Hillary Clinton recently announced her opposition to the 3 million-plus grass-roots activists seeking to use the Article V Convention of States process to reclaim their government. According to Clinton, this effort to invoke the states’ power to propose constitutional amendments limiting the feds is part of an “insidious right-wing agenda.” She thus joined the ranks of radical left-wing billionaire George Soros and some 230 socialist-leaning organizations on a mission to preclude the American people from implementing a constitutional solution to a constitutional crisis caused by an off-the-rails Washington establishment.
What is so troubling about the radical left’s now-galvanized opposition to the Convention of States Project is that it exposes the depth of the chasm that lies between them and the rest of us – Democrats and Republicans – who still share a commitment to one of the most basic American values: self-governance.
Everyone who’s paying attention can see that policies set by Washington are policies ordinary citizens have no real opportunity to influence. And everyone who’s paying attention can see that Washington has gone from being a government with a few, specific, enumerated powers, to being a super-government that controls policy-making in almost every conceivable way.
The Convention of States Project offers a definitive solution: the proposal of constitutional amendments that would “impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and set term limits for federal officials and members of Congress.” In other words, the goal is to trigger a meeting of the states, as outlined in Article V, to craft proposals for shifting power from the national government back to the states and localities that are more responsive to the people.
While the charge is led mostly by conservatives, the cause is non-partisan. It is a constitutional cause. It’s not tied to any particular brand of policy. It’s simply about who decides that policy: Washington, or the people?
Thankfully, some Democrats who still hold to the constitutional formula for divided, limited government have recognized that all Americans would benefit from breaking the power monopoly that exists today in our nation’s capital. That’s why the Project has found support among some Democrats, as well as Republicans, in the state legislatures.
What Hillary Clinton, George Soros-backed organizations and their ilk betray in their contempt for the Convention of States Project is their rejection of the quintessential vision of an America “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Their opposition tells us that, in fact, they like the idea of an America where elite rulers in the nation’s capital hold and dispense the power to decide how an entire nation will live, work, and relate to their government.
If the rift in our once-shared American vision for self-governance is a dark cloud, perhaps the silver lining is the potential for it to serve as a wake-up call for conservatives who have, until now, opposed the states’ use of Article V. Some have been misled by junk history (the debunked claim that our Constitution resulted from a “runaway convention”) or, in the case of Eagle Forum, by liberal Justice Warren Burger, who scared Phyllis Schlafly off the trail back when states sought a convention to propose overturning his Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
I once hoped that all Americans would unite in the effort to repair broken constitutional boundaries. But now I see that battle lines have been drawn – between Americans who still believe in the original, American federal system geared toward self-governance, and those who are determined to pervert that system toward socialism.
Some say the Convention of States Project will never win this battle. I stand with COS co-founder Mark Meckler, who answered this way:
“Are we the underdogs in the fight to save the republic? Absolutely. Every republic in human history has ended by following the socio-economic trajectory upon which we now find ourselves. That being said, we are a nation built on the very idea of cheating history. Those who began the American Revolution had the fortitude, the courage, and the faith in God to stand against the greatest empire on earth for a righteous cause. They were possibly some of the greatest underdogs in history. I often think of them, and how they would view our cause today. We cannot know the outcome of any fight when it begins. Only God can know. Luckily, our job is not to know the outcome, but simply to stand and fight for what is right and just.”