The Push for a Convention of States: Addressing a Government Our Founders Warned Us About

by | Jun 10, 2024 | News Analysis, Commentary and Opinion

Are We Living Under the Government Our Founders Warned Us About?

From the COVID lockdown to uncontrolled illegal immigration, recent events have amplified frustrations with the federal government to unprecedented levels. These bigt issues have given momentum for a push to invoke a provision under the Constitution to convene a Convention of States aimed at establishing a more streamlined and responsible government.

Recently, journalist Sharyl Attkisson interviewed Mark Meckler, a prominent advocate for the Convention of States movement. Meckler, who previously played a key role in the Tea Party movement, emphasized that a Convention of States is closer to happening than many realize.

(Below) Journalist Sharyl Attkisson interviews Mark Meckler, President of Citizens for Self-Governance and Convention of States Action.

What is the Convention of States Movement?

The Convention of States movement is centered around Article V of the Constitution, which provides a mechanism for states to propose amendments. If two-thirds (34) of the states agree, a convention can be called to propose amendments that would then need to be ratified by three-quarters — thirty-eight — of the states. This provision has never been used in the entire history of the United States. Supporters believe now is the time to act. Opponents say it’s a Far-Right radical movement.

(Below) A video narrated by Washington Times columnist Amanda Read provides a historical overview of Article V of the U.S. Constitution, which allows for a Convention of States.

Nineteen States Back Convention of States

As of now, nineteen states have passed resolutions supporting a Convention of States. This effort began with Georgia, Alaska, and Florida in 2014, and has recently seen progress with states like Nebraska, West Virginia, South Carolina, and Wisconsin joining in 2022. Activists are pushing hard in all fifty states to garner the required support to reach the necessary threshold.

2024 Convention of States Progress Map

Key Focus Areas Agreed for the Convention of States

The Convention of States movement has identified three main areas of focus:

  • Term Limits: Implementing term limits not only for Congress but also for staffers and bureaucrats, to ensure a constant influx of new ideas and reduce entrenched power structures.
  • Fiscal Restraints: Imposing strict fiscal constraints on the federal government to curb reckless spending and reduce the national debt.
  • Limiting Federal Power: Restricting the scope, power, and jurisdiction of the federal government to return to the original constitutional framework that granted specific, limited powers.

Bipartisan Support for Convention of States: Voters Across Parties Back Effort to Limit Federal Power

Despite often being associated with Republicans, the movement has garnered bipartisan support due to widespread dissatisfaction with federal overreach and inefficiency. Many Americans, regardless of political affiliation, agree that the federal government has grown too powerful and inefficient. Notably, several leading sponsors in traditionally Democratic states like Illinois are Democrats themselves, emphasizing that the movement’s goals are not purely partisan.

Public Sentiment

According to Convention of States Action, 66% of voters support the idea of imposing fiscal restraints on the federal government and limiting its power. This includes 75% of Republicans, 55% of Democrats, and 62% of independents, indicating widespread approval across the political spectrum.

Overcoming Challenges and Second Amendment Concerns in the Convention of States Movement

Significant hurdles remain for the movement, including the need for consensus among a majority of states to propose any amendments and an even larger consensus to ratify them. However, advocates believe that a Convention of States could enforce fiscal discipline and limit federal power, fundamentally changing the incentive structure for politicians. The process of passing and ratifying amendments requires a vast majority of the country to be on board, suggesting that any changes would have strong popular support.

Concerns Over the Second Amendment

While the primary focus areas of the Convention of States are widely supported, there are concerns from some about potential unintended consequences. Notably, Sharyl Attkisson brings up the John Birch Society (JBS), who argue that a Convention of States could be used to limit Second Amendment rights. They warn that discussions to “clarify” the right to bear arms might lead to restrictions that only apply to military and police forces, effectively repealing the Second Amendment.

(Below) The John Birch Society (JBS), mentioned in Attkisson’s report, published several videos about the current movement for the Convention of States. The following video by JBS warns of a runaway convention. 

Are Subjects of a Government Our Founding Fathers Warned Us About?

While the Convention of States project seeks to address widespread discontent, the question remains: will the political class prevent it from moving forward? It is believed political operatives embedded within the IRS previously stopped the Tea Party movement in the 2010s; and similar tactics may be employed again as the movement gets closer to undertaking an actual convention.

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