Starting next Wednesday the final push to 34 States begins in earnest. Regardless of the election, this year we’re going to pull it off. After years of preparation, in 2017 we harvest the fruits of our labors.
Article V is easy to explain, but hard to fully appreciate. For a hundred years the size and scope of the federal government has grown, so that it now has a virtual monopoly of political power, the States reduced to the status of administrative units of the Center. Together, the Congress, the Supreme Court, and Presidents of both parties have grown the central government, gutted the Constitution, and imposed their will on the American people. Winning elections, even with a man like Reagan, didn’t make much difference. Since Newt Gingrich resigned as Speaker, Congress, regardless of which party was in control, has only made things worse. Things just get worse quicker under the Democrats. Big money runs Congress, and that’s not going to change. Our political system is broken, as shown by the two Presidential nominees it has produced.
The answer to all these problems is Article V, which is nothing more than the States exercising their prerogative of asserting their authority over the federal government. It’s never been done before. Very few people are aware that the States have this power, which is virtually unlimited. The people who are charged with exercising this authority are the 7, 382 members of our State Legislatures. Most of them, the large majority, have no idea that they have this vital responsibility. They are the last line of defense of the Constitution, and they don’t even know it.
It takes time to educate them, but they are capable of learning. In the spring of 2014 the Reagan Project, supported by Lew Uhler’s National Tax Limitation Committee, sent pledge letters to all Republican legislative candidates in Wyoming, right after the filing deadline to run. I got seven back, two of whom won their primary, and then the general. Bill Fruth and I each made several trips to Wyoming to lobby the legislators. We lost on the Senate floor in 2015. We lost on the House floor in 2016. But now, with Loren Enns doing the groundwork, and with Eli Bebout as Senate President, all the ducks are in line. We switched sponsors in 2015, and that was a mistake. We’re back with Rep. Tyler Lindholm as our prime sponsor, aided by his sidekick, Rep. Dan Laursen. Wyoming convenes on Jan. 10th. It should be our 29th State by the first week of February.
Idaho should follow shortly thereafter, then Arizona and Wisconsin, getting us to 32 by the beginning of March. At that point the fight is on for Montana, South Carolina, and then Kentucky (if the Republicans pick up the House, which all signs point to). We’d be at 35, meaning a rescission in Maryland wouldn’t stop us. And we may have gained so much momentum, and publicity, that the Democrats in Maryland might be reluctant to stick their political necks out by stopping a drive to a federal Balanced Budget Amendment.
While all this is happening at the State level, the new administration will be assuming power in Washington. Cabinet members must be chosen, and confirmed. There will be a lot of sturm und drang, but nothing will be getting done. Congress is dysfunctional. It’s paralyzed by the special interests, or factions, which finance political campaigns. At the same time as Congress is once again is demonstrating its futility, the States will be organizing to take power away from it, to bring it back to the States, and the people.
The Balanced Budget Amendment is just for openers. The Second Amendment Convention, should, in my view, should be called for the sole purpose of passing one Amendment. Call it the Federalist Amendment. It gives 30 State Legislatures the power to repeal or overturn any federal law or regulation. It would give the States veto power. It would change everything.
The Third Amendment Convention? I say Congressional term limits, but who knows? Those 7,382 State Legislators will decide what happens. Acting together, they are the sovereigns of this country. If they only knew, and now they will.