I'm a fellow American citizen who has not yet given up hope about re-directing the ship of state. Won't you please take a moment to read this Op-Ed? It contains a solution.
I’m a fellow American citizen who has not yet given up hope about re-directing the ship of state. Won’t you please take a moment to read this Op-Ed? It contains a solution.
Before I make a point, let’s agree on some things, OK? We’re American. Being American has subjective meanings and objective meanings, but let’s stick to the latter, because that’s based on fact and what we clearly know to be true:
1. The contract between citizens and elected officials is the Supreme Law, i.e. our constitution. There is no law higher than the seven articles and twenty-seven amendments which make up the U.S. Constitution.
2. The Constitution provides for three branches of government: the Congress, the Executive, and the Judicial. Of the individuals who people these three branches, some are elected, some are appointed, but all must swear an oath to obey the law before government issues checks for their efforts.
3. You and I are upset with governance (if you’re not upset with governance today, you can stop reading now). We’re upset with governance because of things like a judicial branch preventing a state from determining who won electoral votes in a hotly contested presidential election, an executive branch holding closed-door meetings with private-sector energy corporations, and a legislative branch failing to standardize the electoral process, securing it once and for all from corporate interests.
These key points and many others are why we’re upset with governance. Possibly the most egregious thing about governance is that it’s failed to secure The Vote from corporate interests. We’re currently burdened with what one blogger has termed Faith-Based Voting. We shouldn’t have faith-based elections. The tallying of votes should be based on more than faith. When you check what voting systems each state currently has, you would be surprised how many are like Pennsylvania. In other words, if you have doubts, too bad. Votes are unrecountable, unverifiable, and unauditable. Where there are paper trails, there are too many cases where proper procedure is not followed, and chain of custody is ignored. It’s easy to say it’s tin foil hat stuff to claim irregularities, but it’s just as crazy to suggest we’re getting true results. How do we get proof when votes are unrecountable, unverifiable, and unauditable? It’s like one presidential candidate says when they talk about unitary executive powers and warrantless wiretaps: you don't have to prove the power is being abused to object. It doesn't matter if you absolutely trust private corporations to tally votes, we spend more time telling people they sound paranoid than we do objecting to a system that demands scrutiny. Whether or not elections are accurate we cannot know. This has been going on for at least 6 years. Faith-Based Voting should be a thing of the past, instead it is still with us, and the silence surrounding it is deafening to those of us paying attention.
Why hasn’t the Congress drawn up blueprints for an official U.S. Voting Unit and mandated voting machine vendors to build them to spec? This is the obvious, common sense solution which would immediately extinguish many points of failure. So why hasn’t any legislation of the like made its way to the floor of the House or the Senate? It’s because corporate interests have gridlocked the legislative branch, and prevented it from acting in the public interest. Corporate interests, in the form of lobbyists, lawyers, and professional politicians, have become an aristocratic title system which operates at will.
The Constitution prohibits the establishment of aristocratic title systems or anti-republican governing bodies, though with corporate laws and charters, both are now the norm. How can anyone believe that individuals, functioning as aristocrats, in the same manner as aristocrats, with a title system and organizational scheme that’s aristocratic, somehow conclude they’re Not aristocrats? Simply because they and their system is dressed in corporate clothing? The corporatists match aristocrats in both function and arrogance, pretending to have powers they do not, and pretending the average citizen is ignorant of the pretense. Through legal hair-splitting and inaction, corporatists have technically overthrown what was once a republican government. This must be addressed with specific prohibitions, and it must be written into the Constitution. For decades we’ve seen how corporatists frustrate efforts to restrain them by statutory, legal and regulatory means. Short of armed revolution, constitutional amendment is the last recourse.
As you may or may not know, the Constitution contains the convention clause. It’s found in Article V and it states that once the requisite applications for a convention hit the doorstep of Congress, that branch “shall call a convention....” The congressional record shows all fifty states have at one time or another applied for such a convention, yet one Congress after another simply ignores them. The legal term is Laches, or ignoring something on purpose. In other words, the individuals who perpetuate our aristocratic title system of corporate governance have prevented and continue to prevent a national convention of state delegates, held on authority of Article V of the U.S. Constitution.
Traditional arguments against convoking such a convention are that it might tamper with the Constitution itself, or that such a convention might be taken over by corporate interests and subverted to such ends. These arguments are bogus, not only irrational but illogical, because a convention is simply the process of opening discussion and building consensus. Nothing discussed at a national convention can somehow accidentally become new law. For an idea to become a law it must of course first be ratified, and to ratify an amendment proposal requires 38 states agree to it. With the country as polarized as it is today, it’s likely the only idea with any chance of being ratified would be one concerned with electoral reform, one that would secure The Vote from private interests once and for all.
Of the Bell Curve of political consciousness, there will always be citizens like you and I who are paying attention, and who can see past the smoke and mirrors of our homemade aristocratic establishment. Perhaps the governing class has served us well enough over the years, but ever since it stopped a state from counting votes in a critical presidential election, and foisted upon the nation an executive administration which has repeatedly disobeyed the Constitution and the rule of law, it’s become clear the time has come to create a 28th Amendment.
Recent legal history, the denial of certiorari by the Supreme Court in October of 2006, has allowed a lower court ruling to stand, and that ruling has deemed the convention call is now discretionary, that it’s up to our aristocrats whether the nation will ever convoke an Article V Convention. In terms of political science, this means we no longer need to seek further applications from the state legislatures, we simply need to galvanize a tipping-point majority of Americans around the idea the time has come to convene. This website, http://www.articlev.org suggests how such an effort might be carried out. This website, http://www.foavc.org has further information about the subject.
Whatever you’re upset about in terms of governance, it is our position that nothing short of a national convention of state delegates is going to do anything to redirect the ship of state. Not a new executive administration, and certainly not legislation from a branch where corruption has become institutionalized. An Article V Convention is anathema to the corporatists. What corporate power is dead-set against, authentic Americans should be all for.
Perhaps we’ll have to wait for our less astute, fellow citizens to come round to the truth that the next president will not and cannot bring about the end to corporate rule. This would likely be ten to twelve months from now. Hopefully everyone concerned will be here, ready to dust off our Constitution and put it to work for us.
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.