Americans supporting an Article 5 convention or Convention of States seem to be taking blows from both the left and the right these days. Some well-known and respected Constitutionalists who prefer to remain anonymous, and some who do not, have blasted this movement as stupid, dangerous and short sighted. I would respectfully disagree.
For those unfamiliar with the Article 5 convention or Convention of States, you will find a brief summary supporting its use and all proposed amendments here.
First, I do not write anonymously, and that is my ugly mug on my writer’s bio. I am not hiding behind a nom de plume; my real name is John DeMayo. This will not be a heady article. I wrote this for everyone. It is not a response designed to impress intellectuals. I right this in simple terms to encourage Americans to consider supporting this worthy effort.
I like Mark Levin. I enjoy his show, impolite retorts and insight, but Mr. Levin is not the mad genius behind an Article 5 Convention of States. Our founders gave us this gift; A gift designed for the times we are living in today.
Rhetorically speaking, if our founders—who agreed on little and negotiated everything—thought the concept of the Convention of States dangerous or irresponsible, why did they include it in the US Constitution? As a matter of historical fact, it was included in the Constitution at the insistence of George Mason to deal with Congressional refusal to initiate legal amendment processes.
Is it risky? Is there potential for abuse or corruption? Of course, there is potential. Will passing over this provision of our Constitution and moving on to nullification (as Convention of States opponents suggest) assuage the threat of corrupt political acts? Not as long as human beings are involved in the process.
We live in a time so bereft of hope and honesty that many of my compatriots are preparing to defend themselves against Federal Government aggression. They have all but given up involving themselves in electoral processes. They have made preparations, and they are ready for a fight. I cannot disagree with them.
As another option, we have other Americans calling for “nullification,” an idea I applaud, but one which I believe will lead inevitably to armed confrontation with Washington. Do opponents of an Article 5 amendment convention believe for one minute that the Federal government will tolerate state nullification of federal statutes without reprisals?
In my opinion, a Convention of States provides loyal Americans (not Washington elite and the entitlement addicted peppered all over our nations urban areas) with an opportunity to draw a legal line in the sand. To rally traditional America around a valuable constitutional process; a process promoting states’ rights that could prevent the armed internal conflict I see on the horizon.
The opposition to a Convention of States would have Americans believe that the process cannot be entrusted to our state legislatures or the US Congress. Opponents claim this action—never used in the history of our Republic—could lead to a runaway convention causing unintended damage to our Constitution. They also claim that the US Congress has the legal authority to reject an amendment convention even if supported by the requisite two-thirds states. I cannot disagree completely. However, all of these political prophecies ignore the consequences of such careless federal decisions.
Under Article 5, the US Congress does possess the legal authority to reject an amendment convention supported by two-thirds of states. Such an act of utter disregard for the voice of the people would guarantee mass state nullification of federal laws which in turn would eventually lead to armed conflict.
If approved, a state Constitution amendment convention—by law—is limited in its scope. To fear its hijacking for nefarious purposes is a stretch. An Article 5 amendment convention can only propose amendments supported by two thirds of the states and all amendments require ratification by three-fourths of states before being added to the US Constitution.
Demographics prove rural America supports predominantly strong right of center government policy. Large American cities (depending on their geographic location and history) lean toward liberal and progressive ideologies. There is more red geography in America than blue. Also, there are more right leaning state representatives than left leaning in America.
State legislative representatives live, raise families, worship and see their constituents every day. I am sure they wish to continue to enjoy those freedoms without the constant threat of public rejection. I trust my local government (those that I can reach out and touch without having to travel across the country) to respect the will of their states citizens. I have faith that my state representatives (who overwhelmingly support the Second Amendment) would resist betraying their armed friends and neighbors who voted for them. Think Colorado.
The federal government may oppose a Convention of States. If pursued, that act of tyranny would more than likely set the stage for a complete break with our citizens, and Washington is not ready for that volume of bloodshed.
Honest disagreement is good for America. Our republic was formed through horrendous disagreements and long hard fought debates. Even Madison and Jefferson had disagreements. Contrary to recent criticisms, the Convention of States is not a cause de jour. It is a legitimate long term option for America. I believe it can—with public support—provide hopeless Americans with real and lasting solutions for our American crisis. Moreover, I believe it can bring this nation together again.
Cynicism is rampant in modern American culture, and it will contribute to our downfall. Our nation is not just divided; we are splintered. We are being ground to dust by a defeatist mentality looking for political perfection. This Republic was not born without a fight, and it will never be perfect.
I would ask those slinging arrows and ranting about enforcing the laws of our neglected Constitution, “How do you propose to undo the damage caused by illegal twentieth century constitutional amendments? Amendments like the 17th that all but guaranteed the erosion of states’ rights we experience today. Is nullification the solution you propose? Now that is a plan ripe for corruption. As a matter of fact, it’s a similar philosophy to the one propagated by the current guy in charge, and that is something for Americans to fear.
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