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A Convention of States: The Only Way To Beat The Federal Government?

Go to nearly any conservative news/opinion website and read a post.

Any post, it doesn’t matter which one.

Now check out the comments and you’re guaranteed to find multiple versions of the following two responses from readers who are concerned about their government’s power and corruption.

  • “I know! It’s terrible! But what can we do?!”
  • “I couldn’t agree more. We need to impose term limits, educate people on limiting government shrink the welfare state, get a flat tax, etc.”

In other words, we need to _______ (fill in your conservative wish list).

I have good news for all of you. There IS an answer to these sentiments and we DO have the power to make it happen.

It’s called an Article V Convention of States.

The process is laid out right in Article V of the Constitution, and it gives the states the power to convene and propose amendments to the Constitution which would have to be ratified to take effect. This isn’t a new idea; it’s been in the Constitution from day one. Our Constitution has been amended twenty-seven times but always by the other method – Congress writing the amendments and the states ratifying them.

A Convention of the States allows us, the citizens, to bypass the federal government all together and amend the Constitution for the explicit purpose of removing power from the federal leviathan and returning us to a more suitable system of federalism. In other words, we don’t need their permission. What can we do? That is what we can do.

convention-of-statesI understand everyone posting comments like “we need to impose term limits and get spending under control, etc etc” because, well, they’re right. We do need to do those things. But it’s not happening, is it? Our problems are getting worse, not better, and it won’t be long before the federal government has grown so large and so corrupt that we have no longer have any influence over them.

Our biggest problem as Constitutional conservatives is relying on a presidential election to deliver our agenda. Why, as believers in limited government, federalism, and the Constitution, do we rely on the election of a single person every four years? It’s fundamentally contrary to our entire beliefs. If we don’t get our candidate into that one office, it’s “oh well, try again next time” and we take to the internet in droves to tell each other some more about how we need term limits and a flat tax. That’s never going to work and we’ll keep losing.

An Article V Convention of States project could easily happen before the end of the next President’s term, whoever it may be. We don’t need to win any Electoral College map. We don’t need a majority of the country to make it happen. It’s a real solution. What sort of amendments could such a convention produce?

  • Term limits for members of Congress and Supreme Court judges.
  • A balanced budget amendment.
  • An amendment to limit federal spending.
  • Require a photo ID to vote in any election.
  • Switch to a flat tax with a cap on how much can be taken from any individual.
  • Require all bureaucratic departments to be reviewed and reauthorized by congress annually.
  • Require all regulations to be reauthorized annually.

There are a multitude of other examples of amendments that would be extremely effective at limiting the size and scope of the federal government and returning the power to our states. The first to lay many of these proposals out was conservative author Mark Levin in his book The Liberty Amendments. These things sound like a pipe dream if we only rely on electing the right president every four years who, even if elected, can’t right the ship themselves in such a short period of time. Just think that it was only one term after Ronald Reagan that we managed to elect Bill Clinton. President’s agendas aren’t permanent, but Constitutional amendments are very nearly so.

Check out the Convention of States project and consider getting involved. As I said, it’s a real solution. It’s a very exciting process to be a part of and they have many different roles, big and small, so there is definitely at least one way you can help. There is also a lot of literature and learning material on their website that addresses the doubts of the naysayers. Read it for yourself and come to your own conclusion.

The bottom line is this – we can either sit on our butts wishing our country would restore itself for our children, or we can do something about it ourselves.

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Kyle McDonough

Want more from Kyle? Check out his blog at AlwaysLiberty.com, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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