An Article V Convention Would Harm the Republic

Richard D. Fry
November Patriots, Founder
General Counsel, Patriot Coalition
The Patriot Coalition

The John Hancock Committee’ Makes a Feeble Attempt to Answer the Question: “If the Federal Government Ignores the Current Constitution, Why Would They Adhere to an Amended Constitution?”

The John Hancock Committee for the States (JHC) gives numerous justification (excuses) for why the federal government cannot seem to follow the current constitution. (Again, failing to note the states are guiltily of such as well.) In short, JHC excuses could be summed up by saying the Framers were inexperienced, naive, simpletons who had no clue as to the (real) nature of mankind.

All of its excuses are anemic at best and some would be downright laughable if not involving such a serious matter as its proposed re-write of our federal Constitution, the firewall of our Liberty. These excuses count on the ignorance of the American citizens and the corruption of our public officers, who have taken a solemn oath to know and defend the Constitution.

Embedded in its deceptive assertions is its number one lie: that there is such a thing as a “Convention of States” under Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

Hancock says: “When the Founders wrote the Constitution, they did not anticipate modern-day politicians who take advantage of loopholes and vague phraseology.”

This is complete nonsense. The Framers were very aware of the nature of man and mankind’s inherent weaknesses, such as a lust for power and need to dominant over their fellow man. Many of the Framers were very well educated and very familiar with the history of governments going back millennia and familiar with the more contemporary political philosophy of the time such as that of John Locke.

Regarding trusting their fellow citizens in political office James Madison and Thomas Jefferson said:
“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.”
James Madison, Federalist No. 51 (1788)

“In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution.”

Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky Resolutions (1798)

In speaking of one of the delegates, James Wilson, it was said:

“He is well acquainted with man, and understands all the passions that influence him…”

Does this sound like men who had confidence in their public servants to toe the line set down by the Constitution? The Framers knew that politicians would indeed try to get around the Constitution for their own purposes. And, they knew the formation of “factions” (political parties) would only make such corruption worse.

Jefferson advised :

“On every question of Construction [let us] carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning man be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

George Washington, in his farewell address as President, stated:

“If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by amendment in the way the Constitution designates. But let there be no changes by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”

In fact, it did not take long for the usurpations to begin. Washington, as President , was advised by Thomas Jefferson (Secretary of State), James Madison and Edmund Randolph (Attorney General) that the creation of a national bank (privately directed) by Congress was unconstitutional. Such was being pushed by Alexander Hamilton(Secretary of Treasury). Washington did end up signing the charter for the bank, in part because it was set to automatically expire in twenty years.

President Adams violated the Constitution when he signed into law the Sedition Act of 1798. In response, the Kentucky (Jefferson) and the Virginia Resolves (Madison) were passed by their respective state legislatures and the upheaval around the Sedition Act resulted in the ” Revolution of 1800″ which swept Jefferson into the Presidency and many of his party members into office.

Jefferson knew he was violating the Constitution when he made, through James Madison, the Louisiana Purchase.

JHC admits its pretense in this regard when it says:

“Even though it is obvious to all reasonable Americans that the federal government is violating the original meaning of the Constitution, Washington pretends otherwise, claiming the Constitution contains broad and flexible language.”

If such illegality is “obvious to all reasonable Americans” then our public servants are even more apt to be aware of their Constitutional violations. They simply do not care. Our public servants no longer fear the people, for whom they work, nor the God, in whose name they take their oath of Support.

The Second Amendment is a prime example of the folly of this assertion by JHC. It is twenty-seven words long and about as direct as one can get. It clearly says the federal government may not infringe on the people’s right to “keep and bear Arms”. Yet, since 1926, over 130 years after the Constitution took effect, the central government has been infringing on such right in a wholesale fashion. And, the states have been going along with this Constitutional violation.

Then JHC pretends to be a soothsayer when it declares:

” The language they [the re-writers] use for these [future] amendments will be unequivocal. There will be no doubt as to their meaning, no possibility of alternate interpretations, and no way for them to be legitimately broken.”

How in the world can JHC possibly know this assertion to be true before a “convention” even starts? It is an absurd assertion.

JHC tells us our political system is broken and then tells us we must rely upon our political system to fix itself.

JHC gives us flimflam, doublespeak, and chicanery as usual.

It is “We the Peoples'” job to hold our public servants accountable. Until we do that no change in the constitution will do any good. Once we hold them accountable no change in the Constitution will be necessary.

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