Monday, December 15, 2008

Is Our Constitution Headed for a Re-Write?

Imagine the sudden loss of your God-given and Constitutionally guaranteed right to express yourself freely. Imagine government agents rousting you from your slumber and curtly informing you that they are in your home to search for and confiscate any and all firearms. Imagine you are arrested and charged with a crime then denied legal representation.

Sound unthinkable? After all, this is the good ol' United States of Amurrica, you say. Why, nothing like that could ever happen here, right?

Many people might not think so, but some believe we are far closer to this happening than most of us want to even think about.

The American Policy Center has issued an alert warning that we are but two states away from convening a Constitutional Convention (CC). Thirty-two states have already voted to convene, ostensibly to insert a balanced budget amendment into our founding document. Once thirty-four states have voted in the affirmative, Congress has no choice but to then convene a CC.

Oh, but what could possibly be wrong with a balanced budget amendment, you ask? Actually, plenty, but that isn't the issue here. The real problem is, once a CC is convened, there are virtually no set rules as to how it is to be conducted.

It would essentially mean the Constitution would be up for grabs, and our rights along with it.

If a balanced budget amendment is what people are after (and I am opposed to it, personally) there is a much safer way to add such an amendment to our Constitution without opening it up for mass modification, if not its very destruction.

Given the PC times we live in, when American citizens are quite literally losing their livelihoods for using words and phrases some find offensive, and others are finding themselves unemployed for simply contributing to a political cause some do not agree with, I can easily see an attempt by those who hate freedom to modify or eliminate the 1st Amendment altogether. What a colossal blow to our freedoms that would be!

As for the 2nd Amendment, how long do you think it would last if a CC was convened in this day and age? Not long, I'd say.

And what of our property rights? Just take a look at the damage Ruth Bader Ginsburg did to those in a SCOTUS vote not too terribly long ago. Thanks to the rights protected by our Constitution, that hideous eminent domain ruling is just possibly headed for reversal somewhere down the road. Should our Constitutional right to own property be taken away, any chance of a future reversal would instantly evaporate. What is more, the avenues government could then use to separate us from our property would most likely widen substantially, and could easily swerve into some unexpected directions.

What would be in place to stop it?

I can easily see the rabid freedom-haters among us gladly getting involved and, in their zeal to right every perceived wrong in this country, feverishly go about re-writing our founding document from top to bottom, and there is virtually nothing Congress can do about it once the process starts.

Just think, none of our cherished rights would be safe if a CC were to be convened in this day and age. Not one!

Just last week, a vote to convene a CC was delayed in Ohio, thanks mostly to the efforts of many freedom-loving real Americans who fully understand the danger that our Constitution, not to mention our very way of life, would be in should a CC actually take place in this country. An interesting video of those proceedings can be found here.

What I found not a little disconcerting is that a fairly extensive internet search turned up a veritable dust storm of coverage in the libertarian and, to a lesser extent conservative blogosphere, as well as on a handful of conservative internet news sites, but there was virtually no mention of it anywhere in the MSM.

Of course, I should have known that any hopes that the self-appointed "watchdogs of the people" would be of any help at all in aiding us in our effort to preserve our increasingly fragile freedoms would be decidedly misplaced. I am quite certain a sizable majority of the media would dearly love to see our founding document altered or re-written, if not done away with altogether.

I will be keeping an eye on this, as I have seen a blurb or two here and there suggesting that some other states might soon be considering a vote in this area as well. In these decidedly insane times, anything can happen at any time.

For God sakes, stay awake, people!

2 comments:

restless69 said...

Dave,

Interesting to say the least.

I was under the impression that a Constitutional Convention would still have several hurdles to overcome to get anything passed. I find it hard to believe that the majority of Americans would stand still for erosion of first or second amendment rights. I'm not sure how it works, so if you could provide some insight, I would appreciate it.

Also, what do you have against a balanced budget amendment. I don't mean to sound snarky, I'm just wondering.

Dave said...

Restless,

I am not opposed to a balanced budget amendment in theory, but I think in practice it would be unworkable.

Suppose we were to suddenly find ourselves embroiled in a major military conflict which would require a right-now increase in the military budget. Are we going to have to pass another Constitutional amendment in order to get the money flowing?

The trick is going to be setting it up so that Congress can't tamper with it easily, but still leave room for national emergencies that may crop up from time to time.

Of course, my solution would be to divert whatever funds are required from other areas of the federal government, but given the political realities that exist, that logical course of action would be nigh onto impossible.

As for my fears of a Constitutional Convention, the rules for how one should be conducted are virtually nonexistent. As I understand it, should one be convened, things could rapidly spin out of control.

I base this fear, which I know may strike some a less than rational, on the results of the last three national elections.

Had someone told me six months ago that 65 million of my fellow countrymen were going to vote for a man with no love for freedom as our next president, I would have laughed in their face. I no-longer take our freedoms for granted, as it is painfully clear to me that those of us left who truly appreciate them are now in the minority in this country.

I am still researching the details, such as they exist, as it has been quite a few years since I really studied this, but the way it was explained to me scared the wee out of me, particularly the part about congress being the people who actually select the delegates to the convention.

((((((shudder))))))

I can see all kinds of evil brewing there.

I'll be doing some additional research on the subject and revisiting it soon. The last CC held by this nation was in 1787, so much of what is out there is pure conjecture anyway.

Much has changed since then.

-Dave

When liberty is taken away by force it can be restored by force. When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it can never be recovered. -Dorothy Thompson