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Convention USA: Confronting Unconstitutional Inaction by Congress

By       Message Joel S. Hirschhorn     Permalink
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Wake up patriots. Voting is not the answer. Not in our corrupt system. But there is something else for US citizens. First they must understand the importance of the provision in Article V of their Constitution for a convention of state delegates that can propose constitutional amendments just like Congress. Then they must also learn that Congress has long refused to obey the Constitution and convene the first convention. Sounds a little nuts, but Congress has gotten away with it. Not that you need even more reason to have no confidence in Congress.

What can Americans do? They can join Friends of the Article V Convention, the only national nonpartisan group with the single mission of compelling Congress to call the first convention. This group has performed admirably to better inform Americans about the Article V convention option and, even more importantly, about the refusal by Congress to obey the Constitution, recognize over 700 applications from all 50 states for a convention, and act as required by their oath of office by convening the first convention. Even today more state legislators are calling for a convention. FOAVC has done what neither Congress or any other group has done; it has made state applications for a convention publicly available as well as countless other materials to broaden public support for a convention.

And now Americans seeing the need for deep reforms of our political and government system and fed up with the two-party plutocracy that has not delivered them have a second opportunity.

They can join the Convention USA effort and become state delegates to an online virtual convention that will behave like a real Article V convention until Congress does its constitutional duty and convenes the first Article V convention. This is a test drive of a real Article V convention, showing how serious citizens can behave intelligently and responsibly to conceive constitutional amendments as the means intended by the Founders to update and improve our Constitution and create an even more perfect union.

This is what the new group says:

"Here you will find a gathering of patriotic citizens who have assembled, not as revolutionaries, but as loyal Americans, to exercise their right as guaranteed by Article V of the Constitution of the United States, to convene as the people of the several States and to consider, debate, refine and propose such amendments to the Constitution as the experience of more than two centuries of government in our Federal Republic shall suggest.

This Convention shall be called to order if and when delegates from two-thirds of the several states shallhave registered, and shall adjourn sine die whenever the Congress shall have called a Convention pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States."

This action is what makes more sense than ever before: Put aside partisan views, loss of confidence in government, and feelings of despair. Do not assume that some victories of anti-establishment candidates in elections will suffice to reform the system. Stay focused on your deep seated desire to make the US political and government system better, more just, more honest, more open, more effective and more efficient. Recognize that, if you honor and respect the Constitution, unless you support using the Article V convention option given to us by the Founders you are a constitutional hypocrite.

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Convention USA understands that it does not have the legal power to actually propose amendments that have the same meaning as those proposed by Congress or an actual Article V convention. But it sees the potential power of bringing Americans together to see how a convention can make democracy work better to advance the most noble goals and values of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. What it accomplishes can also send an important message to Congress about the kinds of amendments Americans support.

Convention USA, therefore, is a lot more than mere protest. It offers a unique path to become much better informed about the benefits of using the Article V convention approach to making the USA all that it should and can be. To become a delegate, however, requires payment of $10 a month, something I wish the group would rethink.

The more members this group attracts, the more that Congress will find it difficult to ignore their constitutional responsibility to obey Article V. And with strong participation from people in many states even the mainstream media might take notice. One thing will surely become clear as Convention USA becomes fully operational: Congress fears many kinds of constitutional amendments that would truly reform our corrupt and dysfunctional political and government system, which explains why they have refused to convene the first Article V convention. Fear the status quo, not using the Article V convention option the Founders gave us.

Those opposing using the convention option are selfishly protecting their ability to work within the current corrupt, money-driven system to advance their objectives. Such opponents are not true American patriots. They use lies and disinformation to instill unjustified fears, like nonsense about a runaway convention. Remember this: An Article V convention can only propose amendments that sill must be ratified by three-quarters of the states, and it does not have the constitutional power to write a whole new Constitution. What Congress and opponents fear we the people should passionately embrace.

Take a serious look at the facts about the Article V convention issue and at the Convention USA effort.

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Joel S. Hirschhorn is the author of Delusional Democracy - Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government and several other books, as well as hundreds of articles. His current political writings have been greatly influenced by working (more...)

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