The push for a constitutional convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution is gathering momentum on the right and the left, with potentially catastrophic or even deadly consequences for what remains of the greatest republic in human history. The red flags are everywhere. And the future of Americans’ God-given rights hangs in the balance.
Right now, the Constitution is still technically the “supreme Law of the Land,” as Article VI makes clear. Every public official swears an oath—usually with a hand on the Bible—to uphold and defend it. That means much of the lawless behavior coming from the federal government that has so outraged Americans of all political persuasions is unconstitutional and illegitimate.
The forces responsible for the escalating unconstitutional abuse of America know full well their lawless schemes are not authorized by the charter that created the federal government. Therefore, they are champing at the bit to change it—or even trash it—and forever burn the bridge that could lead the United States back to the liberty, prosperity, and peace made possible by that precious Constitution for well over two centuries.
In a recent piece for Chronicles by attorney J. Eric Wise, he offered qualified praise for California’s far-left Governor Gavin Newsom (and his hair) for being “pointed in the right direction” with the recent call for a constitutional convention. Even though Wise described Newsom’s proposed gun-control amendment as “misguided,” he nevertheless argued the United States “needs, badly, a convention of states that will consider a broad overhaul of the Constitution.”
Such a convention would be a massive gamble at best, with virtually no rewards and unfathomable risks. That is why the late Justice Antonin Scalia explained in a 2014 interview that he was firmly against the idea. “I certainly would not want a Constitutional Convention,” he responded when asked how he would like to amend the Constitution. “I mean, whoa! Who knows what would come out of that?”
At worst, it could be the final nail in the coffin for the free United States of America, a blow from which the nation would never recover. With this one mistake, the amazing heritage of the nation could go up in smoke forever, making this generation responsible for frittering away the legacy bequeathed by centuries of toil and blood shed by America’s forefathers.
Of course, many of Wise’s observations are true. The nation is currently experiencing dangerous division. And the Constitution is clearly not working as intended. It is also true that the government does not obey the Constitution anymore. In fact, politicians barely even bother pretending to follow it anymore, and few young Americans know much about it.
But the solution lies not in changing or potentially even throwing out that Constitution—a unique document in world history enshrining God-given rights that nearly a million Americans have sacrificed their very lives to defend. Indeed, most of the problems proponents of a Constitutional Convention point to result from violations of the Constitution that could be fixed by enforcement, not defects that could be fixed with amendments.
Even in a best-case scenario where conservatives, against all odds, are able to add a few good amendments, the argument falls flat. If the feds do not obey the Constitution now, how would adding new amendments for them to ignore change that problem?
Advocates of this “Convention of States” continually reassure conservatives that any dangerous amendments would be stopped by states during the ratification process. Yet the only other time such a convention was held—1787—delegates threw out the whole Articles of Confederation. They also decided to decrease the number of states needed to ratify constitutional changes, from unanimous consent to a three-fourths majority.
What would stop the next convention from moving the goalposts again? After all, they will say, the three-fourths requirement is anti-democratic and outdated. Plus, it was enshrined by “old dead white guys who owned slaves!”
Newsom, Hillary Clinton, George Soros, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, and the anti-American talking heads on network TV would repeat the talking points ad nauseum. And the new Constitution would be rammed through using whatever new ratification process the convention concocted—50 percent plus one, anybody? Considering the state of election integrity, this is a recipe for cataclysm.
Thankfully, the 1787 Constitution ratified under the new method ended up being a splendid document. Not perfect, obviously, but brilliant nonetheless. The principles it enshrined are timeless. And the understanding of human nature and human history displayed by its framers is unrivaled by even America’s greatest contemporary statesmen.
Would whatever new Constitution emerges from the next constitutional convention be as good—or even acceptable? Where are the James Madisons and George Washingtons of today who would lead such a convention? There are few such leaders today, if any—and what are the odds that such leaders would even be allowed to participate in, much less guide, a new convention?
The fact that Newsom and other far-left extremists seeking to disarm Americans and sexualize children in government schools see a constitutional convention as a route to victory should cause every sensible conservative to recoil in horror at the prospect. Are Newsom and California Democrats stupid? Or do they know that a convention is their path to total power, unrestrained by the current Constitution?
The reason the nation is so out of control today is not some defect in the Constitution. The real problem is that it is not being obeyed, because We The People have allowed it to be snubbed. The solution, then, is not to change the Constitution or even throw it out, but to obey it. Unfortunately for those looking for simplistic solutions, there is no silver bullet. Only an educated and informed electorate can force elected representatives to respect their oath of office to the Constitution. The path to restoring America and the rule of law begins with education. We can only hope the current Constitution can hold as that process takes place.