Let’s begin this investigation into this possible Mega “CON JOB” by reading what our present U.S. Constitution says in Article Five (V) about “amending” it:
“ARTICLE V: The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislators of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a Convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislators of three-fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by Congress;…”
That is the procedure that our Founders wrote into our present U.S. 1787 Constitution for amending it, and which all the existing states ratified by May of 1790. Seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? This amendment process—WITHOUT A CONVENTION-- has already been used 27 times since 1788, as amendments to our U.S. Constitution have been proposed, ratified and made a part of it. No big deal. Right? Perhaps, but NOT always! It can be said that sometimes a constitutional amendment was ratified for a seemingly good purpose that ended up creating a worse problem than existed previously, OR were ratified for truly BAD purposes right from their beginning. Three ill-conceived amendments come immediately to my mind:
- The 16th Amendment—ratified in February, 1913, gave Congress the power to lay and collect taxes on all “incomes” from whatever source they were derived, without any regard to a census or count
of the population. This “income tax amendment” had been championed by the leftwing “progressive movement” since the 1890’s, and was approved by Congress in 1909. It took the progressives, particularly the leftwing progressive, President Woodrow Wilson and his allies, four years to get it ratified by the required states. Prior to this amendment, which began to generate vast amounts of income to allow a rapid growth of the Federal government, almost all of federal revenue came from “duties, imposts, and excises”, i.e. TARIFFS!
- The 17th Amendment—ratified in April, 1913, established the popular election of U.S. Senators by the direct election of the citizens of each state, rather than by the elected legislators of each state, as originally established by our Founders in 1787 as part of our wise and original system of FEDERALISM, wherein the Senate represented the STATES and the rights of the states, and the House of Representatives did the same for the PEOPLE of the states. The 17th Amendment reduced the U.S. Senate to just another body of “democratically” elected “naysayers” and “obstructionists”, a sort of “imperial body” that could dominate the House and the Executive branches, thereby further destroying the concept of “federalism” and separation of powers as required by the original constitutional republic formed by our Founders, and sped up our descent into “popular democracy”, a form of government greatly, and rightly, feared by our Founders.
- The 18th Amendment—ratified in January, 1919, made it illegal to produce and distribute alcoholic beverages in the U.S. It was the end result of decades (or more) of efforts by the “temperance movement”, especially by the Anti-Saloon League, and at the time was considered to be a great, “progressive” law. It was repealed by the 21st Amendment in December, 1933 because it appeared to generate a great deal of lawlessness and deliberate flaunting and ignoring of the law, causing a great rise in organized crime, violence, and corruption, and created more societal problems than it solved.
In recent years, as the increasingly bloated Federal government spent ever-increasing amounts of money that it did NOT have, and borrowed ever increasing amounts of money from a long-opposed Central Bank forced upon Americans in 1913 by Congressional passing of the Federal Reserve Act which established a system of privately owned and controlled banks throughout the U.S., from which the profligate government of the U.S. has been “borrowing” ever larger amounts of money each year, and paying ever larger amounts of interest to that private, unaudited central bank, until today “our” government has a freedom destroying national debt bordering on $22 TRILLION. As a result of these constantly increasing budgetary deficits, many in and out of government have been pushing for a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment, or “BBA”. Now who could possibly be against balancing our federal budget? Who could possibly be against passing a constitutional amendment requiring a “balanced budget”, a phenomenon so RARE that it has only been achieved FIVE TIMES since our founding: One time under President Nixon and four times under President Clinton? Ah, therein lies THE problem.
