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Article Five Political Discourse Between Two Women

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Billie: An Article V Convention is not a good idea. It would open up the entire Constitution for Amendment. The 1787 Convention was supposed to amend the Articles of Confederation but gave us an entirely new Constitution. The same could happen today but with powerful elites in charge, how do you think "we the people" would fare? Tell your state legislators to oppose all state applications to Congress for a convention. Read Article V for yourself. There are no "safeguards" or "instructions." States apply to Congress but Congress calls the convention and Congress decides how amendments will be ratified. Remember, "the states" ratified the federal income tax. Don't trust them!

Jackie: Billie, the safeguard you're looking for is 75% approval before an idea could become law. It's both irrational and illogical to think 38 states and the people in them are going to somehow accidentally shoot themselves in the head; If we can't trust 38 states to find common ground, guess who we're back to trusting?

Billie: I keep hearing that it takes 38 state legislatures to approve amendments. We have no idea what those amendments will even be! Article V states Congress could choose "conventions" in the states to ratify amendments instead of state legislatures. Having been involved politically for close to 50 years, I have seen my share of rigged political conventions. Sorry, I don't trust the states anymore than I trust Congress with our rights. Even Republican states have expanded Medicaid and adopted Common Core and gladly grabbed stimulus dollars. How likely is it they will rein in anything but our liberties? And a balanced budget is not the same as a reduced budget. Congress could balance a budget by raising taxes. Do you think Congress and the President would suddenly start obeying an amended Constitution when they disregard the original? Wishful thinking Jackie!

Jackie: Billie you are incorrect when you say we have no idea what those amendments will be! We know based on decades of polling information, and we know based on what the current national groups are calling for: the political right wants a BBA--which would never get 38 to ratify--and the other big idea is an amendment to reverse the USSC ruling on election funding. By asking what might be proposed by delegates, you've just opened up an INFORMAL discussion of amendments, as opposed to a FORMAL discussion". In regards to the Congress and President obeying an amended Constitution, what you don't understand, is that by the time we get to the ratification stage of this constitutional process, the status quo we operate under now--the status quo of institutionalized corruption at both state/federal levels--will have been utterly destroyed. How? Because the moment the call for a convention goes out, every politician and judge is going to start walking and talking differently--it's called PRACTICAL POLITICS--and once American society at large begins the national discussion of what is/is not a good amendment to the Constitution in this day and age, politics as usual is altered and becomes a thing of the past. The Article V Convention creates a political dynamic that transforms an INFORMAL discussion into a FORMAL discussion, and politicians and judges will be asked which amendments they favor and in doing so expose themselves to the public at large. One can imagine a lot of evolvement on the issues at that stage". You may have been one of those people at political conventions of the past, but the Article V Convention is about brief, legal language, not about what a nominee or candidate may or may not do upon entering office. The onus is on the delegates themselves to get it right, and in a historic moment like that I doubt few are going to want to look like a shill or an idiot. The convention will simply find the common ground between the left and right in the form of amendment language, and the only thing non-partisan is boring, old electoral reform, which has been trending for decades as a concern to average Americans, left and right". In this social media day and age the Internet will light up with formal discussion of amendment language, and by doing so evolve the discourse, and you and others want to perpetuate this fear that discussing something is going to make "them" take away something they don't even obey as it is? See where you've been brainwashed? You're saying NO to the very principle which makes us unique as Americans". Seeing how you've been involved in politics for fifty years makes me wonder if you're just doing your job to fear-monger. Maybe you're part of the status quo, and like it just the way it is, talking politics as usual. If not, please tell me you realize now how wrong you've been in frightening Americans away from the objective solution as provided by the Constitution.

Billie: Basically you trust the elites in power at present, I do not. You are risking our Constitution to a runaway convention, which even Randy Barnett, Georgetown University Law Professor who supports a Convention, admits is a real risk. It appears that many of those who support a convention cannot have a civil discussion on the merits of the issue at hand. That is a real shame. I sure hope that the state legislators who vote to petition Congress to hold a new convention will be able to explain to their voters why they think it is fine to change our Constitution! I don't think this thought will go over well with the general public, unaware of these efforts across the country to change our Constitution!

Jackie: The only place the convention can run to is overwhelming, non-partisan, support by society at large. If you fear elites, why would you fear 75% consensus amongst those who are not elites? See how illogical that is? There is no risk in formally discussing amendment language. Find the genius to change your mind, at present you've been brainwashed and are a fear-monger.

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Writer/artist/activist from California, with a degree in Creative Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Advocating for the convention clause of Article V since 2001.

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