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Convention of States Would Empower the People • Thomas Sowell

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posted on Jan, 11 2016 @ 11:40 PM
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I have a lot of respect for Thomas Sowell so, I was a little surprised when I heard that he has substantially more confidence in a convention of states than I have had to date.

I think we should repeal the 16th and 17th amendments but, near as I can tell, this could only be done by adding yet another amendment. If it could be carefully crafted and the process could somehow be limited by utilizing a convention of states, it may well be a viable option.

My fear is that opening up the constitution for amendment during this trend of wildly unconstitutional policies is inviting disaster as it could allow the permanent installation of a variety of counterproductive amendments. I simply do not trust our representatives in government.

Sowell makes some important points, chief among them being that much of the opposition to a convention is coming from progressives who seem to be adopting an uncharacteristically traditionalist attitude toward the document.

Last century, the progressives amended it four times in eight years. This sudden apprehension toward change is puzzling. Absent a constitutional convention, judicial “interpretation” has managed to erode much of our protections without any input from the people or states.

I am forced to concede that we may be at a ‘now or never’ crossroads requiring decisive action on our part.



Convention of States Would Empower the People • Thomas Sowell



The judicial pretense of merely “interpreting” the Constitution is just part of the dishonesty in this process. The underlying claim that it is almost impossible to amend the Constitution was belied during the very years when the progressive movement was getting underway in the early 20th century.

The Constitution was amended four times in eight years! Over the years since it was adopted, the Constitution has been amended more than two dozen times. Why, then, is the proposal to call a convention of states to propose – just propose – amendments to the Constitution considered such a radical and dangerous departure?




Legally, it is no departure at all. The Constitution itself lists a convention of states among the ways that amendments can be officially proposed. It has not yet been done, but these proposals will have to be put to a vote of the states, three-fourths of whom will have to agree before any amendment can become law.

Is it better to have the Constitution amended de facto by a 5 to 4 vote of the Supreme Court? By the unilateral actions of a president? By administrative rulings by anonymous bureaucrats in federal agencies, to whom federal judges “defer”?

The idea that a convention of states could run amok and rewrite the Constitution overlooks the fact that it would take the votes of two-thirds of the states just to convene a convention, and then three-fourths of the states to actually pass an amendment.




Why are “We the People” to be kept out of all this, through our elected representatives, when these are the very words with which the Constitution of the United States begins?

Despite the left’s portrayal of themselves as champions of the people, they consistently try to move decisions out of the hands of the general public and into the hands of officials insulated from the voters, such as unelected federal judges and anonymous bureaucrats with iron-clad job protection.

No wonder they don’t want to have a convention that would restore a Constitution which begins with “We the People.”

edit on 11-1-2016 by greencmp because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 12:15 AM
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The Constitution, as originally drafted, was for 13 "States" to become united, yet equal. In the 1700s, the term "State" was meant to indicate an individual "Country"... each with separate laws, but united. We are no longer that. Now, we are 50 states being strong-armed by a money hungry corporate-funded nightmare.



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 12:24 AM
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I too agree that at this point a convention could be steered in the wrong direction.

It is my opinion, that for a convention to be successful the following must be present:

(1) Convention Lead, or Majority of participants with nothing less than a Jacksonian Mindset
(2) Desire to remove private banking and special interest from politics
(3) Resolve to put 'government' back into it's little box in the back of people's everyday lives
(4) Stomach to purge bureaucracy and corruption from within the government
(5) Plan beyond our 'capital' driven economy - capital made us, but it will still inevitably run out. I personally like 'resource based'

This is just my initial take on the topic, had a similar discussion with my Pops over the Holidays. Look forward to seeing where this thread goes.



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 12:29 AM
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originally posted by: madmac5150
The Constitution, as originally drafted, was for 13 "States" to become united, yet equal. In the 1700s, the term "State" was meant to indicate an individual "Country"... each with separate laws, but united. We are no longer that. Now, we are 50 states being strong-armed by a money hungry corporate-funded nightmare.


You are close to the libertarian position in your recognition of the nature of our federal republic.

However, I get the impression that you think that money is responsible for corruption. Corrupt officials and their crony counterparts certainly do benefit financially but, I think that blaming capitalism is not an accurate assessment.

In my mind, this is similar to the idea that guns cause murder. If you look a little further into the violations of rights and miscarriages of justice that we have endured, it is the frivolous delegation of power to central authority which have produced the damage to our individual freedoms, not simply money.

