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Article V: A Potential Path to Restoring State Sovereignty, Citizen Responsibility and the Original Intent of the Founders

Today there are two strongly promoted opinions regarding the advantages and disadvantages of a Constitutional Convention that could be activated by the application of at least 34 of the several states as outlined in Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

One purports that such a move would likely put the nation and her 224 year-old charter in mortal jeopardy by risking a “runaway convention.”
The other claims that it is the right of the several sovereign states to exercise Article V and direct the actions of such a convention.
The truth is we will never really know what could happen in such a convention until it actually occurs.
The original Convention of Philadelphia was in fact a “run away” convention, but by all accounts, that was actually a good thing.
It was a good thing because the members of that convention were for the most part, intelligent, moral, and wise men that were willing to put aside their egos and search for a solution of governance that promoted individual freedom, state sovereignty and national liberty.
Today we suffer morally and fiscally from a “run away” congress.
Those who fear a “con-con” are actually reacting to the fact that there are few in congress that share the qualities of character and self-restraint epitomized by those august members of our first Constitutional Convention.
After all is said and done, what really matters is the character and wisdom of the individual members of Congress.
If a convention were called for by the application of the states, Congress would determine all of the details of the convention; its duration, location, membership and agenda.
Would you trust today’s Congress to establish the parameters for a Constitutional Convention that could have the power to alter or destroy our freedoms and our very way of life?  If the answer is no, then we are in worse shape than we imagine.
We don’t need a con-con to destroy the U.S Constitution, congress already wields such power and is currently passing legislation on a regular basis that destroys the very liberty they have sworn to uphold.
What Americans and America need is an infusion of patriotism and political virtue.
We need an opportunity, a critical moment, an instant of clarity that defines who we are and what it means to be Americans, to live in a Republic and to be responsible citizens supporting and engaging in our democratic-republican system of government.
In a democratic-republic, if the government fails, the people have no one to blame but themselves.
If 34 states were to call for the activation of Article V, there is no doubt that many issues could be addressed; a balanced federal budget, the banning  of abortion or flag burning, giving states the right to determine the apportionment of their legislative districts, term limits, and many others.
It is certain that many Americans who currently stand on the side-lines would be pulled into the debate by sheer gravitational force and take an active part in determining the outcome of the question.
How is this bad?  How could such a process of the people, by the people and for the people be any worse than the missteps Congress is currently making?
I don’t have all of the answers, but such a process would certainly drive me to look for them.
Regardless the outcome of a state initiated convention, 38 states would have to ratify any new amendments.
The citizens of 38 states or their representatives would have to ponder, discuss, debate, and argue until a majority in each of the 38 distinct and culturally diverse populations agreed on a single idea.
What would be the odds?
Worried that people are easily swayed? Then get out there and do some persuading yourself.
At the end of the day, we either die a slow death as congress whittles away at the original intent of the founders or we allow the pot to be stirred— actively trusting God and ourselves to guide us to a more promising future.

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Comments (25)

  • boyd

    I am interested in knowing where and when this might take place. Thanks Boyd

    September 5, 2011 at 2:24 am
    • Shanon Brooks

      I refer you to the Goldwater Institute. Thanks for checking in.

      September 5, 2011 at 9:07 am
  • Eve Hatton

    When you talk about the states being sovereign, do you mean the state governments, the people as a group within each state, or do you mean that individual people are sovereign and so their justly-formed governments are not subject to other governments, only to the individuals who create or ratify or choose them? Some people believe that individuals give up their sovereignty to their government when they enter society or that sovereignty only applies to groups of people.
    I believe that each individual person is sovereign (in a strictly earthly sense – in an eternal sense, God is our sovereign) based on studying the principles taught by a majority of the founding fathers, principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and reading the definition of sovereignty and other related words. “Sovereign” means supreme in power; superior to all others. If state governments or groups of people are sovereign, then there is no inherent right for an individual to own property, to do business, or any of the other activities necessary to preserve our lives. If individuals are not sovereign, their governments or the groups to which they belong can make any and all decisions for them. I believe both our state and federal governments are accountable to the people individually. We can act in groups to be more effective, but each person is inherently free to decide for himself when a government has overstepped the authority he is willing to delegate and take action to reprimand his government. We have a system that allows us to do that by voting.
    In addition, a careful reading of the U.S. Constitution shows that state governments are not superior in power to the federal government – state governments are bound by federal laws and the federal government was granted power to put down insurrections by any group of people (including governments) within the U.S. Of course, the federal government is not superior in power to states except in the few limited areas outlined in the U.S. Constitution. Both state and federal governments receive their authority and power to act from the people. People could not give that authority and power if they did not inherently own it. We cannot give what we do not have.

