John Q. Public is just being introduced to Article V of the Constitution, and I am heartened by the common reaction to the runaway convention argument. It’s the point made by Rep. Ken Buck in Drain the Swamp, to wit: all Constitutional amendments must be ratified by 38, or 3/4, of the States. In the real world, as opposed to John Birch Society fantasyland, this is understood as the only necessary safeguard.
11,359 Constitutional Amendments have proposed in Congress since 1789, and 33 were sent on to the States for ratification. 27 are in the Constitution. None of the six losing ideas were particularly radical for their time, but they couldn’t reach that very high, 3/4 threshold.
To get a 3/4 vote on anything in this country, you have to have strong bipartisan support, and these six didn’t make the cut. They dealt with Congressional apportionment, titles of nobility, protection of slavery, child labor, the Equal Rights Amendment, and voting in the District of Columbia. Mainstream stuff for their times, with the support of 2/3 of the House and Senate. So the 3/4 supermajority requirement works well. Some would say too well.
The comments section of my articles in American Thinker is always revealing. Over a year ago, the first time I wrote about Article V there, half the commenters were Alt-Right whack jobs, whooping it up about a runaway.
There aren’t that many of them now, and the best thing is the reaction by the other, sane, commenters. It’s always the same. Anything proposed has to be ratified by 3/4 of the States, so what are you afraid of, dipweed? I like to think the public’s understanding of Article V is improving.
Here’s what the Birchers say about the 3/4 ratification requirement: a runaway Convention, like Philadelphia, could change it, or eliminate it.
You read that right. These nitwits thinks a bunch of State Legislators are going to get together and overthrow the Constitution in a coup d’etat, and everybody will go along with it. Just thinking about these knuckleheads makes me thirsty, so I’m going down the hill and have a beer among the wildflowers.
P. S. David Guldenschuh has written a handbook for State Legislators to use in the Article V debate. In it he rebuts 20 of the specious arguments used against us, and I recommend it highly to anyone looking into the topic.