A Convention of States Argument


Let me be clear, I am against the popular notion that a Convention of the States under Article V of the Constitution is a solution to this nation’s woes. In fact, it is my belief that such a convention would threaten the very essence of Americanism as contemplated by our founding fathers. So you understand my take on this matter I am writing to all concerned Americans in hopes to enlighten and lift all conscience about what the issues are behind this movement and the potential outfall. I am writing as a starting point for debate on the subject and hope that you will respond on this very new blog at the Gem State Patriot for or against. I know many who follow the radio talking heads do not share my view as those in conservative media circles are promoting an Article V convention as a solution.

This is a broad subject that has been argued for many years in each state. It is now of consequence to Idahoans as Idaho has been asked to join other states in favor of such an Article V Convention. In my opinion this is a dangerous road to follow as our history has shown a most certain direction toward further federal domination and tyranny of the states and the people. To this end, I wish to speak clearly and unequivocally offering my comments and insight asking you to reply with yours. This is an honest and reasoned effort to get to the bottom of the question, should Idaho say yes to an Article V convention?

Since this debate has many facets and worm holes to contemplate I hope only thoughtful replies are posted. I hope to entertain all thought provoking comments in this anticipated back and forth debate but must start at the beginning as I see it. Hopefully many topic threads will ensue which can be talked about. I very pleased to have this blog format at the Gem State Patriot to continue such threads.

First, I am no constitutional scholar and do not profess such although I believe I have read sufficient documentation to offer my thoughts based on a simple understanding of our founder’s intent, namely a government instituted by the consent of free sovereign people whose purpose was limited and well defined to promote the protection of civil liberty and property rights.

Are we a free sovereign people whose government is well defined and promotes the protection of civil liberties and property rights? I say no as many of you may also declare. To hold our government to its proper role, we the people, must exercise our responsibility to support the balance of power our constitution was framed upon. It is upon this balance of power I begin to frame my argument against a Convention of States.

Article V clearly states “that no State, without Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.” This last line of Article V seems to indicate that no such convention could take place today as States are not represented in the Senate, only people of the States. You may think this a small infraction, but it runs deep to the understanding of the balance of power. The Constitution checked power of all parties involved, the people too. This is why we have two houses, the Senate for State representation and the House for the people according to population of each State. Senators are no longer elected by the States (popular vote not the State Legislature), a critical upset to the balance of power in the furtherance of democracy not consistent with a Republican form of government promised (you can thank the 17th Amendment for that). To rebuild foundational structure upon unbalanced powers will further the tipping point where eventually the Constitution is rendered a relic of the past and a tool for the unscrupulous. In fact, the Constitutional balance of power is so far out of kilter today that furtherance of an Article V convention could only create further trouble than remedy a thoughtful and tested solution. I believe an Article V convention even in the day of limited and well balance powers, a Hail Mary pass in case of extreme emergency to right a government gone tyrannical. Such a Convention was to be used only as last resort. It is the end zone I fear we may be passing this ball to. I am concerned that populous demands funded by individuals and organizations of suspect integrity will play on the immediacy of our declining institutions paying little mind to the fact that government cannot give you rights you already possess.

States in fact have submitted much of their power to a federal leviathan that has baited them with money printed out of thin air. Do you think States will reinvest themselves of Constitutional authority by asserting their rights at a Constitutional Convention or continue to be pawns of a dominating federal agency? There is much power in the ninth and tenth Amendments that offer many solutions, but none that have come to bare as governors can’t wean themselves from the money addiction so graciously provided by the federal government, paradoxically from their very own tax payers. It is incomprehensible that such unbridled power and avarice could be stymied by those complicit in our current libertine woes. Who among the horrid throngs of political chameleons would you trust to right theses wrongs?

Our foundational ideals have been eroding for some time. The course set to bend people to utopian nirvana began well before the Obama administration. Changing course will come with many a price to be paid but a debt owed to our founders and of generations before us who selflessly lit a more promising pathway so that we could enjoy a brighter and more prosperous future. Time we do the hard lifting and stop looking for magical beans.