    September 5, 2011 at 7:44 am
    • Shanon Brooks

      Exactly. I will address sovereignty first, power second.
      I agree the people have original sovereignty. Because they value a social existence, they relinquish a portion of the that sovereignty, which is required to live socially, while retaining the rest. When people (and cities and counties and territories) determine that they desire to form a state for their mutual benefit, they once again give up a portion of their sacred sovereignty, retaining the majority to themselves.
      The problem arises from the nature of government and the nature of man. Washington said that government was fire. Uncontrolled and unlimited it would consume all in its path. Men who once might be great stewards of their God given sovereignty, soon succumb to convenient situations and tend to forget their responsibilities. This combination leads to government acquiring, often by the consent of the people, too much power for the good of the government or the people.
      Outside of the 20 powers granted to the general government, the states or the people are the earthly supreme sovereigns. As the Americans citizens and states have allowed serious erosion into their bank of sovereignty over the past 100 years, we scarcely can conceive of the power and sovereignty wielded by the states and allowed by the Federal government from 1792 until 1861. This was the original intent of the founders. (See the Doctrine of Nullification.)
      My point is that the people and the states lived and existed under a very different set of rules and responsibilities 100 years ago than we do today. I submit that we still retain the right and obligation under God, to revive, secure and retain that lost and forgotten sovereignty.

      September 5, 2011 at 9:06 am
  • Fred r. Willoughby

    I love what you are doing down there Shannon, keep up the good work!
    I am whole heartily in support of a Constitutional Convention to repeal the 17 th amendment, and eventually the 16th, 14th and 25th amendments, so is the Thomas Jefferson Center out of Lehi, Utah and a great number of other contacts of mine.
    If you have not already done it, I would like to work with you, the TJC, Proper Role of Government Seminars and many other like minded people, to do more research and launch a major campaign nationally to repeal the 17th amendment. What do you think?

    September 5, 2011 at 7:55 am
    • Shanon Brooks

      When you can Fred visit our website, I support freedom in general, however I must stay focused on my mission, you understand of course.

      September 5, 2011 at 9:09 am
  • Forrest Brown

    You list the reason for a constitutional convention which I agree with (balanced budget amendment, flag burning, term limits). I would add to this an amendment on the definition of marriage which some of our political figures have talked about. Just as in Abraham Lincoln’s time when he pulled together a cabinet and a nation that was at odds with each other, we need to come together. I hear the term “Reagonist” mentioned in some circles. Thanks.

    September 5, 2011 at 7:59 am
    • Shanon Brooks

      Forrest good to hear you again. Come visit us soon in Monticello.