Government is actually incapable of satisfying the material wants and needs of individuals. To expect it to is not reasonable and to blame the tools rather than the wielder overlooks the inevitability of power to be corrupted.

"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority."

-Lord Acton



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 12:29 AM
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originally posted by: J.B. Aloha
I too agree that at this point a convention could be steered in the wrong direction.

It is my opinion, that for a convention to be successful the following must be present:

(1) Convention Lead, or Majority of participants with nothing less than a Jacksonian Mindset
(2) Desire to remove private banking and special interest from politics
(3) Resolve to put 'government' back into it's little box in the back of people's everyday lives
(4) Stomach to purge bureaucracy and corruption from within the government
(5) Plan beyond our 'capital' driven economy - capital made us, but it will still inevitably run out. I personally like 'resource based'

This is just my initial take on the topic, had a similar discussion with my Pops over the Holidays. Look forward to seeing where this thread goes.


I agree, I have less confidence in the ability to restrain special interests from politics because politics is all about special interests.

The only way to subdue the consequences of the inevitable influence of special interests on politics is to dramatically limit the power that politicians and state officials have.
edit on 12-1-2016 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 12:46 AM
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a reply to: greencmp

A Libertarian view.... yeah. Our Federal Government has become as bloated as a fat kid at an all you can eat buffet. It is time for things to change. We live in N. Idaho, we are tough and self-reliant... we DON'T need a "nanny" state...

AND, for the record... if some jihadist decides to mess with us, they will get a buck shot shampoo, followed by two Belgian Malinois... we aren't worried...


edit on 12-1-2016 by madmac5150 because: Nuts!



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 12:51 AM
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originally posted by: madmac5150
a reply to: greencmp

A Libertarian view.... yeah. Our Federal Government has become as bloated as a fat kid at an all you can eat buffet. It is time for things to change. We live in N. Idaho, we are tough and self-reliant... we DON'T need a "nanny" state...


I agree, perhaps I misunderstood (or unfairly projected) your reference to money as the root of these evils.

That's the impression I get when I hear variations on the "corporate overlords" meme. It isn't that preferred insiders aren't corporations but, every other necessary and helpful company is also a corporation so it seems a disservice to our own best interests to summarily impugn all corporations because the handful of chosen winners are abusing their influence.
edit on 12-1-2016 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 12:56 AM
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originally posted by: greencmp

originally posted by: madmac5150
a reply to: greencmp

A Libertarian view.... yeah. Our Federal Government has become as bloated as a fat kid at an all you can eat buffet. It is time for things to change. We live in N. Idaho, we are tough and self-reliant... we DON'T need a "nanny" state...


I agree, perhaps I misunderstood (or unfairly projected) your reference to money as the root of these evils.


The older I get, the more I realize... money is NOT the root of all evil... BIG government is...



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 12:59 AM
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originally posted by: madmac5150

originally posted by: greencmp

originally posted by: madmac5150
a reply to: greencmp

A Libertarian view.... yeah. Our Federal Government has become as bloated as a fat kid at an all you can eat buffet. It is time for things to change. We live in N. Idaho, we are tough and self-reliant... we DON'T need a "nanny" state...


I agree, perhaps I misunderstood (or unfairly projected) your reference to money as the root of these evils.


The older I get, the more I realize... money is NOT the root of all evil... BIG government is...


Aye, that it is, that it is.




posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 01:21 AM
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originally posted by: greencmp

originally posted by: madmac5150

originally posted by: greencmp

originally posted by: madmac5150
a reply to: greencmp

A Libertarian view.... yeah. Our Federal Government has become as bloated as a fat kid at an all you can eat buffet. It is time for things to change. We live in N. Idaho, we are tough and self-reliant... we DON'T need a "nanny" state...


I agree, perhaps I misunderstood (or unfairly projected) your reference to money as the root of these evils.


The older I get, the more I realize... money is NOT the root of all evil... BIG government is...


Aye, that it is, that it is.



The Founders warned us to stay out of foreign entanglements... yet... here we are. Insanity....



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 01:46 AM
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I am not qualified to comment on the OP

But being on who is deeply concerned about the direction of gov and the seemingly total corruption of all branches, i would like to see a convention but have no trust in the people who would make decisions.

I don't know how it works but I think the people should vote.



