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 firstname.lastname@example.org.