      September 5, 2011 at 9:11 am
  • Eve Hatton

    It seems to me that our freedoms are infringed at least as much, if not more, by state laws as by federal laws so I don’t trust our state governments to recognize good limits to place on a convention. (I do believe we are in worse shape than most imagine – that doesn’t mean I think things are hopeless though.) Many state constitutions are easier to amend than the federal constitution. Most states have included some form of socialism in their constitutions over the years. If there are any parallels between what can happen to a state constitution and what can happen to the federal, then history shows that the U.S. Constitution is likely to be amended to support some form of socialism. Is the difficulty of the process of amending the U.S. Constitution by persuading people to agree on some basic ideas likely to increase the opportunity to preserve liberty when people are already allowing their state constitutions to incorporate socialism? Why or why not?
    If a convention would help to restrict Congress from passing restrictive laws and would help increase freedom, I think it would be good. However, I have some questions and doubts that no one has been able to answer to my satisfaction to show me that amending the Constitution would stop Congress or other branches of government from exceeding even those amendments.
    Question 1: Any change requires enough people to put in enough effort to effect it. So if people are not now willing to put in enough effort to elect good and wise Congressmen and other government leaders, why would they put in enough effort to elect good and wise delegates to a convention, regardless if it is the people themselves or their state representatives doing the electing?
    Question 2: Every branch of the federal government already ignores limits that are clearly spelled out in the U.S. Constitution. Why would adding to or changing the Constitution make a difference when we keep electing the same types of people to office? Why wouldn’t it be a waste of time to place more restrictions on the federal government when those restrictions are already in the Constitution, even the Constitution does not have a list of all the “Don’t Do’s” and our officials continue to ignore the limits? A criminal breaks laws regardless of whether more laws are passed that supposed to keep crime in check – congressmen currently overstep the limits of the U.S. Constitution regardless of its clarity. They find ways to technically ‘obey’ the Constitution, while doing end runs around it and using sophistry to explain how what they are doing is okay. How will adding more limits really change anything?
    Question 3: You state the Congress already wields power and passes legislation that destroys our liberty, so why would such a Congress choose good parameters for a convention? Why should we trust them to make better choices in the future based on their current untrustworthy actions?
    Question 4: I don’t believe people are easily persuaded to change their beliefs because change is uncomfortable and most people do not want to believe things that would compel them to change. (For example, I have a hard time changing my opinions even though I think I want to progress, change, and become better.) In addition, I believe that a large majority of people in general and a majority of those running our government do not understand liberty and have accepted at least some of the ideas of socialism. So my fear is that a convention would provide a way to change the foundation of our society from forms that uphold liberty to forms that actively promote socialism. What would be the benefit of risking the destruction of the foundation, even if much of the structure built on the foundation is currently being destroyed? In the long run, if the people truly want to do away with liberty, they will do so even without a convention. I don’t feel obligated to help them accomplish that.
    Question 5: I believe that the U.S. Constitution is a solid foundation for liberty and that its structure allows people time to recognize when their liberties are being destroyed and to begin the difficult process of returning to standards of liberty. Why do we need a convention to engage people in the debate if there is a legitimate risk of destroying our strong foundation? What makes it better than other methods of teaching people? Could other methods have the same effect of drawing more people into the debate? If the U.S. Constitution is based on forms that support freedom, what are the possible benefits of a convention that make it worth the risk of getting rid of some of those forms?
    Question 6: What is the problem we are trying to fix and what is at the heart of the problem? Is the U.S. Constitution flawed? Or are the people in our society lacking in knowledge about true liberty, so much so that the representatives we choose either desire to destroy liberty or don’t understand liberty? Or is it a combination of those? What is the most effective method of actually resolving the problem? If the U.S. Constitution is flawed, I think a convention is the best way to fix it because that is in accordance with the Constitution itself. That still leaves the question of: will a society that elects officials that generally support socialism (if only for their pet projects) choose leaders that will NOT incorporate socialist ideas into the amendments they support to “fix” the Constitution? Or maybe the question is: In what order do things need to be done? Use a convention to have a debate about ideas? Teach people before calling a convention?
    We don’t have to worry that by those who love liberty not having a convention, we will limit people’s opportunity to choose their form of government. The people’s ability to get involved and influence our laws is inherently a part of our governments. If they want to create forms that support socialism, they can call a constitutional convention for that purpose. It isn’t necessary to have a convention merely to engage people in debates or conversations about liberty or so that the people can have a voice about their form of government; there are many ways to engage others in the debates if we are willing to put forth the effort.
    My perspective is that having a convention at this time would be unwise because I doubt it would solve what I believe is the problem and because I believe there is a serious risk of destroying the liberty-upholding forms in our Constitution. I think the risk outweighs the possible benefits. I believe the root of the problem is that our society is embracing wickedness in general. Such a society will continue to use governments to oppress their neighbors – destroying freedom – regardless of the current or possible future forms in the Constitution that uphold liberty.
    After a short time in law school, I formed a very strong opinion that I was never going to be able to make a true difference in increasing liberty by changing our laws and our governments because the root of the problem lies in people’s hearts. The sheer numbers of people who would need to be taught and then become convinced to support laws upholding liberty was mind-blowing. I almost quit law school because that conviction was so strong, and during the rest of my legal education that opinion only became stronger. However, I did learn ways that I can make a difference. Liberty must begin inside of people. Without internal liberty, people can never create external liberty. I believe my mission is to fight for liberty – but my perception of how to most effectively do that has changed. I can use discussions about laws and government to help people learn about freedom, but they first have to begin to apply principles of liberty in their individual lives. I continue to try to teach gospel principles of freedom to my government representatives and associates so that at the least, they will not add oppressive laws. Maybe they will even be able to educate others enough to convince them to pass laws that uphold liberty. I still seek to be involved in influencing laws that are passed, but I believe our U.S. Constitution contains solid foundations of liberty that don’t need to be added to or changed in order to preserve freedom. And I believe that until the general society truly desires freedom, the downward spiral will continue in spite of good laws and constitutions. Personally, based on my perception of the present reality, I believe there are more effective and less risky ways to help people learn about and support liberty than having a constitutional convention.
    However, I do recognize that it may be some people’s mission to seek to have a convention – I know I do not understand all of God’s ways and thoughts and how He accomplishes all His works. And at some future day, if circumstances change, I may come to believe that the risks of a convention will not outweigh it’s effectiveness as a partial solution to the problem of our decreasing liberty.

