In recent years both the Right and Left have launched initiatives to hold a constitutional convention (Con-Con) to settle some real serious issues on the future direction of these United States. Promoters on both sides devoutly believe that there exist provisions and they have expertise to implement them to insure that the con-con will not veer out of control and result in new amendments deleterious to their respective causes or worse. I remain a skeptic about whether such control is possible, let alone its being correctly exercised.
In my continuing study of the matter I have talked at length to eloquent Con-Con proponents like Mark Meckler. Recently I discovered that Mr Bob Hren, an intellect and learned friend, who has had similar concerns, studied the matter, and written a revelatory summary on Con-Con. Bob is a retired engineer and lawyer who lives in Nevada County, and now busies himself with more genteel pursuits like making fine wines. I wanted to share his thoughts with RR readers, and Bob agreed to edit his analysis for more broader audiences interested in this historical undertaking. You can download the entire six-page document here. Download Con-Con_BobHren_4-18-15
But before you dive into the specifics, let me give away the punch line by reproducing the paper’s conclusion –
In summary, advocating for a Con-Con is a very risky path for conservatives to pursue. It plays into the hands of those extreme liberals who would place the USA under UN governance and thus runs the very real risk of losing the sacred liberties and rights embodied in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Conversely, the potential rewards of restating existing states’ rights or of an ineffective balanced budget amendment are small or insignificant. There is absolutely no assurance that a Con-Con can be called on a limited number of topics, potentially resulting in a runaway convention that emasculates the Constitutional protections of liberties.
Reliance on one fourth of the states to ratify only conservative-backed amendments is a false hope given the massive PR and propaganda campaign that would be mounted. Conservative state legislators in swing states would be faced with overwhelming media and public pressure and virtually unlimited monetary inducements to just go along with a “modernization” of the Constitution that would also include some ineffective conservative amendments. This is the key backstop that conservative proponents of a Con-Con rely upon, but it is an extremely risky position. Expecting conservative state elected legislators, especially ones facing a term limit, not to succumb to human failings under such pressure is unrealistic. The result would be an emasculation of our liberties and rights.
By pursuing a top down Con-Con, conservatives are also distracted from more proven methods of effective governance; that is from the bottom up rather than from the top down.
We need to back away from this Con-Con precipice, focus on electing good officials at all levels, and take back our country one vote and one election at a time.