“But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.” Frederic Bastiat – The Law
It seems that almost every day now we are learning about something else the federal government has done, or is plotting to do, to further regulate, tax, ban, confiscate, or otherwise limit our freedoms and those of our children – while the leaders who pass such laws “for our own good” find ways to exempt themselves. All the while, our government has run up an oppressive debt which has become a significant national security threat. In the not-so-distant future we will be making interest payments over $1 trillion – yet the spending, printing, and borrowing continues unabated.
Even so, there is hope. The Founders gave us the Constitution. They knew that government – even the kind that starts out small – has a tendency to become so large and powerful, that instead of protecting the rights of the people, it eventually tramples them.
This is because men are ambitious. Men see government as a source of power, and the temptation to use it to pass laws to enhance their own wealth and standing is simply too much to resist.
Hence the reason the Founders defined certain rights as “natural” and inalienable. Whereas privileges and rights granted by government can be taken away, those established in the Constitution cannot. It also enumerated the powers government has, thereby limiting what the government can do to the citizens and their private property.
Unfortunately, politicians and bureaucrats are becoming more casual and frequent in their abuses, sensing that they are constrained less and less by the “negative liberties” designed to hold them back in the Constitution. The reason they are able to get away with such outrageous actions is that nobody in the federal government is effectively able to hold them accountable anymore. This is because the administrative state has destroyed the fabric of federalism (Imprimis download).
Unless something profound and sweeping is done quickly, we may soon find ourselves living in a post-Constitutional America. Since the federal government is no longer providing meaningful limits on its own power, and because federal power is increasingly being wielded by unelected bureaucrats running regulatory agencies and departments, there really is only one constitutional check on federal power remaining: the States.
VIDEO: Expert Testifies to Congress Regarding President Obama’s Lawlessness
Article V of the U.S. Constitution clearly gives the authority to rein in federal power to the States. Just as Congress can amend the Constitution, the States can too.
Using Article V, our state legislators can call for a Convention of States. They would then send our delegates to meet with delegates from two thirds or more of the other states who also submitted applications. They might start with something simple, such as a balanced budget amendment. Another favorite is term limits for politicians (they wouldn’t need to waste so much time on fundraisers and getting friendly with lobbyists) as well as federal judges (this would make presidential “court packing” much harder to do). Once approved by the Convention, it would go back to the States for ratification, and each state would have one vote. If three quarters of them agreed, it would immediately become a part of the U.S. Constitution, bypassing the federal government.
Future conventions could pass amendments to allow States to override burdensome federal statues and mandates; to permit a congressional supermajority to override questionable Supreme Court decisions; to simplify the tax code; and to repeal the 17th Amendment and return the election of senators back to the state legislatures. Conventions could also be called to clarify the limits of the Commerce Clause and General Welfare Clause, which have been used to justify federal government intrusion into virtually all of our activities.
Frederic Bastiat also said: “Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter — by peaceful or revolutionary means — into the making of laws. According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it.” Unfortunately, our politicians – and now big business – mostly fall into the latter category, and they will continue to use the government to enrich themselves at the nation’s expense until they are stopped.
Will you compromise what you know to be right and “go along to get along?” Or will you be counted among those who take a stand for liberty and fight to preserve the freedoms of future generations of Americans?
I urge you to get involved in the Article V movement, and contact your state representatives to encourage them to exercise the power granted them in the Constitution to help restore a limited federal government.
Article V, U.S. Constitution
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
Virginia was the first state to call the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Once again, the historic state is standing up to defend the rights of the American people. With several states soon to follow, Virginia recently claimed the title of first to pre-file an application to call a Convention of States.
South Carolina joins Virginia today as they pre-file an application for a Convention of States. Other states plan to follow their lead, including Florida later this week.
In order for America to survive as a free nation, the states must use their constitutional authority under Article V to strip the federal government of all powers except those actually intended by the Founders. If allowed to continue on its present path, Washington, D.C., will bankrupt this nation and turn our children into servants of the government as they struggle to pay off the mountain of debt Congress has foisted upon them.
Bring ‘em home, away from Washington D.C. and the lobbyists:
One idea, notably being advanced by famed investor and adventurer Jim Rogers, is to all but exile the 535 members of the U.S. House and Senate from Washington. More than a decade ago, the idea could hardly be grasped, but with today’s modern communication technology already in common use by distance workers, it’s not so much of a stretch to imagine our federal lawmakers working from their home districts.
Books and other resources on Article V:
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