    September 5, 2011 at 9:36 am
    • Vash the Stampede

      Thank you, Eve Hatton, for your clear, level-headed comment. I was about to offer my own refutation after reading this article, but after reading yours almost everything I would have said would be redundant. Thank you for a refreshing, challenging read, after so much naivete’, emotionally charged manipulation, and hype. It has truly blown me away that so many of my friends and acquaintances I would have thought would be more discerning on this particular issue have disappointed me (including Dr. Brooks). Unfortunately, one of my friends of whom I speak is a Utah State Legislator, and when I confronted him about this particular issue with similar arguments, his justification of last resort was “but Dr. Brooks supports it, and I just feel I can trust him.” I wish more people would begin to see through the hype, rather than just picking sides based on unfounded (though well-intentioned) notions. I, too, will do all within my power to fight FOR liberty and in defense of the constitution, by standing AGAINST such a threat as this convention.

      September 5, 2011 at 4:57 pm
      • Anne Gullion

        Eve has many compelling points and I agree with many of Eves statements, however the “Hype” that ‘Vash’ is talking about is just what is needed for people to turn ears and attention to everything that is being discussed above. Where would people be without the “Hype” of today? We need debates, opinions and individuals standing up for what they feel is liberty and then the process begins when recognition and an idea percolates in minds and knowledge is sought after.
        I believe that many people have no idea that liberty is in danger, and many ‘go along for the ride’ because it does not affect them in a harsh enough way to be a catalyst of change or seeking liberty.
        There are also those who are educating themselves and yearn for the strength our country once stood on– these people will be the ones who affect the changes I hope come. We need accountability, virtue, honesty, those characteristics we saw in the founding fathers should to be in our leaders today. But, how do those characteristics get there unless in our population? Well the few govern the many, and if we have just a small percentage of people who submit for change with right and good, then the change will come.

        September 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm
  • Shanon Brooks

    You have me at a disadvantage Ms/Sir, would you mind revealing who you are?
    I am going to make this appeal one time, after which if it continues, I will simply remove your posts. Please do not make this personal or rather, do not disparage personalities. That is a weak man’s or woman’s game and it lends nothing to the discussion.
    I am off in a day or so for a week of lectures in California. Upon my return I will gladly engage again in this most important dialog.
    The biggest problem we have today is that not enough people are discussing these kinds of things. When those of us who havre been at this for a while “confront” others, the bully ends the discussion because most people do not want to go there.
    Please keep it civil and no jabs at personalities.

    September 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm
    • Vash the Stampede

      Dr. Brooks,
      I intentionally submitted my comment anonymously, not to hide who I am, but so that what I say can stand on merit rather than reputation. I frequently do so in online discussions. Less personal, don’t you think?
      Frankly, I am very surprised at your response. I carefully re-read my comment, and can find nothing that could be construed as “disparaging personalities,” only that I disagree with your position and think it’s a shame that you have used your influence to advocate a flawed cause to many other people. I’m sure the part you took offense at was with my description of your article as demonstrating “naivete’, emotionally charged manipulation, and hype.”
      Well, do you honestly think you can defend that your article is NOT any of those things? Or do I need to point them out to you line by line?
      What I find particularly interesting is that in the very message in which you complain of me “getting personal,” YOU yourself called ME a “weak man” and a “bully” by inference! However, I choose to laugh at such an inconsistency rather than get defensive and take it personally 🙂
      Honestly, this is the first time I’ve posted anything on your website. If you don’t like something I said, you have the right to remove it; it’s your website. But I find it humorous that a man professing to uphold and advocate “liberal arts” education has in effect threatened to BAN me from an online discussion on a political issue, just because I disagree with his conclusion and felt his article was poorly written.
      By the way, are you going to respond to Eve Hatton? I don’t know who she is, but her last comment was masterful. I’m interested to hear your response. I hope it’s not just a re-hash of what you already said in your article, or an appeal to your own or anyone else’s authority. I’ve yet to hear a new reason to support a convention today, this article is just the same stuff every other supporter of the convention I encounter gives me. Surprise me, if you can, with some other reasons to support a convention than “it’ll be great! and if not then at least we tried, and we won’t be any worse off than we are now.” Because I am absolutely convinced both of those reasons are lies.
      For Liberty,
      Vash the Stampede

