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Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

Constitutional Time Bomb

Posted Tuesday, August 3, 2010, at 9:25 AM

To begin, not everything which comes in the e-mail should be taken seriously, even when it comes from a favorite niece. And, forwarding it on to 20 of your closest friends, as suggested, is not always the wisest thing one can do.

This said, an e-mail (forwarded from who knows where) brought up a subterranean issue I have been waiting a long time to see rise and consume America.

The message says in part:

"Governors of 35 states have already filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.

"A Constitutional Convention... is an idea whose time has come."

To save you the trouble of looking up what they're talking about, the United States Constitution, Article 5, includes the phrase:

"..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 ratified 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 ratification may be proposed by the congress... "

What this means is that 38 states could call for a Convention to make whatever amendments as may be proposed to the Constitution we live under.

"Interest in calling a first-ever Article V convention is growing at the state level. A petition for such a convention passed the Florida Senate last month, to propose amendments requiring a balanced budget and to restrain the growth of the national government. If approved by the House, Florida would be the 20th state with an active call to do so." -- James LeMunyon, Virginia House of Delegates

Historically, few nations have survived more than 200 years based on a single constitution. Things happen; succeeding generations, now ignorant of their own history, have new needs and problems; what was once unimaginable becomes of vital national -- or at least political -- importance.

Calling of a Constitutional Convention, which really does sound like a good idea, would cause this nation to explode politically.

Just think of some of the conflicting demands the framers of the Constitution could not have conceived. Then consider the manifestations of opposing ideologies which are likely to occur. To mention three:

* Right to Abortion vs. Right to Life would certainly come up. I most strongly oppose any who would use violence in the name of God to impose a solution to this problem, but those who do violence exist,

* Balanced Budget vs. legitimate needs to borrow and an economic system based on the value of government bonds already generates arguments, and

* Third, what would be done with religious zealots determined to have their law made the law of the land; willing to fight and die to make it so?

The Constitution was written largely unnoticed by Americans, almost in secret. That would not happen again in the United States of America.

There was a reason the Convention option is in there, and history indicates a time for such is going to come. When it does, this country will explode.

If history is truly a guide, it is not a question of whether. History demands to know when. The Constitutional Time Bomb is ticking.

Please e-mail this warning to 500 of your very dearest friends.

David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at kayanddavid@verizon.net.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

The author's concerns about a convention are misplaced. Sufficient checks are provided both within the political system as well as the Constitution itself to ensure only those amendments which are truly needed become part of the Constitution. However the author also needs to check out his facts a bit better. As shown on the www.foavc.org website, enough states have asked for a balanced budget amendment alone to cause a convention call. Right to life has also major support from the states. As to his third concern the states have asked for authority in an amendment to enforce boarders in their applications. I suggest all come and read the 700 examples of applications at www.foavc.org.

-- Posted by Bill Walker on Tue, Aug 3, 2010, at 2:43 PM

Some things are less about facts than fear. The fear, as always, is that those ignorant of history are condemned forever to repeat it.

-- Posted by LifeObserver on Tue, Aug 3, 2010, at 4:14 PM

Which is more to be feared: the majority of the people in the majority of the states agreeing on needed clarifications or a handful of judges remaking the country in their own image?

-- Posted by brazilian on Thu, Aug 5, 2010, at 10:24 AM

Once again, my father's larger point is missed. 24 hour news cycles, widening divides in ideologies, and exploding budgets will eventually lead to a dissolving of our Constitution as we know it. The question is when, and a Constitutional convention would hasten it. That is all, enjoy your coffee.

-- Posted by theoneinthearmy on Thu, Aug 5, 2010, at 7:45 PM

One thing that has not been mentioned is a historical fact. The Constitution was written by a group of men who, in writing it and establishing the government as we know it today, exceeded, by far, what they had convened to accomplish, that being only to modify the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation established a national government with its own officials, structure, and responsibilities. Technically, the writing of the Constitution could have been considered treason.

Another thing to fear from a Constitional Convention is that once convened, there is no portion of the Constition that would not be subject to change. The argument that sufficient checks exist "within the political system and the Constitution itself" doesn't hold true in a Constitutional Convention. In such a convention, everything is on the table. There are provisions written into the Constitution for it to be admended, however, that does not require a convention, only action by Congress and ratification by the States. A "Constitution Convention", as it has the power to change the very Constitution that establishes our government, would have the power to change even the very nature of our government subject to the ratification of the change by the states.

Think on this.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 12:58 AM

Leo, Pretty scary notion. Where might I research the authority and/or power a Constitution Convention has? What would the motive be to a Constitution Convention verses simply making amendments?

David, what are you referring to when you were wondering "what would be done with religious zealots determined to have their law made the law of the land"? Were you referring to those Christian citizens who would like to continue praying before eating at a public resteraunt? Or were you writing about those terribly offensive Christians who might want to congregate and sing those hideous offensive Christmas carols in discusting celebration? Or maybe you were writing about Patrick Henry when he was addressing his friends and neighbors to go to battle against the British for the freedoms they were compelled to dream of? What should be done with those who want the rights gaurenteed by the blood shed of those who already fought and died? Those words frighten me more than any Constitution Convention.

The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. Albert Einstein

Silverlining

-- Posted by Silverlining on Sun, Aug 8, 2010, at 7:59 AM


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