Article V opponents argue that society is too corrupt to trust to a Convention of States. Aren’t the signs all around? School shootings, fatherless homes, muslim no-go zones, barbaric gang killings, government-sponsored abortion and sale of body parts, creeping proscription of Christianity, coarse manners, illiterate high school graduates, all point to an untrustworthy culture in decline. Not only is the decay evident across the whole of society, but thanks to decades of open borders society itself is fracturing into pieces, pieces of self-serving groups intent on beggaring every other group for government goodies.
To Article V opponents, societal corruption begins with and wells upward from the people into government. As John Adams related, republican free government rests on the foundation of a virtuous society; a horrid fate awaits our nation unless society reverses course and in turn sends better men and women to government. And soon.
What is behind the seeming dissolution of American civilization? I say that corruption does not rise upward. What ails America trickles and occasionally floods downward from the commanding heights of government, especially federal courts, on a society seemingly unarmed and unable to fight back. The answer is plain to see.
Republican society, being self-governed, demands a certain commonality of interests, traditions, and heritage. It needs a glue that connects individuals together such that they pursue common and national goals. The glue in America was and remains Christianity.
Alexis de Tocqueville cautioned in his 1835 reflections on Democracy in America, that the pursuit of liberty without religion hurts society because it “tends to isolate (people) from one another, to concentrate every man’s attention upon himself; and it lays open the soul to an inordinate love of material gratification.” In fact, Tocqueville says, “the main business of religions is to purify, control, and restrain that excessive and exclusive taste for well-being which men acquire in times of equality.”1
Christianity promotes the giving of oneself to a higher purpose beyond immediate gratification. While a perfectly Christian people is an impossibility, a culture that accepts Christian teachings tends to self-regulate and not need a multitude of feel-good laws that are incapable of taming people mired in vice rather than virtue.
Was American civil society ever self-regulating? Did it ever not need law enforcement agencies to keep the peace? Perhaps one of the few were those of the first settlers in Massachusetts. Clinging to the edge of a wilderness in a Lockean State of Nature, the ever-present threat of starvation and massacre by Indians kept its members in enough harmony to survive. When local police were not a 911 phone call away, and people cooperated enough to survive, what was the glue beyond the natural impulse to fight for their lives? The glue and rules of our ancestral societies was Christianity and the Bible.
Before the 1962 Engel v. Vitale US Supreme Court decision, which prohibited public school prayer, religious instruction in public schools was a local concern. Schools displayed the Ten Commandments and many offered religious instruction during school hours. Teenagers of the 1960s were no less rebellious than those today. However, in the 1960s they were taught and knew right from wrong.
Some fifty years later, Obama sought to crowd out remaining Christian religious institutions and take America down a path already blazed by a secular and dying Europe. The long-term goal of Obama’s social justice was to finish off the religious and then the civic and moral fabric of the nation.
Civil statutes, mere words on paper cannot fill the void of a non-self-regulating society where faith, conscience, family, and friends do not shape behavior. Without self-regulation, government must come down, and come down hard to keep the peace. Such efforts say the social justice ideologues, justify the erosion of Constitutional protections to free speech, the free expression of religion, association, and security in our persons, houses, and effects.
Yet all is not lost. There are signs of hope. Despite government’s efforts to eradicate Christianity, 247 million American adults (78%) are self-proclaimed Christians; much of our society naturally resists Godlessness and vice. Consider your own experiences and readings. Have you ever read of military members asking for homosexuals, transsexuals and muslims in their midst? Where did parents stand up at local school board meetings to demand the system keep their kids illiterate? What parent ever asked for Common Core? These decisions are largely out of the hands of the electorate. Federal courts and borrowed-in bureaucrats of the administrative state push harmful social justice diktats on a culture that largely doesn’t know of its power under Article V to reverse the rot.
As further evidence of pushback to Obama’s transformation and renewal of America’s first principles, society sent Donald J. Trump to the White House. Clearly, our culture is not as decrepit as Article V opponents believe. Instead of a Hillary Clinton spreading misery, President Trump leads America’s resurgence.
But America cannot rely on virtuous Presidents alone. Since scotus recognizes no power higher than itself, our republic is dangerously close to oligarchic rule when the wrong judges retire at the wrong time and the wrong President nominates their replacements. As an institution it is immune to Constitutional limits, especially the 9th, 10th, and 14th Amendments. To arrest further corruption of society and allow restoration of our Christian foundations, the scotus must be brought to heel. This can only happen when the states are once again represented in the Senate. Woe to the senators who consent to judges hostile to their employers. Repeal the 17th Amendment, and America will, in time, find relief from a federal judiciary dominated by social justice judges untethered to the Constitution.
Having shown that America is not too corrupt for self-government, I believe that We the Sovereign People need only realize that elections of publicly virtuous people like President Trump are insufficient to restore free government. We are dangerously close to an elective despotism, and while not a guarantee, only an Article V Convention of the States and repeal of the 17th Amendment can possibly save our republic.