Alexander Hamilton wasn’t much of a state’s rights supporter. Because of his Revolutionary War experiences he favored a strong and centralized government in which the states had little participation. Yet the ink was hardly dry on the Constitution when Hamilton wrote of the rather obvious in Federalist #85:
“By the fifth article of the plan, the Congress will be obliged “on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the States [which at present amount to nine], to call a convention for proposing amendments, . . . The words of this article are peremptory. The Congress “shall call a convention.” Nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body. And of consequence, all the declamation about the disinclination to a change vanishes in air.”
This proponent of a vigorous central government recognized the simple fact that as component members of the republic, the sovereign people via their states retained their natural societal right to operate outside of congress to amend THEIR Constitution for matters great or small.
Here is James Madison in Federalist #43:
“That useful alterations will be suggested by experience, could not but be foreseen. It was requisite, therefore, that a mode for introducing them should be provided. The mode preferred by the convention seems to be stamped with every mark of propriety. It guards equally against that extreme facility, which would render the Constitution too mutable; and that extreme difficulty, which might perpetuate its discovered faults. It, moreover, equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other.”
Depending on one’s source, congress has received between four hundred and eight hundred state applications since 1789. Where the call to convention? The fact that congress today doesn’t know the number implies an unwillingness to ever call a convention! In other words, since hundreds of applications are peppered in the vast files of the Archivist of the United States, and congress has never called a convention in the past, why should the nation trust congress to do so in the future?
Well, that is exactly what proponents of identical applications would have us believe. Several states so far have submitted similar, near identical applications to curb the power and jurisdiction of the government. This noble and uplifting effort is picking up traction and I expect the tally to grow.
If I am correct, and for the sake of argument, let’s say the number approaches the high 20s in a year or two. The media will do its best to keep this quiet. It isn’t in their interest to acknowledge widespread dissatisfaction. However, behind the scenes establishment politicians and dependent government agencies will sound a silent alarm amongst themselves. Their goal will be to keep the tally from reaching 34, which is the 2/3 minimum necessary to call an Article V convention.
The establishment will use every available carrot, every stick to ensure the remaining state assemblies and senates either refuse to pass an application, or don’t even propose one in the first place. Critical state assembly speakers, senate majority leaders, committee chairman, one and all will be pressured with mixed promises of higher office, or wealth or the disclosure of perhaps embarrassing personal events dug up by establishment operatives.
Make no mistake. The establishment, the uniparty cannot bear a convention of the sovereign people’s delegates. No resource or threat will be withheld in this battle to keep their gravy train on its tracks.
If I am right, and the above scenario plays out, the number of identical applications will fall short of 34. When that happens, the media will discover a new yet phony appreciation of the Constitution. They will hail the shortfall as the reflection of a wise people satisfied with the course of current events. Sure, there are some national problems, but they don’t necessitate a dangerous convention of the crazy states to deal with them.
A precedent will then be set, one that will be as enduring as any foul opinion from the scotus. At no time ever again will dissimilar subject matter applications be tallied together. It will mean that another article of the Constitution is once again corrupted from its purpose. The uniparty establishment will keep its grip on power while the nation suffers.
An unamendable form of government, just exactly where we were in 1787 under the Articles of Confederation will be practically written in stone.
Wave adios to free government, forever, unless the states realize the impending constitutional disaster in time.