As America races toward the cliff of insolvency; when the government has become so corrupt and out of touch with the best interests of the country; and when the power of the vote has seemingly become so meaningless that less than 1/2 the citizens have given-up that sacred right; perhaps it is time to take back the power to govern from those who do not respect the power we have given them.
With an overwhelming number of Americans believing the country is headed down the wrong track according to a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal survey, maybe it is time to take matters into our own hands.”As President Barack Obama enters his sixth year in the White House, 68 percent of Americans say the country is either stagnant or worse off since he took office.”
The Founding Fathers were well aware that liberty is when the government fears the people while tyranny is when the people fear the government; a quote to that effect has been attributed to Thomas Jefferson. But Jefferson didn’t stop there, understanding the nature of mankind, he went on to say, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government”.Hardly a day goes by that I don’t get into conversations with folks who are disenchanted with anything that has to do with the federal government, including many who voted for Barack Obama because they were frustrated and desperate for “change”. Unfortunately, many of those looking for change, were not aware of the change the President had in mind, and today can be counted among the 68% referenced in the NBC/Wall Street Journal survey above.
“God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. …And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” Thomas Jefferson
I am not calling for armed insurrection, but the liberty and freedom our military has bought and paid for over the last two and a half centuries, is perilously close to becoming but a distant memory. There are still many who would not recognize what has been and is still going on in the country regarding our personal liberties because as long as the government handouts keep coming, they will be content with business as usual. . .it ironically is called security. To those I say, be forewarned by the words of Benjamin Franklin. . .
”Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.”
If not armed insurrection what is the alternative to revolution? The power of The Vote! Okay. . . now that I’ve said that, what can be said of those who will only be satisfied with instant gratification to which most members of society have grown accustomed over the years, and to those who recognize the country doesn’t have another fifty years left to implement the changes necessary to turn our ship of state around at the ballot box?
We have the most powerful tool given us by those who created the U.S. Constitution. It is called a Constitutional Amendment Process, which has been used 27 times to make changes to and/or delete issues addressed in the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land. It reads as follows:
Article V – 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 it is for those who are looking for way to make the changes needed to save our country from the road-to-ruin put into motion with the excessive number of laws, rules, and often punitive regulations enacted by our elected political representatives over the years. No one knows for sure exactly how many laws there are in total, but as of January 1, 2010, we saw the introduction of 40,627 new laws that went into effect throughout the nation and its territories. That is some 800 on average per state in the union, covering as widely diverse topics as texting while driving to mold removal in homes. The Internal Revenue Code alone, first codified in 1874, today contains more than 4 million words and is more than 7,500 pages long. There are about 20,000 laws just governing the use and ownership of guns. In short, we have a government that is out of control governing every aspect of our so called “free society”.
For those who believe gridlock in Washington DC is a bad thing, perhaps they should understand that it is the lack of gridlock that has our country so far in the hole we have to look up to see down! Congress could do the country a big favor by just spending the next decade going through the books and throwing out laws that are no longer needed, along with every money-wasting bureaucratic department and agency – my God, we still have the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), which was created in 1935, still burning up federal funds ($578 million -that’s 1/2 Billion, by the way). History has shown there is about as much chance of getting rid of waste and abuse in the federal government if left to the politicians, as a snowball has in hell.
There is a movement afoot that is of most interest to those who understand that the country cannot survive on its current course and that Congress and the President are simply unwilling to address. The need to reign-in the government – clean-up rules, regulations, and laws that have far outlived their usefulness, and make key adjustments to the U.S. Constitution to insure our God given, unalienable rights, as spelled out in article 1 of the Bill of Rights – has become obvious. I’m talking about an Article V, Constitutional Convention.
As with every populous movement, there will always be those who enjoy and prefer the status quo; those who can dream up a thousand and one excuses why something will not work; and the usual naysayers who have, more often than not, been proven wrong by history. Just watch. In response to this article, the first of several I will write on an Article V Convention, just mentioning the subject, will bring the loonies out from under the rocks. This is the same crowd that constantly complains about government whether their slant is liberal or conservative. Yet for all their complaining the BLOB of the federal government moves on totally impervious to public sentiment and mindless of the damage to our freedom and liberty that is being done. Without even the first replies to my article coming in, I know from doing my homework, the responses will surely point out the dangers of holding such an event which will lead to a “runaway convention” and destroy the U.S. Constitution. Right…as if the federal government hasn’t already seen to that!
From my observation of having been around for seventy years, I clearly see the direction the country is headed. As I witness the $18 trillion national debt and $115 trillion in unfunded federal mandates; when I see government attempting to control every aspect of our lives; when we have more people sucking off the government teat than the number working at meaningful jobs and paying taxes; when we have an Administration that has flat-out lied to us about, Obamacare, Benghazi, NSA spying, IRS abuses, Fast and Furious gun running; when our government has created a regulatory crisis crippling small businesses; when we see state after state filing suit against the feds for attacking state sovereignty; and when there is a complete breakdown in the separation of powers and our system of checks and balances, one begs to ask the question, “isn’t our Constitutional Government already on its knees”?
The Founding Fathers in all their wisdom, gave us this avenue to redress our grievances with the federal government without having to resort to armed insurrection to restore “We the People” authority over an out-of-control government. They knew that the day would come when federal authority over the citizens would reach a point that it would be necessary for We The People to reassert control of government and wrestle the grip of authority from those in power.
Abraham Lincoln gave us food for thought when he stated, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” Perhaps it is time to consider an alternative to the status quo before time runs out; for surely those who wrote the Constitution saw the day when an Article V Constitution Convention would be needed to restore order.
As a country, we would be wise to heed the words of Thomas Jefferson, a man of foresight and wisdom which we could surely use today:
“Manfully maintain our good old principle of cherishing and fortifying the rights and authorities of the people in opposition to those who fear them, who wish to take all power from them and to transfer all to Washington.” Thomas Jefferson to Nathaniel Macon, 1826
End of Part 1.
About the author: Ed Mattson is a writer, author, columnist at Free-lance Self employment. Following his service in the Marine Corps Ed Mattson built a diverse career in business in both sales/marketing and management. He is a medical research specialist and published author. His latest book is Down on Main Street: Searching for American Exceptionalism. Ed is currently Development Director of the National Guard Bureau of International Affairs-State Partnership Program, Fundraising Coordinator for the Warrior2Citizen Project, and Managing Partner of Center-Point Consultants in North Carolina.
SF Source VeteransToday Feb 5 2015