A year ago John Kasich decided to fly around the country and campaign for the Article V BBA. He even named his private jet “Balanced Budget Forever”. He didn’t reach out to the Task Force, but Fruth went to Columbus and explained to Kasich’s staff what we were doing. They realized we were the people to work with, and we coordinated our efforts until recently, when he started concentrating exclusively on his Presidential campaign.
There are two distinct if related parts of our campaign: 1) the Balanced Budget Amendment and 2) the use of Article V to achieve it. Kasich was all in on the BBA. But he seemed ambivalent about Article V. He just wanted to use it to pressure Congress into passing a BBA itself.
I think Kasich’s plenty smart, so what this means to me is that he’s an elitist. Either that or he has a complete lack of imagination. He’d rather have Congress write a BBA than an Amendment Convention. He doesn’t completely trust a Convention. He trusts Congress more. He either doesn’t like or doesn’t understand Article V, so he’s never promoted it. He’ll talk all day about the need for a BBA. He has never, to my knowledge, explained to people how Article V works, and praise it as the ultimate safeguard of our liberty.
Based on my experience explaining Article V to people, it’s a very attractive proposition, politically. Everybody, and I mean everybody, hates Congress. It’s corrupt beyond redemption. The federal government is viewed by half the people in this country as the greatest threat to their freedom. We’re $19 trillion in the hole, but they party on. When you explain to people that the States, under Article V, have the power to amend the Constitution without Congress being involved, they go, “Really?” And then you say we’re getting close to passing a BBA this way, they’re amazed. “You can do that?”
When I got started on this two years ago I explained what I was doing to my granddaughter. She was nine. She understood, and she’s not a prodigy. This is an issue to run on. It’s really not hard to explain. And we’re not a bunch of crackpots. We’ve got 27 states, and a clean shot at 34 next year.
People like hearing about Article V. A lot of them realize how farsighted the Framers were when they included it. For a Republican, running for President, right now, this is one to run on. Kasich has chosen not to do so. The ball is lying on the ground. All someone needs to do is pick it up and run with it.
Because Article V is all about federalism, and federalism is all about tolerance. The people of California can have the most pro-choice laws in the country, as far as I’m concerned. Just as long as they let the people of South Dakota have their pro-life laws. Toleration, federalism. Live and let live. We’re a big and very diverse country. Why don’t we just leave each other alone?
I think a lot of people would like to be left alone. By the government, especially. A republican candidate should talk about that, about how we’re losing our privacy. Rand Paul did it, but somebody else needs to carry that torch.
Is an Article V Convention a pipe dream? 50 years ago when I got into politics we were all in on the Captive Nations Amendment. The Baltic States, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, were taken by Stalin in WW II, and we didn’t think this should be accepted. This was 1965. A quarter century later the Captive Nations were free and independent.
Big things do happen.