"You shall know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free"
Publisher / Editor:
Paul Hayden

There is Little Risk in an Article V Convention of States

May 22, 2017

It’s not often that I disagree with my fellow conservative authors. And if I do, I rarely if ever outwardly express that disagreement. But I’m making an exception to voice my disappointment of one “conservative” author who wrote about the potential “dangers” of an Article V Convention of States.
The article is entitled “A Convention of States is Not Without Risks.” 
Right off the bat, I thought, "Oh, here we go – another attempt at persuading the less informed of the dangers of an out-of-control, free-for-all convention." As if anyone can propose anything and the idiot States will just line up in favor, like so many lemmings.
The author begins by attempting to win over the right, by writing that, “Patriots and Constitutional Conservatives across America are sickened and disgusted by our Federal Court Judges and our Cowardly Congress filled with ‘Demon-crats and RINOs’ who have largely ignored the will and wishes of the citizens and voters for decades.”
This, of course, will cause “Constitutional Conservatives” to stand up and cheer.
But then he ventures down the road that many fearmongers have by stating that, “We must recognize, however, that there will be ‘deep blue liberal’ states present at any such Convention; Deep Blue New York, for example, is, alongside Deep Red Texas...are two of the eleven states whose legislatures have called for a Convention of States.”
The 11 States that have made application are, in no particular order, AK, GA, FL, ND, TN, LA, AL, IN, MO, OK, AZ, and of course TX. Funny, but I don’t see NY there.
While it is true that all States will have a seat at the table, he implies here that liberal New York has applied for a Convention of States. While a few of the New York legislature have “called” for it, the ultra-leftist State of New York has not and will never officially “apply,” which is the only thing that counts. This, in my opinion, is either an admission of ignorance or a purposeful play on words.
The potential benefit of an Article V Convention of States far outweighs the minuscule risk, as it takes two-thirds of States, 34 of 50, just to convene, and a full three-quarters (38 of 50) of all States to amend the Constitution.
Of the ratification, George Washington said that it was “little short of a miracle” that the delegates had agreed on a new Constitution. And this was only 13 States.
The founders knew that as the size of the United States expanded, encompassing more and varied opinions, it would only be more difficult, not less, for a majority to form amongst the States.
The original draft of Article V provided for two methods of change to the Constitution. The national legislature (Congress) could propose Amendments, and Congress could call for a Convention of States for the purpose of proposing amendments.
George Mason of Virginia, one of my favorite founders and in my opinion, the staunchest champion of States Rights, was responsible for the change in Article V.
It was he who pointed out at the ratification convention in September, 1787, that the Constitution’s two methods of amendment, as was currently crafted in Article V, were both left in the hands of the national government, with “both the modes to depend, in the first immediately, in the second, ultimately, on Congress”. (Madison’s notes 15 Sep 1787). 
We know this to be the case because of the detailed notes taken by James Madison (not made public until 1840). Madison wrote:
“Col: MASON thought the plan of amending the Constitution exceptionable & dangerous. As the proposing of amendments is in both the modes to depend, in the first immediately, in the second, ultimately, on Congress, no amendments of the proper kind would ever be obtained by the people, if the Government should become oppressive, as he verily believed would be the case.”
Truer and more prescient words have never been spoken. In other words, Mason was smart enough to realize that eventually the national government will abuse the power given to them and the states and the people would be powerless to stop them. He knew, as should we all, that only saintly men like George Washington would choose to limit his own authority. This is extremely uncommon. Congress will never seek to amend the Constitution for the express purpose of limiting itself. It must be up to the states and the people to do so.
When the time came, the vote to insert Mason’s version of Article V was unanimous amongst all states. No one disagreed with its insertion.
Alexander Hamilton advocated for Article V in Federalist 85, writing that, “We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority.”
All these founders, these geniuses, agreed that the safest bet, and the only bet, to halt and reverse the “encroachments of the national authority,” was a Convention of States, set forth by the States themselves.
Virtually everyone who calls themselves conservative agrees that the founders were perhaps the single most intelligent body to be assembled in one place at one time. They had wisdom and foresight far beyond what we find today. These men had the intuition to know what would lie ahead. And their solution was the insertion of a safety – a backstop against national authoritarianism.
So we Constitutional conservatives are expected to trust the founders’ wisdom in all things, except for Article V. Anyone who believes this is neither conservative, nor a Constitutionalist.

Comments: 0
  1. Email address is REQUIRED, in case we need to contact you about your comment. However, we will not display or use your email address for any purpose other than to contact you about this comment.
  2. Nickname should be a short nickname that you choose to use. Please do NOT enter your full, real name. Nickname will be displayed along with your comment.
  3. Comments will not appear on our website until they have been reviewed by our Editorial Team. Inappropriate messages will be rejected by the Editorial Team. Free speech is important here at ConservativeTruth, however, the Editorial Team reserves the absolute right to determine what content appears on this website.
    • Comments that contain foul language, profanity or vulgarity will be rejected.
    • Comments that contain links will be rejected. (send email to the editor if you wish to let us know about another website)
    • Comments that advertise a product or service will be rejected.
    • Comments that contain email addresses will be rejected.
2500 characters max
Copyright ©2017

Brent Smith, "The Common Constitutionalist," offers not just conservative commentary and analysis, but a blend of politics, history, arts, science, and humor. Whoever said conservatives aren’t funny? Yeah, I know…most people. Brent is a contributing writer for numerous online publications. When he is not burning the midnight oil writing his insightful commentaries, he is raising his two teenage sons to be patriots and Conservatives.
Visit Brent Smith's website at www.commonconstitutionalist.com