      September 5, 2011 at 8:30 pm
  • Shanon Brooks

    Anne, Thanks for voicing your thoughts. I agree. As I said in the article, what we need most is for millions of Americans to speak-up and engage the topic so it becomes personal to them.
    I am less interested in being right and more interested in a popular conversation regarding the merits of a given topic. Even if the people get it wrong sometimes, that is still better that the majority being ruled by a few who have self interest at the forefront.
    I vote for whatever it takes to encourage and promote public awareness. Then it is up to the thought leaders to influence and provide a format for the discussion.
    My part is to build a small liberal arts college and expose students to the liberal arts. Yes I have an agenda, everyone does, mine is to instill in young people a love for freedom, individualism and responsibility.

    September 6, 2011 at 8:13 am
  • Jayne

    Wow why would some one who remains nameless, think he is smarter than God, a God who led wise men to write a constitution that included an article V to be used when conspiring men got out of control.
    You see there is no chance as long as you leave article V on paper. God can only inspire wise men to come forward and use what has been given them to use.

    September 6, 2011 at 11:02 am
    • Shanon Brooks

      I feel your intensity, but please let’s not make this about personalities.
      Thanks for speaking up. I don’t have answers but I have a lot of questions and that is one of them. Just what were the Founders thinking with Art. V? What did they see in the future to include this? What was their real intent? What do we need to know to use this tool correctly?
      My suspicion is that I have not yet grasped their level of understanding, I think no one has (well maybe a few of my mentors), but I need to know a lot more about this before I am prepared to disgard a major section the Constitution.
      All legal authorities I have read who are anti Art.V give very nebulous non-concrete answers. I want principles to rest my decisions on, not fear of the unknown.

      September 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm
      • Vash the Stampede

        “All legal authorities I have read who are anti Art.V give very nebulous non-concrete answers. I want principles to rest my decisions on, not fear of the unknown.”
        What about Eve Hatton? I don’t know her, but she has a law degree, that seems to qualify her as a “legal authority,” and her answers are anything BUT nebulous and non-concrete. How long will you ignore her response? Are you hoping if you ignore it long enough other people will forget what she said?
        And I thought “credentials” were less important than merit (at least that’s what they told me at GWC, when they gave me a non-accredited degree lol!). Maybe we should all consider stopping looking to what the “legal authorities” have to say to form our conclusions, and just approach it humbly, rationally, and honestly, trusting that God will direct us. A great place to start is to read what Madison and Jefferson said about this particular subject. Another great place is D&C 98. And aside from a doctrinal and finding “original intent” approach, pure Logic and Reason alone are also against a new con con (read Eve Hatton!)

