by elections alone. That’s because politicians are part of the problem. They profit from the system as it is and have little motivation to change it. Hope is not a strategy. Electing conservative candidates, and then hoping that they will fix our broken system has been a failing strategy. Even the best leaders have merely slowed the loss of our constitutional republic – until the next leftist lies or cheats his way into office (looking at you Joe). We need a solution with more durability than the next election.
Luckily, a better solution is available. Our state governments are our last line of defense against an out-of-control federal government. Our state legislators live in our communities. They see us every day. One can even meet with them by merely calling their office and asking for an appointment. Try doing that with San Fran Nan, and see what happens. They know firsthand what our priorities are, and how troubling the expansion of the federal government has become.
Our founders anticipated problems with a central government, and provided the states with the means to push back. Article V of the Constitution prescribes how the Constitution may be amended. The first clause allows the US Congress to trigger the amendment process. But the never before used second clause, allows the states to trigger the amendment process by calling a convention of states.
Critics of a convention of states point out that it has never been used. That isn’t because it won’t work. It’s because it has never been necessary before. We have never faced a time when our own government was so uninterested in the wishes of the governed – until now.
When two-thirds of the states (34 in our case) pass resolutions calling for a convention to address specific issues, the process is triggered. Congress is required to set the time and place for a convention. That is the only role that Congress plays in the process. The states remain in control.
Delegates to the convention will propose amendments to the constitution addressing the issues identified in the state resolutions. The states will then vote on each proposed amendment, with each state having one vote.
Those proposed amendments which are approved by the convention are then sent to all 50 states for ratification. Three-quarters of the states must ratify any proposed amendment before it becomes a part of the Constitution.
There are a great many critics of an Article V convention of states. There is also a great deal of misinformation about the process. Common Cause, the George Soros sponsored organization, is the source of much of this misinformation. In fact, Common Cause has mobilized over 200 other organizations to fight against a convention of states.
Common Cause asserts that a convention of states will turn into a runaway convention destroying social security and all of our protected liberties – including the right free speech and to bear arms. Who knew Soros was such a champion of our liberties? Maybe he’s a member of the NRA too.
Unfortunately, many conservative groups have begun parroting the Common Cause talking points.
The likelihood of a runaway convention is remote, given that the states remain in control. But even if this doomsday scenario were to happen, the critics can never explain how any radical proposals would achieve ratification by three-quarters of the states. It’s a bit reminiscent of the Squad being shocked to learn that Trump wasn’t leaving office after he was impeached. They didn’t understand that there would also be a trial. Similarly, convention of states critics don’t seem to understand that the convention does not amend the Constitution. It merely proposes amendments that the states must approve.
When confronted with these arguments, the critics almost always retreat with the statement that, “At best, we’ll waste a lot of time and money to create an amendment that the government will ignore just like it does the rest of the constitution.” When the critics say that, they are asserting that our constitution is already dead, and we are no long a republic. It’s an admission that they have already surrendered. Well, a great many Americans are not ready to surrender on the United States just yet.
Momentum is building for a constitutional remedy for our current woes. Recent polling by Convention of States Action shows that an Article V convention is supported by:
- 75% of Republicans
- 55% of Democrats
- 64% of independents
Clearly, out of control government is a concern that crosses all political boundaries – making a convention of states a truly bipartisan initiative. Is there any other political initiative of the 21st century that enjoys such broad support?
Eighteen states have already passed resolutions calling for an Article V convention to address:
- Fiscal responsibility
- Term limits
- Federal government overreach
Six more states have passed the resolution in either their upper or lower chambers, but not both – yet. It’s not just Republican led states that are on board. One of the most recent states to pass the resolution is Wisconsin – a state that is blueish purple at best. In fact, 25% of the states currently working towards a convention are controlled by Democrats.
People often ask me what they can do besides voting. My answer is to think nationally, but act locally. They need to support conservative local candidates. They can also contact their state legislators and demand that they join the fight to constrain an out-of-control federal government.
Author Bio: John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho. He currently writes at the American Free News Network and The Blue State Conservative. He can be followed on Facebook or reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.