Diary

Now More than Ever We Need a Convention of the States

Well it appears my last article caused a bit of a stir.  I would like to thank everyone for their comments.  Whether you agreed or disagreed with my thoughts on the future of the Republican Party the responses were thoughtful with many good points made on both sides.  That article has been removed because I violated Red State’s rule regarding third party advocacy.  I apologize for that infraction.  Moving forward I will focus on topics that hopefully we can all get behind as conservatives.  With that being said, I bring up the issue of a Convention of the States.

I first heard the details of this plan while listening to the Mark Levin show.  Mr. Levin brilliantly described the mechanism in the Constitution that provides citizens recourse to change their government when Federal officials become unresponsive to the will of those who elect them to office.  Many of you may already be aware of this tactic.  For those who are not, I would encourage you to read Mr. Levin’s book “The Liberty Amendments”.

In my view, if nothing else there are 2 primary amendments that need to come out of any convention of the States.  The first is term limits.  While recent election cycles have seen the removal of some very powerful incumbents, incumbency carries with it many advantages that make it difficult for new challengers to pull off electoral victories, especially when the full weight of a political party supports the incumbent.  Many political offices have become de facto life terms as voters dutifully return their senator or congressperson to office election after election.  This is not good for the character of the office holders (who will in most – but not all – cases become corrupted to varying degrees by their prolonged power) and it most certainly is not good for the health of the nation, as lobbyists and not citizens increasingly chart the course of the country.

Some have said that term limits would cause us to lose valuable experience, particularly in the Senate where we are told such experience is necessary.  I would ask you what meaningful skills do the likes of [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ], Dick Durbin, or even [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] bring to the table that could not be replaced by a fellow citizen from their respective states?  And if our form of government has indeed become so complex that we require a group of perpetual insiders manning the levers of power, then we need to rethink the nature of our government.

The bottom line is our representative form of government will work better when we expand the pool of people who are representing us.

The second new amendment needs to be a balanced budget amendment.  We simply cannot continue to spend more than we take in as a government.  If we continue down this road we will reach a point of total collapse (some have said we may have already passed a point of no return).  Sadly, we cannot trust our elected officials to make the hard choices required to balance a budget.  They simply will not do it.

Even if term limits are passed, we can’t trust that newly elected officials will have the fortitude to make the hard budget calls.  Indeed they might be tempted to spend even more to please lobbyists who can set them up with lucrative jobs after their brief tenure in office.  That is why a balanced budget amendment must be passed in conjunction with term limits so that there is a finite cap placed on the amount of funds available for politicians to work with.

There are many other worthy concepts for amendments, but these, in my opinion, are the most pressing.  I would encourage all conservatives to educate themselves on this topic and join in the work that has already begun to bring about these necessary changes to the Constitution.