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 01:52 AM
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originally posted by: liveandlearn
I am not qualified to comment on the OP

But being on who is deeply concerned about the direction of gov and the seemingly total corruption of all branches, i would like to see a convention but have no trust in the people who would make decisions.

I don't know how it works but I think the people should vote.


Sowell's argument has forced me to reconsider my own distrust for a convention.

My attitude up until now has been to only repeal amendments and to do it with a plebiscite.

Three fourths of the states is a high bar and there is some evidence that the majority of the states are sympathetic to individual liberty or, at least, sympathetic to distributed state power.



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 01:52 AM
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originally posted by: madmac5150

originally posted by: greencmp

originally posted by: madmac5150

originally posted by: greencmp

originally posted by: madmac5150
a reply to: greencmp

A Libertarian view.... yeah. Our Federal Government has become as bloated as a fat kid at an all you can eat buffet. It is time for things to change. We live in N. Idaho, we are tough and self-reliant... we DON'T need a "nanny" state...


I agree, perhaps I misunderstood (or unfairly projected) your reference to money as the root of these evils.


The older I get, the more I realize... money is NOT the root of all evil... BIG government is...


Aye, that it is, that it is.



The Founders warned us to stay out of foreign entanglements... yet... here we are. Insanity....


Our interference in external politics is certainly not beneficial to the American people.

I am an atypical libertarian in that I do believe that our enemies have declared war on us and that we must respond with force.

It's partly because I still have some nationalist leanings but, moreover, the US truly is the last bastion of potential liberty left in this world. If we fail to combat the enemies of freedom and liberty, we won't be the only victims. I believe these are two separate issues that deserve to be separately considered.
edit on 12-1-2016 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 02:27 AM
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a reply to: greencmp
I am a 21 year USAF vet... retired MSgt. I have deployed all over the world. I am no stranger to International politics. Face it... the rest of the world hates us, and would love nothing more than to see us fail... sadly, our sitting President has the same opinion.

He continually denies terrorism in the U.S... and when U.S. citizens are killed, he blows it off and demands "gun control"

Here is a message:

"Gun Control" means an ability to shoot 3" 12-Ga buck-shot loads with accuracy.

Beyond that, our Belgian Malli's WILL take care of the rest. Promise....



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 02:57 AM
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a reply to: madmac5150

"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles."

-Jeff Cooper
edit on 12-1-2016 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 03:38 AM
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a reply to: greencmp

My shotgun has no morale stature. Our main need for it, is to scare off predators near our chicken pen. I have zero desire to hurt any wildlife here. However, if a "guest" goes after our chickens... it WILL end up being grilled



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 03:39 AM
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While I agree with Mr. Sowell in the long term, I think (at least judging from my own state) there is some homework to do first.

Specifically, voting in local and state officials that AREN'T making decisions based on how many Federal dollars might be involved.

ETA: Great find, s&f!
edit on 12-1-2016 by CantStandIt because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 11:36 AM
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originally posted by: CantStandIt
While I agree with Mr. Sowell in the long term, I think (at least judging from my own state) there is some homework to do first.

Specifically, voting in local and state officials that AREN'T making decisions based on how many Federal dollars might be involved.

ETA: Great find, s&f!


Yes, if we could get constitutionalists back into government our chances would be greatly improved. Of course, if we had constitutionalists in government, we wouldn't be having these problems.

It may be that the political backlash against these recent years of failed socioeconomic interventionism may provide enough of an impetus to make it happen. I see people beginning to recognize how far back these problems began.

We do need a well thought out strategy though, it is time to take some political pointers from the masters of politics, the Democrats.

We shouldn't be ashamed to not have the experience and expertise already. After all, ordinary people contributing to society have no use for professional political acumen, it is a shameful skill set to be shunned by civilized men.



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 05:29 PM
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a reply to: greencmp

Who's to blame? The corporations for playing the game in order to survive or the politicians for allowing the game to be played in the first place?

Who knows who first set it all up ... that question likely goes back as far as Rome or Athens or further ... Mesopotamia? Wherever there have been officials who have the power to make decisions binding as law and those who could benefit from those decision to the detriment of their competitors, that game has been played.

What needs to happen is a stripping of the body of law back to its base to put everyone back on even footing among other things. Remove the complexities that temp people to try to make loopholes.



posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 05:48 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

I think you just invented a much-needed grass roots political party.... the Simplify Party.




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