        September 7, 2011 at 10:26 am
    • Vash the Stampede

      God Himself inspired the founders to write the 1787 Constitution. I also believe Him when He said “more or less than this (the Constitutional law of the land) comes of evil.” The form is not flawed; the problems we face in America today are not because the Constitution is lacking: the problems we face today are a direct result of NOT following the Constitution as written, with an honest regard for original intent!!! Therefore, the solution is not to call for a new convention (which would open the door for severe, perhaps devastating consequences). A new con con would only change the form (the form which God Himself declared to be good).
      Jayne, you accuse me of arrogance; yet those in favor of calling a new convention presume that such an action would IMPROVE the original Constitution?! You want arrogance? Look no further than men and women who think THEY could improve what God Himself has already declared good. You think the original intent of the founders was that we USE Article V to hold a new con con? NO!!!! THAT ARTICLE IS A SELF-DESTRUCT BUTTON!!! That is the death knell, the end of the form established by the 1787 Constitution. And lest there be any doubt, don’t take my word for it. Read this warning by James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, given November 2, 1788, AGAINST calling for another general constitutional convention.
      “If a General Convention were to take place for the avowed and sole purpose of revising the Constitution, it would naturally consider itself as having a greater latitude than the Congress appointed to administer and support as well as to amend the system; it would consequently give greater agitation to the public mind; an election into it would be courted by the most violent partisans on both sides; it would probably consist of the most heterogeneous characters; would be the very focus of that flame which has already too much heated men of all parties; would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts but inadmissible in other parts of the Union might have a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric.
      “Under all these circumstances it seems scarcely to be presumable that the deliberations of the body could be conducted in harmony, or terminate in the general good. Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers experienced by the first Convention which assembled under every propitious circumstance, I should tremble for the result of a Second meeting in the present temper of America, and under all the disadvantages I have mentioned.”
      James Madison would “tremble for the result” of a new con con because of the “present temper of America” (in 1788!! how far has America slipped in the last 223 years?! like Dr. Brooks has said, we are a modern mass of American Idol and America’s Got Talent addicts) and because of “all the disadvantages” he listed (quite a comprehensive, chilling list don’t you think?)
      Arrogance is not in the fact that I warn against a new convention. I believe any rational, educated, inspired individual could form no other conclusion than to stand, with men such as James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, and Cleon Skousen (just to name a few), AGAINST calling for another convention. Arrogance is manifested in ignoring the solemn warnings of the founders of the imminent disaster such a course would result in.
      As you and Dr. Brooks have said, we DO need more discussion, more study, more prayer, more repentance, more education, more involvement, more inspiration, more accountability. But we DON’T need a convention to do any of that! Let’s unite in rallying men and women to the cause of freedom, without undermining the very foundational safeguard of that freedom: the Constitution!
      Best wishes,

      September 7, 2011 at 10:11 am
  • Tom Mathias

    I don’t think you were involved in our Simulations class in 1994 at GWC. We had many interesting simulations that came out with unexpected results. The MOST surprising one was a Constitutional Convention simulation at the end of the term. A class made up almost entirely of intelligent, conservative students came up with a constitution for the whole world that included Welfare, Social Security, Income Tax, Gun Control, etc.
    Why would we do such a dumb thing? Because someone came prepared with an agenda (a setup by the teacher, Oliver DeMille) and a few adamant supporters (also part of the setup) that wouldn’t back down. We also had a deadline to meet.
    In the 1787 convention we got what we have now mostly because one man, James Madison, had a plan. That convention was called to amend and correct flaws in the Articles of Confederation, not to write a new document. We got what we got because Madison and most of the other men there were virtuous and upright men.
    Zoom ahead to today. Can you honestly believe that a state such as Minnesota or New York or California or just about any other state would send virtuous and upright individuals? I think you need to get out more.
    Once a convention is called Congress has NO control over the proceedings and states would have very limited control, in the form of choosing their representatives. While it is true that 38 states would have to ratify it if they amended the current Constitution they could set their own limits on ratification if they write a whole new document. They could say that since this is a democracy (they always leave out the part about a republic) we just need 50% of the general population of the US to ratify it. Do we have 50% of the US prepared to think through the process right now? Do you think states would retain any of their powers? Would we still have freedom to speak out against abuses of power by the federal agencies? Would the President still need ratification of treaties? Would we recognize the new form of government?
    I think we need to think about such things.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm
    • Shanon Brooks

      Dude how are you?
      Ok, I don’t disagree that there is a possibility of anything happening. Please hear this – the truth is none of us know what would happen we, are just guessing.
      There was huge speculation at the time of the Philadelphia convention and with God’s help it worked out better that anyone could have imagined. But it was from a few brave men moving forward, not waiting and watching the nation crumb for poor leadership.
      So what do we know?
      1. We are currently living under a Constitution that is nowhere near what the founders gave us. THIS IS A REALITY THAT NO ONE SEEMS TO BE ACKNOWLEDGING. OK, I agree with “not more or les that this.” The problem is that we are at the “less than ” part.
      2. Congress, the very same people who would have the primary initial power in setting up a con-con (anything can happen once it begins – God works in mysterious ways), are also the very people who are sending us down the creek with a paddle. Either way we are losing rights and liberty. Where is the virtue in congress today?
      If we remain sleeping babes, there will be no change. A change in the executive will do very little to restore liberty. Only a long term debate by a huge number of citizens has any power to impact change. I have personally been engaged in sparking large scale debate, carrying on the fight from Dr. Skousen who did it for 40 years before me.
      Talking and blogging are great but they will not ignite national long term debate. I only see one way to bring that about – con-con. Is it a risk? Yep. So is leaving congress the way it is.
      In fact, I think it is safe to say that congress as currently constituted (uneducated, less than a moral majority) is a sure thing in terms of destroying the constitution.
      At least all parties agree that the con-con is “no sure thing.” The odds are actually in our favor.
      There is no safe harbor and we had better start looking at this for what it is–risky, either way.

