By Nathan Barton
Once again, an attempt to restrain the FedGov’s power and corruption through “legal” or “constitutional” efforts is gaining attention.
This time, it is an action in Austin, by the Texan Legislature, as reported by Breitbart and featured recently on the Glen Beck show “The Blaze.”
It is a call for an “Article V Convention” – as found in the US Constitution: “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, 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; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”
There have been efforts, going back at least a half-century, to call such a convention, understanding that Congress would be very, VERY unlikely to propose any change in the Constitution which would reduce its power at all. (Notice that neither the Executive nor Judicial Branches have ANY legal involvement in proposing amendments either in Congress or in Conventions.)
Not that there have not been many attempts over the years to get Congress to pass such amendments. The “Liberty Amendment” is one such attempt I recall from my youth – it would have triggered certain drastic actions if the national debt had reached the “unthinkable” level of 7 or 8 trillion dollars. Right.
The chances of this new effort in Texas and elsewhere are virtually zero. Even in Texas, if there were any real belief the effort would result in a Convention of the States, the majority of the Texan legislators who voted for it would run screaming away from it. (A few would, of course, just use such a thing as an opportunity to gain power and wealth.)
Politicians are politicians – whether they are at the municipal or county or state or federal level. They cannot be trusted. They cannot be believed. They cannot be anything but what they are – just as a poisonous snake or a predator will revert to its nature.
But the real problem here is that, no doubt, millions of dollars and tens of thousands of manhours will be wasted in this futile attempt, yet again, to reform the FedGov, to limit its powers, to constrain its appetites. Because of a belief in magic.
Yes, magic: the idea that if you can say the right words in the right sequence, make the right gestures (such as filing pieces of paper – usually accompanied by small pieces of green paper), and participate in the right rituals, the politicians, the black-robed Nazgul and other judges, and the parasites at 1600 PA and all those other buildings, will magically repent of their evils, voluntarily give up their power and – voila! restore liberty and freedom in the Fifty States.
We see it in the actions and appeals and rhetoric of those who are anti-income-tax zealots, in “sovereign citizens” with their homemade license plates and drivers licenses, and even in left-wing protesters, whether “occupiers” or “black lives matter” types.
These people – whether they are the Article V Convention enthusiasts, income tax fighters, or protesters against racist cops – are as pitiful as the post-WW2 Cargo Cultists in the South Pacific. And as gullible.
Which ultimately means that they are simply pawns in the hands of the powers that be.
We cannot wish or use magic to get reform government, or even get rid of it. It takes knowledge and planning and preparation, and specific physical actions and most especially courage and determination. Words and ceremonies and rituals are important gestures (and usually done AFTER the change has been implemented). But only when backed by decisive and effective action that (all too often) require the use of force and a willingness to use it to defend ourselves, our liberties, our families and communities. And willingness to take responsibility for our actions. There is no magic solution to the loss of liberty.
Mama’s Note: The “magic” at the root of the problem is the almost universal belief that government – at any level – has legitimate authority to exist, and to control the people; their lives and property. That’s the “religion” that must be countered, refuted, disengaged. No reform of the illegitimate system or its vast body of priests and deacons can ever accomplish this.
Somehow, the believers must be converted from worshiping the bogus “authority” of their masters, to accept instead individual liberty, self responsibility and the joy of living in voluntary association with other free individuals. The thing that continues to astound me is how very difficult it is to get people to understand this. Why would a slave not rather be free?
Yep look up L Neil Smith’s articles about BORE (Bill of RIghts enforcement) I think that Jefferson assumed that when one or two articles were violated, the riflemen would move in on DC or whereever. Didn’t work that way. (Also see a SF book, I think by H Beam Piper about “A Planet Called Texes” in which politicians were forced to wear explosive collars around their neck, and there were “opinion polling places” in every town – too many “very seriously disappointed” votes regarding a politician’s work (based on total constituency) and the call went out to city sanitation services for a “clean-up on Main Street,” and everyone elected a new politician. Still didn’t keep the politicians from being idiots and lusting after power and wealth.
That kind of thing never makes any sense to me. Why have any politicians in the first place? And, if they had no actual power and could be blown up at any moment… why would anyone agree to wear the collar? If leaders are wanted by a voluntary community, the structure of a good garden club would be more than sufficient.
OK, we call an Article V convention, much wrangling ensues, new amendments are proposed, eventually added. Or, alternatively, somehow, an amendment is proposed in Congress, sent to the states, ratified, and incorporated into the Constitution.
So….who enforces compliance with those wonderful, new Consttutional provisions?
Probably the same people who are today enforcing compliance with the existing provisions of the Constitution……..
Indeed. I don’t see any point to it myself. Rearranging the deck chairs as the Titanic sinks…