A Convention to Propose Amendments to Restrain Federal Government – An Idea Whose Time Has Come

It was warm and humid, a typical September day in Williamsburg, VA.  Commissioners from each state had assembled earlier in the week to discuss the issues that plagued the states, all caused by an out of control federal government.

The assembly was addressed by Patrick Henry.  Mr. Henry reminded those gathered that Williamsburg was the birthplace of the idea of the republic.  Virginia was the largest of the colonies in population, and Williamsburg was a natural choice for this convention.

Also addressing the group was James Madison who reminded the gathering of the history leading to the Constitution, and the question as to whether we were capable of governing ourselves. George Washington made the point of the physical price paid, and encouraged those assembled to secure the blessings of liberty.

Of course, Henry, Madison, and Washington were played by men in period costumes and the delegates from each state met just this past week.  The meeting was planned as a dry run, or practice if you will, of an Article V Convention to propose amendments to our Constitution.

The Constitution had been drafted and was nearly ready for a vote.  James Mason raised the point that while the constitution had been written to allow for future changes in Article V, they could only be initiated by congress.  Mason made the point that if a government were to overreach its prescribed bounds, it was unlikely to restrain itself.  The provision was then added to allow states to do the same.

To date, all proposed amendments to the constitution have been initiated by congress.  Some have been good and others, well, not so much.  The people gave birth to the states and the states then gave birth to the federal government.  We have evolved to the point where now the phrase “consent of the governed” means that since they were elected, they can do as they please.

In reality, the former idea of the ‘divine right of power,”  the right of kings to rule was thrown off, and now the leaders come from within the people.  Knowing that people tend to abuse power, the constitution restrains those in the three branches. However, it only works when those leaders take their oath seriously.  Nowadays, they do as they please until and unless a judge says “stop.”  They spend their time trying to work around things rather than within the bounds of the constitution.

The Convention of States Project has been working in each state to pass resolutions calling for an Article V assembly to pass amendments strictly to restrict federal power.  While state conventions have been done many times before, one for the purpose of proposing amendments has not and some worry about the process.

Thus the reason for a Simulated Convention of States in Williamsburg this past week.  Committees met and then proposals were put to the group for open discussion, amendments to the proposals and final adoption or rejection.  While the process was abbreviated due to time constraints, the debate was excellent and deliberative.

I will not go into the details of the debate and results.  While it is long, about 7 hours, I would encourage you to watch and listen to the process.  Three delegates from each state give the group 150 minds, ideas and thought processes to cover all the angles.  This will not be held in a dark back room by cigar smoking deal makers.  Watch the simulation here: http://www.conventionofstates.com/sim_live.  All these commissioners showed a love of country, the constitution, and original intent.

Historically, legislators studied the constitution and endeavored to pass laws they knew would most likely pass constitutional muster.  Now they each try to outdo the other in buying votes with taxpayer dollars and using rules and regulations to control behaviour and control the people, resulting in a loss of liberty.

With a federal debt nearing $20 trillion and no end in sight to the excess in spending and overreach, the federal government which was created by the states is now in the process of eating its creator.  The time is now to put the brakes on this runaway train.

Madison’s CPC proudly supports and endorses the Convention of States Project.  We encourage you to become involved in your state and district.  To learn more, go to www.conventionofstates.com.
Photo Credit: “Patrick Henry Denounces Unjust Taxation”, &copy; 2008 <a title=”‘Patrick Henry Denounces Unjust Taxation’ published on Flickr by Marion Doss” href=”https://www.flickr.com/people/ooocha/”>Marion Doss</a>, <a title=”from Flickr” href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/ooocha/2908626444/”>Flickr</a> | <a title=”Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/” style=”font-size: .8em” href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>CC-BY-SA</a>

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