      September 7, 2011 at 7:22 pm
      • Tom Mathias

        I’m doing pretty good. I lost re-election to the City Council last year so I’m thinking of running for Mayor next year 🙂
        The big problem I see in your logic is that a con-con isn’t needed. The Constitution isn’t broken. When a student fails a class you don’t burn the textbook. When Congress ignores the Constitution and does whatever they want it isn’t the Constitution that needs changing.
        If we want a balanced budget all that needs to happen is for Congress to vote for a balanced budget. With all the ways they maneuver now, like not including certain things in the budget even though they know it will be spent, a balanced budget amendment would do nothing.
        How can we say that Term Limits are the will of the people? All that needs to happen for bad Representatives to be limited in their tenure is for voters to vote for someone else at the election. They don’t do that.
        The same applies to any other things people might want a con-con for. What we really need is an educated electorate that will elect good people to Congress and then hold them to their oath to uphold the Constitution. A convention would not accomplish this.

        September 9, 2011 at 7:56 am
  • Jayne

    Hey Stampede man,
    I started to compose some thoughts of answers to Eves Questions, instead got your response. Yeah you can be right Whatever. BUT I think you hit the nail on the head. If the real intent was for a self destruct button, then maybe it is a good time to hit it. you seem to be ready with both Mormon doctrine and the fore fathers words of wisdom. Prophecy is out there, the constitution will hang by a thread , how much of a thread , we’ll both find out. I would rather it be sooner than later. You see I am interested in the abundance part of Titler’s cycle and I would like less of the unraveling that is going on today. We could by our actions speed up the time in a good way or a bad way depending on which side of it you fall.
    I literally have a 93 year old mother who intends on living into the millennium , maybe I could help her accomplish her goal.
    I see that the hot button so many are afraid of as a positive push for those righteous people who need relief. we know it will get much worse do we drag it out or just get on with it.
    All things are in Gods hands so maybe even if we do push the destruct button maybe it wont be that at all.
    You seem like a smart enough guy, so what is your real beef here. I used to think that a con con was a bad thing too like opening up Pandora’s box. Now I am open for real ideas not fear. What ifs to ponder on.
    What if we really need to use it ? What if it was put there for only Gods purposes. It seems when it has been used in the past it was used for good and evil both. Who would have thought that prohibition would turn out to be a bad thing. I know the sixteenth was done by evil and conspiring men. Done without a con con as well. Ii think Eve was right that congress is so far off that that is part of the fight we must do with states rights and a con con. I think you have noticed that a grassroots movement has been underway for two years now and i don’t think it will be subdued by the current administration or powers that be.
    What if that movement gains strength by the thing you fear? What if the fly over zone decides to come alive and they are actually smarter than you think? What if not using article V means we are just sitting on out hands and not doing our job to inform and empower our neighbors and defend our liberties?.
    Feel free to put your side of the what if’s in a response, and Eve you may as well give us some of the answers to your questions. You are the one that asked them You will be the one to get the answers.
    Oh by the way almost everything that Good ol’ G. Washington warned us about in his farewell address has happened . Nobody really paid much attention to all those liberties that he mentioned when they went away. But he knew that we were going to screw it up, hence the address. He was one who knew just what it took to fight for freedom, for liberty, for inalienable rights, for a land that should be free. What if Art V is that fight?
    I just had a new thought. . . . . .TBA

    September 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm
  • Cara Urich

    Dr. Brooks, thank you for providing this forum/blog. I am one of the ignorant, but trying to fix that. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and concerns. This has been very helpful for me in seeing both sides of this debate, and keeping an open mind. Thank you to everyone who gave input. You have inspired me to research into this further so I can formulate my own thoughts.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:40 pm
    • Shanon Brooks

      We at Monticello College will continue to do what we can to educate ourselves and share what we are learning.

      December 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm
  • Shanon Brooks

    Really? Who has time for TV?

    December 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm

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