In a follow-up to yesterday's post, it was suggested on knuckledraggin.com site that I check out conventionofstates.com, which I did. Much of the information was nothing new to me but just said in different ways. Naturally they are selling a product/idea so they want to make it as palatable as possible.
The site is well written and well thought out as you would expect. To me that brings with it both good and bad. It seems professional, as it should, but to the common man that could also mean big money behind it bringing into question their true motives. Healthy scepticism hat on.
I do take those things into consideration when researching and gathering information from various sources but it is still valuable to assist in making your on common sense judgements and decisions.
The site covers many of the major questions that are raised about the Article V convention and the process surrounding it. The problems with most if not all of their answers is they are based on what they call historical precedent, since there has never been an Article V convention called. They dismiss many people with differing viewpoints on Article V by basically saying history speaks for itself. Of course, many of those people are also using history to raise their questions using differing interpretations, more on that idea later.
That's the real problem here. As I stated in my article yesterday, Article V as written is vague, there are no specifics. Conventionofstates says that is because the Founders had 32 pre-Constitutional conventions and so the processes and procedures were already set as far as they, the Founders, were concerned. To me, a common sense person, that is logical. However, it's also logical for me to read the Federalist Papers and other documents and be able to fully understand the Founders intentions about the contents of other areas of the Constitution like the general welfare clause and the commerce clause, both of which have been absolutely abused through legal "interpretations".
Therein lies the problem of the conventionofstates and others arguments. Even though they are perfectly valid, they use interpretations of history and intent. Nothing stops someone else from using the exact same history and intent and interpreting things in a totally different way. We've seen this over and over throughout our history especially with the judicial system. Much of our current case law comes from "interpretations" in this manner.
That to me is the most dangerous part of any consideration of using the Article V amendment process. If one group can interpret the processes and procedures one way, another group can interpret them in a totally different way there is nothing physically stopping them.
One interpretation says there is no way for there to be a run-away convention. The other interpretation says they can do whatever they want in the convention and are not limited by historical precedent.
One interpretation says the States make the rules. The other interpretation says Congress makes the rules.
One interpretation says the States select the delegates. The other interpretation says Congress selects the delegates.
So who determines who is right?
Common sense tells us this is not a good situation to be in. When there are not set rules and the rules are "up for grabs", those with the most power usually win and in this situation that would be the federal government, unfortunately. We've seen the States back down almost 100% consistently.
So again, I state, this whole situation is not one that I want to see happen. Partially because of all the unknowns surrounding the Article V clause but mainly because of my knowledge and understanding of human nature and government as a whole. Government's one and only goal is power, growing and maintaining power. So, it's common sense to expect the government will do everything possible to use an Article V convention for it's own purpose no matter that the Founders intended that not to be the case. Our government ignores the Founders intent each and every day so nothing new there.
This Article V process is a political process. By being a political process that mean by nature politicians will be involved. That also means acquisition of power for them by any means will be the goal. If we think otherwise we are being naive. Their actions have shown us this over and over. Their intent is to grow government, whether federal or State.
I believe the folks at conventionofstates have good intentions, so did the Founders. They are not the ones that concern me. It's the ones that seek to twist and distort the interpretations of history to meet their particular agendas that concern me. Unfortunately, there are no definite, established ways to do that consistently. Yes, it might be done but the cost for failure is catastrophic.
I still am of the mind we have no choice but to pursue an Article V convention but I am also even more convinced the possibility of an opposing "interpretation" taking things down the wrong path is very real and must be considered and even expected to happen. To do any less is to beg for failure and we all know what failure means.
Conventionofstates appears to be the largest and most organized of the Article V pushes. With that being the case, I would like to see them include a strong push for a major inclusion of private citizens in the process they are suggesting to the States. If the States were to mainly, if not 100%, use private citizens as delegates instead of politicians, that would go a long ways towards building acceptance of any amendments that would come out of the convention. It would also help to build/rebuild bridges within society that have been destroyed by the current administration in the areas of race particularly.