Article V, U.S. Constitution:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall
deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution,
or, on the Application of the Legislatures 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
ratifi ed by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the several
States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the
one or the other Mode of Ratifi cation may be proposed by
the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be
made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and
eight shall in any Manner affect the fi rst and fourth Clauses
in the Ninth Section of the fi rst Article; and that no State,
without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage
in the Senate.
Hopefully, you’ve played the Levin audio. I have just a few points to make here. One is that this is extremely doable. It would require the consent of 34 State Legislatures. While it is true that we have been basically splitting the past national elections in what statistically is pretty darned close to 50/50 in terms of population, while losing in the electoral college by a margin that skews the results to resemble a blowout, that is representative of the larger population States mostly going to the liberal candidates, who do well in large urban areas. Conversely, conservatives will usually win a greater number of States. While this was not true during the previous two elections, click this link to gain a visual sense of why I still believe it possible. What this shows is a county by county breakdown of how America voted in 2012. What probably struck you immediately, was the vast contrast between red and blue on that map.
A grass roots effort undertaken by Americans tired of having their freedoms removed, however gradually, by a ruling elite, who by the way are always careful to exempt themselves from those very programs and intrusions that they deem beneficial for our own good, could avail themselves of the constitutional process so very thoughtfully included by our founding fathers. Those insightful men had the foresight to see that the framework they gave to us might one day become tyrannical. The story which Levin relates is empowering. Originally, Madison only included one method by which our Constitution may be amended, and George Mason pointed out that a federal behemoth, which had become tyrannical itself, would never undertake to relinquish its own power. Thus, the second method for amending our Constitution was included. There have been 17 amendments which have followed since the original ratification of our founding document, all of which have occurred via the first method. It is time to get on board with this idea to force the decentralization of the massive amount of power the federal government has granted to itself.
Whether you agree with Levin’s specific proposed amendments or not, there are at least a few undeniable truths here which deserve mention. One, such a convention would not be limited to only those amendments proposed by Levin. Two, there is no guarantee that Levin’s own amendments would pass, nor even receive consideration by such a process. Three, it would be an avenue for massive numbers of citizens who have been long frustrated by a process that seems to have removed itself entirely from both the constraint of the governed, and any accountability for such removal, to have their say. I understand the frustration felt by many among us, which has largely manifested itself in the form of useless protest votes or the other seemingly destructive behavior of just not voting at all, believing there to be no difference between the two major Parties. This however, would be a way to remove major swaths of power from both of these groups, including more importantly that group of self anointed ruling elites who so benevolently concern themselves with the well being of the great unwashed masses that most of us belong to. This initiative could even discuss Amendments to give ability to other national parties to grow for increased competition in the arena of ideas, by removing all federal money from the campaign process for example. Why our major political parties receive federal support in the first place is beyond me entirely.
I realize that Levin has written a book and this tour touting this idea may be his way of selling copies of that book. To that I say, so gosh darned what. That does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that it is not a brilliant idea. My conclusion is this, sign me up, let’s get this ball rolling. Where is the petition, door knocking campaign, list of local organizing cabals of unwashed masses, or the somebody that can get us all going in the right direction here?
Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.