What’s more powerful, the right to complain about government, or the right to reform it? Clearly, one right is more powerful, and indeed it’s that one which makes an American citizen who and what they are – a member of a society with the power to alter or abolish what it dislikes about government. You’ll find very few Americans today who want to abolish the government we have, the one with three branches – legislative, executive, and judicial. What the vast majority want is to keep what we have, but address concerns regarding how it currently operates.
Polls show as few as 9% approve of Congress, or put another way, 90%+ disapprove of Congress, a statistic that’s been trending for a decade. When the institution established to represent the will of the People is disapproved by 90%, and for ten years or more, it’s self-evident it’s time for them to exercise their right to alter what they dislike. History teaches that if We don’t, forces of corruption will alter it against our wishes. Some argue that’s already occurring due to court decisions and corporations acting as persons. This status quo of politics has resulted in government drowned in private money, where laws/loopholes go to the highest bidders, written by lobbyists, signed off on by members of Congress, and disliked by the People.
The Constitution is designed so that in the event Congress becomes unresponsive to the needs of the People, a convention of the states considers amendment proposals, and those voted up by 2/3 are then sent on to the People for ratification. Ratification by the People requires a super-majority of 3/4, a principle that regardless if conservative or liberal, a proposal must have all one side signed on, plus at least half the opposition, or it goes to the dustbin of history. 75% approval makes it mathematically impossible for a society to harm itself in the process of building consensus.
It all sounds pretty simple–if Congress stops working, the states hold a convention to propose amendments, and 75% consensus of the People determines which are worthy of adoption. So why haven’t we ever convoked this federal convention of the states as a right of the People? The answer is complicated, but in a nutshell, it’s because both the People and the members of Congress have assumed what political commentators have asserted for decades–that a federal convention opens up the possibility of the Constitution being rewritten. This is untrue for two reasons: the delegates propose amendments “to this Constitution,” meaning one would have to propose an amendment allowing for a new constitution, get it ratified, and then come back to draft anew; in other words, the Framers did not leave a self-destruct button in their masterwork. Also, it’s irrational to believe 75% of the People are going to approve of tinkering with the Constitution, let alone writing a new one. You may achieve fifty percent approval on this partisan issue or that, but there are few things in a society which can garner 75% support. In this sense, a convention is not a re-write, but an upgrade–we will keep what we have, and adopt such proposals as are deemed necessary by the People.
Even though a federal convention also involves the ratification process as a check and balance against marginal ideas from becoming law, many Americans still retain irrational fears about this aspect of the Constitution. That’s where you come in. In this audio/visual day and age we must hold a convention and document it, in order to show Americans what the solution looks like. We need you to stand in for the real thing, as a delegate to an Article V constitutional convention, to build consensus with others on what has a chance at being ratified these days.
Room occupancy is 200, we hope to have 150 delegates, 50 dedicated to production/media/support. Room 4202 has been reserved in the capitol building of California, which in no way is meant to place emphasis on that state over any other, simply a matter of logistics/availability. Should there be more than 150 delegates attending, a second and concurrent convention shall take place within walking distance at a local hotel.
Whether you align with the Tea Party or Occupy movements, or find yourself somewhere else on the political map, but still believe in the founding principles of our form of government, We need you to help show what the Constitution provides for, and indeed is essential to a functional government of, by, and for the People. Please consider being a delegate to the convention of December 3-4, 2013, to be held in Sacramento, California. Doors open at 8:30AM; proceedings begin 9:00AM.