Are power-hungry oligarchs desperate enough to tear up the US Constitution to get what they want? Yup.
The rise of non-conforming candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump represent what America’s donor class fears most. They are the product of what can happen in a democracy when millions of people wake up to the fact that the system is rigged against them and they suddenly decide to get out and vote. But while Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are terrifying America’s oligarchs by challenging their political thuggery, neither candidate represents what Americans should fear the most.
An Article V Constitutional Convention Is Closer Than You Think
While most Americans have been going about their daily lives, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has quietly been gathering support from the required 34 states to call for an Article V convention to amend to US Constitution. What makes this different from the more traditional amendment process is the fact congress is obligated to open such a convention, and that once an Article V “con-con” is called, the entire constitution can be exposed to radical changes. It can even be torn up and completely rewritten.
The New Haven Register claims an Article V convention would be nothing short of a disaster, especially if all hell breaks loose and it becomes a runaway convention.
“The Constitution offers no guidance on how a convention would work. Despite the claims of convention enthusiasts, anything could be up for grabs. Many legal scholars agree that there is no way to limit a constitutional convention to one issue, and ultimately a convention could open itself to chaos. And that’s not the only problem. The Constitution offers no guidance on how convention delegates would be chosen or apportioned among the states or who would preside.
It all means every Americans’ most basic rights and civil liberties could be in jeopardy in a convention. In a time when big money dominates our politics and gerrymandered districts are common, it is unlikely that the interests of everyday voters would be represented in a convention.”
For anyone who has been following the pattern of erosion to our voting rights, civil rights, and the rapid fire GOP attacks on women’s rights and the LGBT community, an Article V “con-con” should come as no surprise. It’s the fastest way to eliminate just about everyone’s rights in one fell swoop – except of course for the rights of the oligarchs, who have been frustrated by congress’ inability to rapidly hand them the complete deregulation of every economic and environmental law ever written, and the repeal of just about every social, labor and civil rights advancement of the past century. In short, they want cheap US labor and the unfettered ability to poison our country with pollution, while pissing away taxpayer money on Wall Street at will.
Make no mistake, this has been in the works for ages. Unfortunately, it’s viability has been accelerated since 2010, when the Supreme Court made it legal for billionaires to buy our elections with all the money they want.
You Get What You Pay For In A Corrupt Political System
Since Citizens United v FEC became law, Republicans with piles of donor class cash have taken over the House, (which was quickly gerrymandered to virtually guarantee the reelection of unaccountable legislators), the Senate, and have completely taken over the legislatures in 30 states. That’s a very handy number when you wrap it into the 34 states needed to tear up the US Constitution.
As of March 14, 2016, In These Times claims that ALEC, which is substantially funded by the Koch brothers, is only 6 states shy of the magic number. According to Tusla World‘s count, “Thirty states already have signed off on an Article V convention. Oklahoma could be No. 31.” Connecticut may be joining the vote count in April as well. Either way, once the 34 state threshold is reached, congress is required to open up our founding document for rewrites for the first time since 1787.
In West Virginia, the Gazette-Mail claims, “Legislators were pleaded with to reject the Article V resolution. They chose not to listen to the people but to the counsel of organizations like the corporate funded ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and the Soros funded Wolf-Pac.”
“Not listening to the people” has gotten to be a bad habit in this country. If the donor class oligarchs get the 34 states they need for an Article V convention by their target date of July 4, 2016, we may be lucky to keep our 1st Amendment right to free speech. And it’s frightening to think of what could happen to the Bill of Rights.
There is a way to stop this, but it requires action by American citizens. States that have already passed Article V bills can also rescind them. You can find information on how to contact your state legislature here. Once you have that, you can fill in your state representatives name on this petition or find a similar one by doing your own internet search.
Featured image: By Howard Chandler Christy – The Indian Reporter, Public Domain
*** Maryann Tobin is the author of “Afterlife: The Journey Of A Dog’s Spirit”
This heartwarming story is told through the eyes of an animal spirit that has been sent back to earth in the body of a small dog. His mission is to help a young woman discover that their destiny’s are more connected to the powers of the Spirit World than either of them ever imagined. If you’ve ever shared your life with a dog or any other pet, you will never look at them the same way again after reading this book. Afterlife: The Journey of a Dog’s Spirit is available now on Amazon.com.