The Road to Restoring Our Republic
Why do we have a government? What is its purpose?
Our founding documents give us the reasons in plain English: to secure the unalienable rights of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" (the Declaration of Independence) and "to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" (the preamble to the Constitution of the United States).
In other words, our government exists to secure the liberty of its citizens. There is a reason why the word "Liberty" appears in both the Declaration and the Constitution: because liberty is the paramount moral directive by which one human being can interact with another. To rob another human being unwillingly of his time, effort, intellection, the fruits of his labor, or his very life is to violate his self-sovereignty and to do him evil. Governments were known by our founders to be the very worst violators of this principle, and so the founders set up our government to be the very basis for which self-sovereignty was to be preserved, which established our republic as unique in the whole of human history.
At least it used to be. We have lost our way.
The government we know today exists only for itself. It feeds off the citizenry to support its own largesse. It is used as a mechanism by its adherents to further pet projects and ply us with social experiments. It steadily erodes, rather than secures, liberty. The Constitution was established to confine government, but through two centuries of Supreme Court malignance, we have a government that, collectively, does not recognize self-sovereignty as a natural right.
How, then, do we regain our liberty? To further avoid usurping the rule of law, and thus perpetuating the problem, we must do it lawfully. This begins with the next presidential election. With three or more Supreme Court appointments, the next president will decide what could be the ultimate fate of our nation – will we be a nation that respects the rule of law and liberty, or will we bend the rules to the will of the mob, or even worse, to that of the executive?
Only one of the two main presidential candidates is heeding the advice of those who advocate for constitutionalist justices, and that is Donald Trump. For all the problems people have with him, I believe he will ultimately nominate men and women to the judiciary who will uphold the rule of law. Contrast this with Hillary Clinton, who has shown repeated contempt for the rule of law and the Constitution.
However, appointing constitutionalists to the Supreme Court is not a panacea. All too often, blatantly unconstitutional legislation is upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote, and liberty suffers. Electing Donald Trump will be an important step, but it is only the first.
More important is to undo the damage wrought over the past several decades by an over-reaching executive branch and a complicit Supreme Court, and there is only one way to accomplish this. A handful of conscientious members of Congress who believe in self-sovereignty are helplessly outnumbered. If we wanted to, we could elect those who would restore our republic, but we don't want to. Despite approval ratings at 10% and less, Congressional re-election rates are in excess of 90%. The public hasn't the will to force Washington to change. And Washington certainly hasn't the will to force change upon itself.
That leaves the states, as was intended by the founders from the beginning. Just as Congress has the power to propose amendments to the Constitution at any time, so, too, do the states, under Article V of the Constitution, via a convention for proposing amendments. There is a growing movement for a convention – which Washington does not want. Indeed, Congress has headed off attempts in the past to hold a convention, starting right at the beginning, with the Bill of Rights. It takes two thirds of the states to apply for the same topic to convene a convention, and any amendments proposed by the convention require three fourths of the states to ratify, as is the case for amendments proposed by Congress. While hundreds of applications have been submitted in our nation's history on various topics, the Convention of States Project is gathering steam for a convention to propose "amendments that would impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress."
Given that all states will be represented, not only those that apply, and delegates from across the political spectrum will have a voice, the amendments that come about from this convention, upon which a majority can agree, will be some of the most important reforms we can conceive. Term limits for Congress and a balanced budget amendment are reforms with broad support among the states and the people, because these would do the most to stem the culture of corruption in Washington. And these are reforms Congress will never impose upon itself.
Some people voice concern that the delegates to such a convention could entirely rewrite the Constitution and claim that this is what the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia did. This is a misnomer. The Constitutional Convention was convened following the Annapolis Convention and had as its mandate "to render the Federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of the Union." That is precisely what they did. Not only is a convention under Article V limited in scope, but proposals not in line with the purpose of the convention could be ruled out of order. Then, even if by some miracle an amendment that severely curtailed our liberty passed the convention with a majority vote, it would still have to be ratified by three fourths of the states, which means that only one chamber in each of thirteen states could pronounce a given amendment dead on arrival. This is an insurmountable obstacle for all amendments save those with the greatest support among we the people.
Still others ask, if the government doesn't follow the Constitution now, why would it follow it after a convention? The reality is that the government does follow the Constitution – but the wrong one. They follow the Constitution as amended by the Supreme Court, not the Constitution as written. For the moment, we are still a nation of laws, and the government would adhere to any amendment arising from a convention and ratified by the states. For the moment...
If we fail to act soon, we will lose our last vestiges of liberty and the rule of law to a corrupt government, an over-reaching executive megalith, a complacent legislature, and a faithless judiciary. We the people want a peaceful process to reclaim our republic. Well, this is it, and the time is now. Those in Washington won't reform, so we must do it for them.