Should We Amend the U.S. Constitution?

One of the reasons we created the Self-Reliance Institute (formerly the Patriot Privacy & Security Society) was because of the growing number of Americans who realize that while the federal government has never been larger and more intrusive, it also has never been more ineffective and incompetent.

In short, like so many of you, we realize that if America is to be strong again it will be because we — as individual Americans — take responsibility for making her strong again.

For that reason, many of the Advisories and Alerts we use to communicate with you are about actions we can take as individuals to improve and protect our lives and the lives of our families.

But we also need to be aware of what we can do as patriotic Americans to repair and improve the very fabric of our country.

We don’t know about you, but we believe the U.S. Constitution is the greatest framework for self-governance ever created.

Quite simply, we revere the Constitution and hope you do too.

We also believe it’s been many, many years since our country followed the Constitution. We believe the federal government and federal courts have been moving away from the Constitution for decades.

And we believe the only way to save the future of our country may require amending the Constitution as a means of stopping the politicians in Washington, D.C., who are destroying our most important founding document.

As you know, there are two means of amending the Constitution. The first is the way it’s been done every time in our nation’s history. That method is initiated by Congress. The second method — the method we believe we need to consider — is initiated by the states.

We suspect some of you have heard about the group of state lawmakers from across the country who have taken the first steps toward initiating a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of strengthening — amending — the Constitution. But many people are unaware of what has been underway, so we’d like to bring everyone up to speed on what happened last weekend and provide you with an important document to read. That document can be found at the end of this Advisory.

But first a little background on the state representatives and their meeting last weekend. Here’s how Ralph Benko described it in Forbes under the headline, “The big political story of 2016 will not be about who replaces Obama.”

Last Saturday, December 7th, nearly 100 state legislators, many distinguished, representing 32 states, assembled at Mount Vernon.

They gathered at the homestead of George Washington, 15 miles from the capital city named for him.  The purpose?   To discuss how, safely, to revive an overlooked, but invaluable, provision in the United States Constitution to allow a supermajority of states to rein in a power-drunk federal government.

According to a press release issued after the Assembly’s adjournment, ‘They emphasized the importance of any convention being done in a way that accomplishes the will of the people while protecting the sanctity of the Constitution, as this action could ultimately lead to proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution, as authorized under Article V. The subject matter of what those amendments would be was not discussed.’

In other words, first things first.  First priority is to establish how this amendment process safely can be conducted.  Only when prudent ground rules are established will it be timely to consider substantive proposals.”

Why did they meet? Why are they considering amending the Constitution? As Benko writes:

Many Americans feel thwarted by their federal government.  Many humanitarian populists, both of left and right — including this columnist — see the federal government as out of touch with the “consent of the governed.” It is this consent that the Declaration of Independence cites as the source of government legitimacy.  The most poignant sign of this is the record low 9% popular approval rating of the United States Congress.”

One of the true leaders of this group of patriots is Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore David Long. Here’s how NWI Politics described Long the day before the Mount Vernon meeting in an article headlined “Indiana Senate leader’s meeting on U.S. Constitution attracts 34 states.”

Long is among the leaders of a nationwide effort encouraging state legislatures to ask Congress to call a Convention of the States that would permit states to propose and approve constitutional amendments without congressional interference.

’I’m hopeful that our meeting at Mount Vernon will lay important groundwork for the effort to restore a proper balance between the states and Washington, D.C.,’ Long said.

’I’m looking forward to meeting with colleagues from around the country to discuss the constitutional path available to states to correct an overreaching federal government.’

Now, we promised you an important document that you can read about this never before used method of amending the Constitution. The document was prepared by Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore David Long and is titled, “Amending the U.S. Constitution by state-led convention.”

Before providing model legislation for the states to pass as a means toward preparing for a constitutional convention, Long summarizes just a few of the reasons a convention is needed.

Concern is growing about the size and scope of the federal government. Consider just a few of the most conspicuous causes for alarm:

“-Nearly $17 trillion in federal debt and counting

“-Trillions more in unfunded entitlement programs

“-Trillion-dollar annual budget deficits

“-About 30 cents of every federal dollar spent is borrowed

“-Unprecedented federal regulation and meddling in entire sectors of the economy (health care, auto industry, banking, energy, education, etc.)

Both major political parties in Washington have failed to stem this tide. States’ rights have been trampled — rendering the 10thAmendment almost meaningless. The founders understood the threat of a runaway federal government and specifically provided states a tool to address it: a state-led amendment convention.”

So let us close this Advisory with a question: Based on your own observations and experiences in recent years, and after reading the materials included in this Advisory — including “Amending the U.S. Constitution by state-led convention” — do you believe the states should initiate a constitutional convention for the purpose of Amending the Constitution so that individuals and states regain the power our Founders believed we should have over the federal government?

If so, share with us what amendment(s) you’d like to see to the Constitution and we will discuss those ideas in future advisories. You can email us at [email protected]

Be safe and secure,

Rob Douglas

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