Sovereignty unattended is sovereignty lost, and We the People have precious little of it left.
I challenge anyone to argue that our sovereignty isn’t slipping away. Oh, it is ultimately still ours, and we can always reclaim it through revolution, but the outcome of revolution is far dicier than the minimal risk of holding an Article V COS. What is certain is government officials and institutions are exercising sovereign powers never granted.
Through quiet acceptance of rogue federal court decisions and the regulatory and administrative states, We the People silently abandon that which is ours. An as yet unpunished Senior Executive Service/ Deep State/Obama cabal conspired to upturn Article II and all but declared civil war against the United States. Any one of over 600 lower federal judges can veto congressional immigration policy and prevent the President from keeping out or expelling dangerous people. Often, the President cannot even rescind the illegal executive orders of his predecessor.
So, what to do? Just keep voting? All despotic rulers rely on elections, and the democrat party is fast perfecting the art of stealing elections, and with it, our sovereignty. Do Article V COS opponents understand sovereignty? From their caterwaulings and dismal assumptions, they cowardly fear more of what MIGHT happen at a COS than what IS happening right now.
Readers who, like me, appreciate historical support in first principles, will enjoy Chapter III, Section XXV to Algernon Sidney’s Discourses on Government (1698). Here, in a single section in an obscure 17th century book is refreshing wisdom on the nature of men, government, and the vigilance necessary to keep a people free. Article V opponents, those spectators to our national demise who immaturely stand against the measures necessary to repair our republic, would benefit from Sidney.
Simple reason informs us in our daily lives to keep that which is good and discard that which is not. Why do so many deny the same logic applied to government? In words that mirror the Preamble to our Constitution, Sidney wrote that it is our duty “to constitute that which is most conducing to the establishment of justice and liberty.”
Sidney was an English nobleman educated in the Bible and experienced in government. From both he learned that “nothing can be so perfectly framed as government as not to give some testimony of human imbecility, and frequently to stand in need of repairs and amendments. Many things are unknown to the wisest, and the best men can never wholly divest themselves of passions and affections.” Our Framers denied perfection in their Constitution; Article V is testament to their humility.
No natural body, wrote Sidney, including government, was ever so well-tempered and organized as not to be subject to diseases, wounds or other accidents, and to need medicines and other occasional helps as well as nourishment and exercise.
Sidney argued for frequent examination of government to root out intentional or unintentional corruption and mistakes: “Some men observing this, have proposed a necessity of reducing every state, once in an age or two, to the integrity of its first principles. And this being so, those who would admit of no corrections would render errors perpetual and deprive mankind of the benefits of wisdom, industry, experience and the right use of reason.”
Such are the horrid corruptions of our Constitution that no single Article V COS can possibly deal with them all.
It is better to attempt reforms, even at the expense of mistakes, because these can likewise be corrected. There can be no greater mark of a most brutish stupidity than for men to continue in an evil way just because others had brought them into it.
If one nation may justly choose the government that seems best to them, and continue or alter it according to the changes of times and things, the same right must belong to others and nothing can better show the wisdom and virtue or the vices and folly of nations, than the use they make of this right. Consider Sidney vis a vis our Declaration of Independence. Do we not have the right and duty to “alter” a government that’s become “destructive of its ends?”
No nation’s laws were sent from Heaven. They were made by imperfect men according to the light they had. We inherit the same right, and if we find ourselves prejudiced by any laws they made, we are duty-bound to repeal them.
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few. The manna of popular liberty must be gathered each day or it is rotten. The living sap of today outgrows the dead rind of yesterday. The hand entrusted with power becomes, either from human depravity or esprit de corps, the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continued oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot; only by unintermitted agitation can a people be sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity.1
A regular, if not annual Article V COS is the peaceful means at hand to inform the Deep State that We the People are a higher power, and we stand ready to umpire their actions. Imagine the effect! Without reclamation of our sovereignty, America is doomed to Aristotle’s cycle of republican decline first into democracy and ultimately into despotism.
Reference: Sidney, A. (2012). Discourses Concerning Government. Memphis: General Books LLC.