As Americans become more frightened by the disastrous direction our government is taking, and more frustrated that elected representatives are not listening to them, the demand is growing for drastic action. In recent months the action most heard in state houses across the nation is a rising call for a new Constitutional Convention (Con Con).
Supporters somehow think a Con Con is the solution to saving our Republic. They want to amend the Constitution to force a balance budget. They want to shore up ambiguous language to make the meaning clear. They want to assure there is no doubt what America is and should be. For most pushing such an agenda, their intentions are honest.
Their solution will be a disaster for one simple reason — no one can control a Constitutional Convention. It doesn’t matter how well intentioned its purpose. It doesn’t matter how well planned. It doesn’t matter what the actual resolution says and the people think they are approving. A Con Con has no oversight or rules other than those made by the actual participating delegates themselves. There are no rules for selecting delegates.
Once a ConCon is called for by the legal number of states, as laid out in Article V of the Constitution, It is the duty of Congress to call for one. Period. That’s as far as it goes. In this day, when Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker of the House was able to twist enough arms to force through the Health care plan against the wishes of a strong majority of Americas; when the current Congress was able to flimflam the American people into believing it had really cut the budget; when these same people are the ones who will set the rules for a Con Con, from establishing the delegate-selection process, to dictating who will be qualified to be delegates, how on earth can anyone support such a disaster in the making. A Con Con will result in one thing- our precious Constitution laid out on an operating table to be dissected and bludgeoned by Dr. Jekyll.
There has been only one Constitutional Convention in the history of the nation — that was in 1787. At the time, the nation was held together by the Articles of Confederation. The states were having a difficult time performing commerce among themselves. So it was decided to hold a Constitutional Convention to simply discuss how interstate commerce might be better organized. As the delegates were selected, delegations from a majority of states were given specific orders by their states to discuss nothing else beyond the commerce issue.
However, some delegates including James Madison had a very specific agenda planned for the convention and as soon as the delegates arrived at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, they closed and locked the door, pulled down the shades and met in secret for a month. When they were finished, they had created an entirely new nation. We were very lucky that the convention was attended by men like Ben Franklin and George Washington and Madison. They produced the most magnificent document ever devised for the governance of man.
Today, we have entrenched power forces led by the likes of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. And we have notoriously weak leaders like current House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who rarely miss a good compromise to keep the peace. These are the people who will decide the rules for the convention, including delegate selection. Do you trust them to follow the rules dictated by state legislatures? Do you think Pelosi and Reid would pass up an opportunity to set their own rules to guarantee a Constitution to their liking?