Let’s think about this, calmly and hopefully, rationally. As of this writing, 28 state legislatures have approved a “call” to Congress to convene an “Article V Constitutional Convention” (this is also being referred to as a Convention of The States, to try to make it more “palatable” to the American electorate—but DON’T let yourself be fooled by this “con”—it is still an Article V Con Con). A total of 34 states are needed to force Congress to act on this request. Nationwide we have elected officials and large numbers of citizens—even people who are perceived as “conservatives” (including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former S.C. Sen. Jim DeMint, radio talk stars Mark Levin and Ben Shapiro, and Texas Governor Gregg Abbott)-- who are demanding this CON-CON convention or “Convention of The States”, unaware that there are always powers “behind the scenes” that would love to manipulate, and probably already ARE manipulating, this “con-con” as a “solution” to ALL of our country’s problems. Beware of unknown groups offering ‘helpful solutions’, because like the ancient “Trojan Horse” that was offered as a “parting gift” to the citizens of ancient Troy by the supposedly defeated Greek invaders, the solution may be full of more problems than seem apparent on the surface. And by all means, BEWARE of those who call themselves “conservatives” and “constitutionalists” but who push this Con-Con with gusto, because not all who call themselves by those appellations truly are such!
Think about it: doesn’t a Con-Con really declare that our present U.S. Constitution is defective or is ineffective and needs to be “modified” by adding more amendments? Theoretically, amendments could drastically change the goal of restricting government—which our Constitution does at present—to an entirely new concept where the goal is restricting “we, the people”, rather than the government, thereby making our problems even worse and more draconian. We all need to keep in our minds the reality that the simplest and most direct solution to solving our nation’s problems is to ENFORCE the PRESENT U.S. Constitution, which is the Supreme Law of our country! Those who are in favor of this BBA Con-Con appear to forget, accidentally or not, that “we, the people” already possess a way to balance our federal budget—it’s listed in the powers granted to Congress IN the Constitution. If “our” government, and our elected representatives therein, adhered to that “Supreme Law of the Land”, our federal budget would ALWAYS be balanced! Good grief—is this such a difficult concept to grasp? WHY won’t our sorry politicians of BOTH parties really work on balancing our federal budget? If they truly wanted to do so, they could. OBVIOUSLY THEY DON’T WANT TO DO SO, because it would force them to restrict or end their profligate spending on their favorite pork barrel and vote buying projects! In their twisted non-thinking, it’s apparently better to
destroy our country financially than to stop this outrageous and wasteful spending!
Now let us stop and “reason together” about this call for a BBA convention, or CON-CON. Why, do you suppose, has our country NOT had a modern-day constitutional convention since 1787, (232 years ago)? Could it be that Americans of the past understood that a new CON-CON could, and undoubtedly WOULD, establish its own rules and set its own agenda, and conceivably could change the process of ratification for amendments, just as our Founders did back in 1787, when they decided to completely abandon the Articles of Confederation? That, dear readers, is exactly how we got our present constitution! Of course, this brings to mind the question as to WHO would be the delegates to a modern CON-CON, and WHAT “special interest agendas” would be allowed to sneak in and begin trying to control the entire process?
Earlier in this article I mentioned three amendments to our present
constitution that either did have or do have deleterious effects on our body politic. Proponents of a BBA CON-CON assure us that the present constitution’s ratification process will stop “bad” amendments from being incorporated into our supreme law since it requires ¾ of our states to ratify them. If that was true, then WHY did “We, the People” end up with the 16th amendment (income tax), the 17th amendment (direct election of senators), and the 18th amendment (prohibition)? Hmmmm? I’ll tell you why: Powerful interests had agendas to accomplish, and they were powerful enough to convince our Congress and the legislators of ¾ of our states in those days to ratify them, to the DETRIMENT of all the rest of the American people thereafter. That’s why!
The proponents of a CON-CON have determined to use fear in order to try to force this convention upon the American people. Their current mantra is: “We have to do something before it’s too late”! How about trying something NOVEL, like following our current constitution as originally written by our Founders? This worked pretty well in the past when our American government actually adhered to it—when budgetary deficits were relatively miniscule. Why don’t these proponents of a CON-CON and a BBA come up with a real plan for enforcing our present constitution? If they can’t (or won’t) enforce our 1787 constitution, as amended, are we to believe that they will enforce their new “amended” constitution or, as is totally probable, their completely NEW constitution? Are we to believe that politicians and those in the shadows with special interests would write a new constitution that assured even more freedoms to the American people? Don’t make me laugh!
We’ll delve more into this next time, and tell you how you can fight against this “con job” called a “con-con”.