We Need a Convention of States

As of today, conventional wisdom is predicting more civil unrest in the days ahead, along with a spike in COVID-19 over the fall and winter, accompanied by the flu. In addition, conventional wisdom tells us the election may not be over on election night, due to the large number of mail-in ballots in many states, accompanied by other ballot counting snafus and voter fraud, particularly in democratically-controlled large cities.

I’m writing this today to remind Americans of something very important. Regardless of the 2020 election results, regardless of who wins or loses, or how it all goes down, or its aftermath, there is something much bigger at play here, and it has to do with the very future of our Republic. The reason why presidential elections are so bitterly contested, and why people are willing to break friendships, steal yard signs, deface private property, or even turn to violence, over a stupid presidential race, is because our federal government has way too much damn power!

You see, the nature of a federal government is supposed to be un-intrusive into the lives of common Americans. The government that should have the most effect on our lives is our city and county governments, along with our state governments to a lesser degree. Our federal government should have almost no influence over our daily lives at all. That has been completely turned upside-down after our first Civil War (1861-1865). I say “first,” because I don’t know if we’re about to have another one.

If Trump and the Republicans win in November, then we can expect the Democrats to begin working toward the 2024 presidential campaign almost immediately, and we can also expect the DNC to begin moving in a much more hard-Left direction, as it caters to the Marxist youth of the party. US Representatives, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), along with the 48 other Marxists in the US Congress (all Democrats), represent the future of the Democratic Party — the near future. The youth of the party is overwhelmingly Marxist now. The days of pandering to the old Democrats are long gone. So even if the Democrats don’t do so well in this election, or the next, they will eventually gain power again. When they do, their reign will look very different. It will be Marxist, like nothing this country has ever seen before in all of its history.

Of course, if Trump does win, we can expect endless riots and armed insurrections in America’s big cities. The Democrats will challenge the election results and try to nullify them through any means possible. The matter will be taken to the courts, and they will desperately try to void the election and force it into the Congress, so they (the Congress) can choose our president for us.

If Trump and the Republicans lose in November, then that would mean Joe Biden will be elected president. That being the case, we can’t expect his presidency to last long. Everyone knows his cognitive health is declining rapidly. With his scandal-ridden background, his failing cognitive health, and the fact that he’s already described himself as a “transition candidate,” it’s not unreasonable to assume that he will either step down for health reasons, or else be removed for the same. So that being the case, Vice President Kamala Harris will be our next president. Then we can expect the national transition to a Marxist dystopia to happen much sooner — months rather than years — followed by an armed insurrection on the political Right, which will be much worse than anything the political Left can dish out. A Right-wing insurrection will consist of a well-armed populace led by military veterans.

Again, all of this goes back to federal power. Elections wouldn’t be so critical on the federal level if the federal government didn’t have so much damn power. The fate of our nation wouldn’t hang on presidential election after election, if only we still had the Constitutional Republic our nation’s Founders intended.

There is a way to set things right again, and it’s already in the works. We just need to push it along a little faster. Whether you’re going to be a conservative living in Biden’s America, or you’re going to be a progressive living in Trump’s America, this is for you. A Convention of States would help all Americans, both progressive and conservative alike, because it would allow states to have more autonomy again, which is something none of us can imagine. There is nobody around who can remember the last time that happened. Not since before the Civil War have states been able to be autonomous, but it is exactly what our Founding Fathers envisioned, and hoped would remain in place.

The Convention of States (COS) is a trans-partisan, political movement that’s designed to return power back to the states, so they can govern themselves more autonomously once again. This means that the progressive Blue States will be able to govern their affairs as they see fit, without much federal intervention, while the conservative Red States will be able to do the same, without much federal intervention. What we’ll effectively have is two Americas, with two radically different ideas of what “being American” means, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We already have that, but the difference will be that conflict between the Red and Blue will be minimal, and that is EXACTLY what we need right now.

I’m a Missourian. Why should I care how they govern their affairs in New York? Then again, why should New Yorkers care how we govern our affairs in Missouri? We shouldn’t, but the problem is the federal government is so involved with both of us, that New York can’t do anything without affecting Missouri in some way, and the same is true vice versa. That has got to end. Once it does end, we’re all going to be a lot happier.

The Convention of States (COS) is the implementation of Article V from the United States Constitution. Contrary to the hysterical overreaction of those who oppose the COS, on both sides of the isle, the COS is not about “rewriting the Constitution entirely.” Nothing of the sort is called for in Article V, and nothing of the sort would ever be condoned by the people or the states in today’s political environment.

This is what Article V of the US Constitution actually says…

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

— Article V, Constitution of the United States

As you can see, the Constitution allows for two ways of amending the Constitution of the United States. The first way is through the US Congress. The second way is through a Convention of States (COS). In the case of the COS, it takes two-thirds of the states to call for one, and each amendment the COS proposes must still be ratified by three-fourths of the states in order to become constitutional law. In all cases, the final decision rests with state legislatures, or smaller state conventions they appoint. You can’t pass any amendments to the US Constitution without 3/4 approval by all the states, and you’ll notice that literally NOTHING here talks about “rewriting the constitution.” So you can put the hysterical speculation to rest. This is an amendment procedural process, nothing more.

So the question arises; why do we need it?

Well, when you have a corrupt federal government, that wants to keep all power concentrated unto itself, you can’t hardly expect the US Congress to propose amendments to the Constitution that might undermine that power.

