"Happy for us that when we find our constitutions defective and insufficient to secure the happiness of our people, we can assemble with all the coolness of philosophers and set it to rights, while every other nation on earth must have recourse to arms to amend or to restore their constitutions." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1787
With the death of the public health care option now a virtual certainty, another public option -- the "real" one -- demands our immediate consideration. It has nothing to do with health care per se, though it does have a great deal to do with our national health and well-being. Unfortunately, it is a discussion those who wield the power in our country will do anything to avoid, because it is this real public option that poses the gravest threat to their influence, prestige, and wealth. It is, therefore, a discussion and an idea that they cannot tolerate; it must be suppressed, or at least kept out the mainstream, at all costs.
Elections will not save us, nor will "tea parties," shouting at town halls, demonstrations, articles, letters to the editor, blogs, e-mails, or phone calls. That has all be tried and proven woefully inadequate; our nation is being kept alive by artificial means and needs an emergency heart transplant to remain viable. The damage is certain and severe, and nothing short of intensive, skilled surgery can save this patient now.
Many Americans put great faith in candidate Obama's intellect and his inspirational oratory, but after eight months as our president, his message of hope is yielding to a cold, hard political reality most of us steadfastly refuse to acknowledge: Simply changing the crew in a badly damaged vessel does not assure the passengers a smoother or safer journey.
We the people have been manipulated and beguiled by smooth-talking politicians abetted by the tout media, appeased by the illusion of boundless prosperity and growth fostered by debt-fueled consumption, lulled into a fantasyland of limitless, mind-numbing "entertainment," while averting our eyes at the signs of destructive rot in the foundation of our society. The entire structure has now become so perilously unstable, even the slightest disturbance could cause its catastrophic collapse.
In subsequent articles, I will discuss some of the probable objections and resistance from elitists to a citizen-initiated convention. Like most Americans, myself included, they revere our nation's fundamental legal document, and will voice fervent opposition to any movement to alter it. In their view -- using a flagrant perversion of logic designed to support an untenable assertion -- the very document that establishes a framework of government vesting sovereignty in the governed, that is, the people, is sacrosanct, and therefore should be kept safely out of their reach.
To be sure, whimsical tampering with our constitution is ill-advised, but at this time in our history, it is not only prudent, it is imperative. It is the last, best recourse to the supreme authority of the United States of America, its sovereign citizens, to undertake the peaceful process of righting our national government, and it must be done at the most basic, constitutional level. In their great wisdom, the Framers understood that this eventuality might come to pass, so they provided for it, though they did not anticipate that a recalcitrant Congress would refuse to allow it. More on this to follow"
For now, I leave you with a few thoughts. First, I urge you to read carefully our Declaration of Independence and, of course, the Constitution, itself, to familiarize yourself with the sheer genius of the Framers and the enlightened philosophy -- deemed radical by their contemporaries -- that guided them. You might also gain some insights into how they might respond were they to find themselves in similar circumstances to ours. I have to believe they would be at once astonished by the utter complexity of 2009 America and that their basic framework has remained essentially unchanged for nearly 222 years.
Upon closer examination, though, they would discover that the twenty-first century United States of America bears little resemblance to the federal republic they created during that long, hot Philadelphia summer. Imagine how they would feel about the sheer size and awesome power of the modern federal government when juxtaposed to the weak, limited one they struggled mightily to create. What might their reaction be to learning that the ostensible stability of the nation depends in large measure on a nine-member Supreme Court, whose members, appointed for life, function as a de facto constitutional convention, imposing their collective will on the masses of Americans with no accountability? Would they not be stunned when told that it was these same nine individuals who chose a president for nearly 300 million of its citizens? How would they view the current division of powers among the three supposed co-equal branches, which they labored so intensely to delicately balance? Might they be disturbed by the revelation that the vast majority of those in the legislative branch are "career" politicians, who almost never voluntarily give up their power and rarely face any meaningful competition to ensure accountability and promote healthy policy discourse? How appalled do you think they would be when they read recent history describing the use of terror, intimidation, and torture by those sworn to uphold principles and rights they considered inviolable? Would they condone the near complete lack of accountability for the arbitrary actions of public officials, acting in the name of the United States, who routinely flout their own law and encroach on the liberties of American citizens under the guise of national security? Upon examining our financial condition, what would they say about the astronomical public debt and financial obligations placing both current and unborn generations of Americans -- who, of course, have absolutely no representation -- in the heavy chains of indefinite financial servitude?
These are some of the most egregious "abuses and usurpations" they would find in 2009 America. They might wish to die all over again, but more than likely, with the events of 9/11 and the heroic actions of the Flight 93 passengers fresh in their minds, these men of character and principle would shake off their shock, roll up their sleeves and say, "let's roll!"