Article V Amending Convention of States
Myth-busting the fearmongering left over from the 1960s
Update: Legislation on Article V Amending Convention of States has cleared all committees with large majorities and will be voted on in the Texas Legislature tomorrow. Please call YOUR HOUSE LEGISLATORS (http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx) and ask them to vote FOR HJR77 and others! TODAY.
[Author Note]:There is much misinformation and fear mongering being directed at a Constitutional remedy reserved to the States by the Founders. History records that the Founders wanted a safety valve in the event that the Federal government someday became too strong—so strong that it thwarted the will of the people and States. I first met Tamara Colbert when she testified before my subcommittee last summer regarding the need for an Amending Convention of the States. Please read her eloquent comments below, and invite her to speak on the subject to your conservative groups.
By Tamara Colbert, Texas Director, The Convention of States Project, Director.TX@selfgovern.com
America’s Founders gave shape to what would become the undisputed, greatest form of government the world has ever known. Of course, we can give credit to leaders who have perpetuated the exceptional and blessed nature of our Founding and rule of law, but what about those, known and unknown, who risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to make America a strong, entrepreneurial and independent nation.
These mighty men of valor, achievement and self-reliance were men who put to good use the freedom and opportunity they had enjoyed and were not willing to relinquish. They included soldiers, merchants, scientists, farmers, doctors, lawyers, clergy, printers and other common occupations. These men didn’t agree upon everything, but the single thing they could agree on was that ultimate power in government should reside in a body of laws (a Constitution) and close to the People, not with any one man or group.
These men knew the exceptional circumstance they found themselves in during the Philadelphia convention in 1787. James Madison wrote, “The whole community is big with expectation, and there can be no doubt but that the result will in some way or other have a powerful effect on our destiny.”
Out of the signers of the Declaration and Constitution, some were giants and some had contributions that may never be well-known, but all of these men were just that: men. They were ordinary, imperfect, and experienced challenges just like all of us face today. However, these men are revered and their accomplishments written into our history because when the moment demanded it they put aside their own interests in order to serve a greater cause. Each was willing to compromise to create the most flexible and durable system of government that has remained in full effect through wars, civil and industrial revolutions and unforeseen technological advancements. That system has kept America at the forefront of world history and the icon of Freedom itself.
In March, there was an article derogatory toward the Convention of States Project and specifically HJR 77, the application for an article V amending convention, a resolution now pending in the House Calendars Committee; and a companion bill in the Senate, SJR 63.
Truth matters—and in the March article truth was twisted to create a false sense of reality. I want to provide clarity and truth regarding our nationwide movement and especially the allegations that this movement is in any way, shape or form involved with George Soros funded groups/”hundred progressive left-wing organizations”. Specifically, excerpts were shared from a variety of articles written by progressives. Why would conservatives use any arguments from the left to make a case for no? Make no mistake–this Article V amending convention of states movement is not funded by George Soros or any of his funded organizations.
Ours is a relatively new movement, only 18 months old, but making history. The Convention of States Project resonates strongly with voters all over the country and is gaining steam daily. No other Article V convention call has ever gained sponsorship and been filed in 35 states on one topic in such a short period of time. We still have educating to do, but when voters and legislators “get it,” they join the effort with incredible zeal. It is evident that people today respond in one of two ways: faith or fear. We can see that fear of doing the right thing and fear of the ‘unknown’ has mobilized a vocal minority to spread false information to bully and intimidate. Frankly, I am bored of such handwringing and naysaying. It took men (and women) of course, conviction and great faith to build this nation. It will take the same to restore her.
The most common fearmongering tactic used by opponents is to claim an Article V convention could become a “runaway convention” and rewrite the Constitution. All one has to do is read and study Article V to understand this is utterly false. Article V in its entirety provides the way to amend the Constitution. It provides TWO pathways to START the process—one being Congress can propose amendments and the second being that the States can propose amendments. The END of the process is identical in both cases—any proposed amendment must be approved by three-quarters of the States! Three-quarters! Just imagine what would happen should any violence be done to the Bill of Rights.
There would be zero chance of that three-quarters of states ratifying! (The Convention delegates themselves have NO power to do anything other than write proposed amendments.)
No, rather, the second STARTING option the Founders put in was “just in case” the federal government became unresponsive to the people and the States. The problem we face today is precisely what the Founders feared could someday happen. We don’t have a runaway convention to fear, we have a runaway Congress, Executive, and Judiciary right now!
Is using the Constitution to save America under Article V radical? Absolutely not! When you have three-quarters of the American people saying that they want term limits and 66% of the American people demanding a balanced budget, but those in DC will not execute on it, who is not doing their job? Who is radical? Radical is going against the majority. The federal government has chosen NOT to act to stop America’s $18+ trillion debt, $200 trillion unfunded liabilities, gross federal abuses against the states and citizens, unprotected borders, $400 billion annually in waste/fraud/abuse at the federal level and on and on. My goals of fixing America’s problems are not radical, but reasonable.
The thousands of Texans asking for our legislators to have the same faith, courage and honor as America’s Founders is not radical, but rational. We have elected you to represent us and our faith, values and families of this great state and Republic. We are asking you to do the right thing for our state and nation. If we want our Constitution to last another 200 years, then it will be due to the stewardship of the citizens of Texas working arm-in-arm with our legislators every step of the way. And people in the other 49 states are doing the exact same thing.
The Founders gave the People Article V to ensure that we have the Constitutional authority to bring the fight where it resides—to those in the federal government unwilling to do the jobs they were elected to do. We must never surrender our freedoms to an abusive federal establishment.
We must seek God for wisdom, discernment and guidance in preserving, protecting and championing the greatest, Divinely-inspired nation in the history of the world. We must pass HJR 77 and SJR 63 in the 84th Legislative session.
Much additional information may be located at www.conventionofstates.com.
The “Frequently Asked Questions” and “Video” sections under the “Learn” tab, and the “Citizen Toolkit” under the “Get Involved” tab are particularly helpful.