For example, the people have been calling for congressional term-limits since I was a teenager back in the 1980s. Some legislation was passed back in the 1990s, but it was overruled by the US Supreme Court as unconstitutional. So now, the only way to get congressional term-limits is through an amendment to the US Constitution.

So… What does the Congress do?… Nothing!

In every congressional election, candidates say “there ought to be term limits,” or “I support congressional term limits.” Then we elect them to Congress, and the issue disappears, never to be spoken of again, until the next election. Do you really believe that Congress is going to pass a proposed amendment to the US Constitution that will limit their terms in office? No. Of course not. If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you. It’s like asking congressmen to vote themselves out of a job. They’re not going to do that.

The only way to get congressional term-limits is to propose the amendment outside of Congress, using a COS. Outside of a COS, it will never happen — never, ever, ever! If you want term-limits, the COS is the only possible way you’ll ever see it happen. Otherwise, forget it. The same is true with a lot of other amendments that limit federal power. You’ll never see those amendments proposed by the Congress. It’s either the COS, or else just give-up on ever reigning-in the abuse of federal power. You know what I’m saying here is true. Telling the Congress to reign in their own power is like letting the fox guard the hen house.

When it comes to reigning in federal abuse of power, and federal intrusion into state affairs, it’s going to be the COS or civil war. There’s no other way now.

So exactly what amendments are on the slate for the COS to propose? Well, ultimately, that is up to the convention delegates, once they’re appointed by our state legislatures. However, to give us an idea, a simulation was held on September 21-23 of 2016, and these were the amendments they proposed…

Simulated Convention of States, Sept. 21-23, 2016
  1. The public debt shall not be increased except upon a recorded vote of two-thirds of each house of Congress.
  2. Term limits on Congress
  3. Limiting federal overreach by returning the Commerce Clause to its original meaning
  4. Limiting the power of federal regulations by giving an easy congressional override
  5. Require a super-majority for federal taxes and repeal the 16th Amendment
  6. Give the states (by a 3/5ths vote) the power to abrogate any federal law, regulation or executive order.

If something like this were to really happen in an actual COS, what would be the net effect? The net effect would be a massive shift of power from the federal government back to the states. What would that mean? Well, it would mean that if you live in a Blue State, you could expect to see your state laws and regulations start to better reflect the ideals of the voters in that state. If you live in a Red State, you could expect to see your state laws and regulations start to better reflect the ideals of the voters in that state. And neither Blue nor Red States would have to concern themselves so much with the affairs of the other, or the federal government for that matter. If you like living in a Blue State, stay put. If you don’t, move to a Red State, and vice versa.

When we look at the intensity of political discourse in the United States now, it’s painfully obvious that if we allow the federal government to retain so much power, the Blues and the Reds will rip this country apart trying to wrestle for control of it. It may very well be the case that not only is the COS our only path to national happiness now, it may also be our only path left to peace. Civil war may be waiting for us, just after this election.

The map at the top of this essay shows the states as they stood on the COS as of the date of this writing — September 16, 2020. Thirty-three (33) states are needed to pass the COS and start the irreversible process of making it happen. Almost half that number (15) have passed the resolution already. Another eight (8) are in the process of passing it. And another sixteen have active legislation in preparation. That’s a total of twenty-four (24) states in play right now. If all twenty-four pass it, we will have a total of thirty-nine (39) states calling for a COS, and that six more than we need to make it happen. The momentum is definitely pushing in a COS direction, and the results of the 2020 election (regardless of however it turns out), could push us over the tipping point.

This needs to happen. For the sake of our nation’s children and our collective sanity, it must happen. We can’t keep ripping this nation apart in election after election. It’s all about federal power. Remove the federal power, give it back to the states, and you remove 90% of the problem that’s tearing us apart.

So, how can you do your part to help the COS along? Well, it’s simple…

First, find out where your state currently stands. The map above may help, but it could be dated too, especially if you’re reading this essay after September of 2020. I don’t know what things will look like in November, or in 2021, or thereafter. More states may have signed on by then. To see an updated and interactive map, visit this website: Convention of States.

Second, if your state hasn’t yet passed the Convention of States (COS) act, contact your STATE legislators (not federal, but state) and tell them to support the Convention of States (COS). You can find out who your state legislators are, and how to reach them, by clicking here. This step can also be covered in the third step below.

Third, regardless if your state has or hasn’t passed the Convention of States (COS) act, sign the petition in support of a COS here.

Fourth, consider volunteering to help. There are many ways you can do this, from becoming a social-media promoter to an in-person volunteer. You can also donate to the cause. Your options can be found here.

The bottom line is this. If we don’t reign-in federal power soon, this nation will be brought to the brink of another civil war. I’m not just speaking rhetorically. I’m talking about an actual war, with shooting and bloodshed, except it won’t be nearly as organized and tidy as the last Civil War (1861-1865) which only killed 600,000 Americans. This one may result in a death toll in the millions. It will be chaotic urban warfare, with random people shooting each other in the streets. The federal government will try to reign-in the violence by doing only what it knows how to do — grow and seize more power. Then we’ll have a dictator on our hands, either Biden or Trump, or somebody else. This will inevitably result in a bigger civil war, as the opposing party (whichever that may be) will not be able to accept defeat. Either we return power to the states, or else it’s over. I vote for returning power to the states. What say you?

Shane Schaetzel is an author of Catholic books and an Evangelical convert to the Catholic Church through Anglicanism. His articles have been featured on LifeSiteNews, ChurchMilitant, The Remnant Newspaper, Forward in Christ, and Catholic Online. You can read Shane’s books at ShaneSchaetzel.Com