Your comments are welcome.



One thought on “A Convention of States Argument

  1. Darr,

    As you know, we have an honest disagreement here as to the necessity of an Article V convention. I know we can keep the disagreement an objective one between us. I’m not so sure that the disagreement can be kept objective in the larger forum though. Passions seem to run very high on this. I’ve listed some comment to your article below.

    1) I don’t see what the 17th Amendment has to do with this discussion. While you know I’d very much like to see the 17th A nullified and offered a plan to do so in the book, I don’t see what role the US Senate plays in the Convention to propose amendments. The whole point is that the Article V convention bypasses Congress in it’s entirety in passing new amendments to the Constitution that Congress has refused to pass and refer to the state for ratification.

    However even though I don’t see repeal as necessary, since the amendment was never actually ratified to begin with, as it can be simply ignored by state legislators, an amendment to repeal the 17th Amendment could be introduced at the CoS to simply remove the 17th amendment.

    2) I, and the proponents of Article V Convention I know, don’t see THE CoS as a panacea to solve all of our problems. It’s a strategic tool (to work across the states) in the tool bag to go with tactical tools present in each state and locality, i.e., State Powers and Nullification, Constitutional Sheriff, Federal Lands control, state banking, etc. All have to be worked together to throw-off the federal leviathan. To not take advantage of every tool and weapon at our disposal is a mistake itself. I have not listened to ONE Conservative talk show radio pundit on this issue. I arrived at my position years ago after much study and research and many years before Levin published “The Liberty Amendment.” All the folks I know and have worked with toward such a Convention have done so far outside the “popular” media or thinking. Have you read this book by Robert Barry? http://www.amazon.com/Amendments-Without-Congress-Timely-Founders-ebook/dp/B008FQE7QY I haven’t found one opponent who has armed themselves with the arguments of the proponents to debate the issue.

    3) With the people who’ve been involved so far and the extreme sensitivity of this issue, I see little chance of a “Runaway” convention. Most of the arguments about a “Runaway” Convention are illogical and very unlikely. And I would invite all my skeptical friends to be involved to help insure it doesn’t happen. I highly suggest you sign onto to the newsletter email I’ve appended below and track exactly what is going on. I strongly believe that when the Call for a Convention is made you will be onboard to do exactly that.

    4) It is interesting that the opponents of the Convention say “Follow the Constitution” and then when Article V pops up, say, “Well, not that part!” Or think that, while we continue to do things to fix other parts, we can’t use all the tools we have available in the battle. Or that folks like Rob Natelson who love his work as a “Constitutional Scholar” UNTIL he advocates something actually be done to invoke assigned Constitutional Powers. I have disagreed with Natelson (as documented in TCLS book) on multiple occasions but find myself in agreement on this.

    5) Most opponents say all the time, “We can’t trust the Feds!” Then when an opportunity comes along to use a process of the states and strengthen our hand say, “We can’t trust delegates we appoint or elect from the states, either!” Or that those of us proposing the Convention are dupes or somehow working for the Elite Controllers. I find there to be less logic and more emotion in opponent’s position here.

    I have previously counterpointed the many different arguments of the opponents in previous emails and articles. I find the attacks on those who are for the CoS to be strangely reminiscent. Attacks are now made on proponents as if our brains had all fallen out and we’ve defected to the other side. I don’t find that very fruitful as your note also echoes. The emotionalism in this discussion by many opponents is not helping, either. Next, I expect to be called a “traitor to the cause” or a “tool of the left or PTBs” or some such.

    This will obviously go on for some time but I believe at this point we’re coming close to reaching critical mass and that this is about to break out into more public media discussion over the next year or so as things get so obviously worse in the economy and federal government.

    The Article V convention is a Constitutional process. I’ve seen not one good logical argument as to how we can’t control the process to have a fruitful convention. Just conjecture that we can’t and it will somehow turn into a Runaway “like the last one,” without acknowledging that the last convention was held UNDER THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION, not the constitution with the specifc wording of Article V.

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