I say "now" because: this push is not a new phenomenon resulting from our current "dire" situation, it has been going on since the 1960s. i Also, this effort has been by Progressives and "conservatives" both.ii
The movement was initiated and funded in the early 1960s by the Ford Foundation and later by a Rockefeller Foundation.iii The Ford Foundation funded a not for profit to draft and promote a new Constitution. A Ford Foundation Director, Rex Tugwell, lead the operation as Director for the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI). iv
Mr. Tugwell, an Ivy League intellectual, was a great choice. As the head of FDR's New Deal "Brain Trust" he had experience developing and implementing programs to change American society. v He was also a supporter of regional governance i.e., "soviets".vi
In 1934, the Chicago Tribune published a cartoon captioned "Depleting the resources of the soundest government in the world." vii It depicts some of FDR's administration in a horse drawn wagon shoveling money out. Driving the wagon is Rexford G. Tugwell. Next to the wagon on a sign it says: “Plan of Action for U.S. Spend! Spend! Spend Under the guise of recovery - bust the government - blame the capitalist for the failure-junk the constitution and declare a dictatorship.”
Tugwell gathered a cadre of over 100 fellow intellectuals and academics. Ten years and $25 million later they had a finished product, the "CONSTITUTION FOR THE NEWSTATES OF AMERICA." viii
In the mid 1980s they tried to get former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger, then chair of the Constitutional Bicentennial Committee, to support an Article V convention and showed him their new Constitution. In a letter to Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum, the Judge said that the "professors" were proposing to do away with the states and in their place set up federal regions that were subordinate to the central government (that in D.C.) ix The Judge was vehemently opposed to their efforts.
Now new NGOs and organizations are promoting changing our Constitution. x On the “conservative" side we have the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and on the progressive side we have the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), and there are more, many more. xi These two have even supported each other's efforts. xiiIn 1995 the NCSL came out with the model resolutions for the Conference of States.xiii
It seems these folks make a push for an Article V convention about every decade or so and this is the push for the 21st century. It is the biggest and best organized yet. And, each time there is a crisis or sense of urgency.
They say we have to do something, that we cannot just stand by and do nothing as the ship goes down. But, that is a false dichotomy. Our choice is not their solution or no solution. And, to just do something for the sake of doing something may end up like drilling holes in the hull of the Titanic to let the water out.
The promoters of this effort recently put together a meeting of state legislators at Mount Vernon, VA. to plan the "Convention of States". There were about 100 participants from 32 states. xiv
Rep. Kelly Townsend from Arizona, an attendee, said "...that this process [Article V convention] should be transparent, and free from any corporate or special interest influence. This is an effort by the people, and needs to remain as such."xv What naiveté! This effort has been funded and promoted by "special interests" from the very beginning but she is not aware of the history.
The promoters of this convention are trying to do an end run around the citizens and go to the state legislators who have been selling our Liberty out to the central government (in D.C.) and special interests for some time now. The two biggest special inters are the GOP and Democrat parties.
The real kicker is their solution will not cure the problem they have identified and they have misidentified the real problem. They say the problem is we have a runaway Congress, or "federal" government that does not follow the Constitution.
Their solution is to amend the Constitution. Really!
So, if we rewrite the Constitution the politicians who have been violating their solemn oath to support the Constitution will all of the sudden begin being faithful? This is like taking down a speed limit sign and putting a new one in its place because drivers are not obeying the limit. The problem is not the sign. The problem is that no one is enforcing the restriction.
In reality "We the People" are the traffic cop who is suppose to be monitoring our politicians and holding them accountable.
This is not only our patriotic duty but our moral duty if you believe that God had a hand in creating this Republic and the gifts of unmatched Liberty and prosperity the American people have enjoyed are gifts from God. The Founders establish a participatory government in which the citizens were an integral part. We are the mortar which holds it all together. And, we have been absentee owners.
Amending the Constitution is playing to our self inflicted ignorance and laziness. These folks are tacitly telling us not to worry or take responsibly for the condition of the government. They will simply change the speed sign and everything will be OK again and we can go back to the same ole life and not break a sweat or dirty our hands. If we do that we will get the same ole result.
The failure of our government is our failure. It is a result of our laziness and ingratitude for the great blessings we have enjoyed for over two hundred years. The problem is ours to fix and we would be foolish to leave it in the hands of those who corrupted it to begin with.
An Article V convention is not the solution and is not worth the risk.
Tell them "THE OWNERS ARE BACK AND WE ARE NOT AMUSED!", then start cleaning house!
Richard D. Fry