Right for the Wrong Reasons

In the midst of the seemingly indeterminable presidential electoral campaign, some of the candidates have been asked about the possibility of convening a constitutional convention in the hope of addressing the nation’s most pressing issues, most ominously the gargantuan federal deficit now in excess of $18 trillion.

Governor John Kasich supports such a notion with the explicit purpose of passing a balanced budget amendment.

 

Washington_Constitutional_Convention_1787A famous painting by Junius Brutus Stearns depicting the signing of the US constitution.

 

Mark Meckler, president of Citizens for Self Governance, a leading group pushing the idea, believes that “If it starts to become a serious presidential issue, we could get it done in 2016.”*

Not all presidential contenders are on board with the idea. Senator Marco Rubio has expressed trepidation over the possibility of a convention for amending the current document fearful that it would lead to a total rewrite:

 

Just make sure that we know how it is going to turn out because if you open up the Constitution, you are also opening it up to people that want to re-examine the First Amendment, people that want to re-examine the Second Amendment, people that want to re-examine some other fundamental protect[ions] that are built into the Constitution.”**

 

RubioFresh-faced senator Marco Rubio – for once he’s actually right about something, but for the wrong reasons…

Photo credit: abcnews.com

 

Unlike most issues on which he pontificates, Senator Rubio is this time right in his analysis, but most likely for the wrong reasons.

 

The Birth of Leviathan

The original Constitutional convention was called to “revise” the supposedly defective Articles of Confederation, but by the time the deliberations (more like arm twisting, threats, and bribes) were over, the Articles had been replaced by a brand spanking new document.

The Constitution granted the central government far more power than it had before while the individual states had, in effect, lost their cherished sovereignty and had become mere appendages within the new “federal” union.

Under the current ideological climate, the convocation of another constitutional convention would not return the nation to its halcyon days as a confederation of independent states, but would more than likely increase the central government’s power at the expense of what is left of state and individual rights. The idea of amending the current document is naïve at best, but more importantly a gigantic waste of time.

Groups like Citizens for Self Government do not grasp the essential problem of American political, social and economic life. It is the Constitution itself that is the cause of the myriad of problems which besiege the land. The adoption of the Constitution despite what its sycophantic champions of today and yesteryear have erroneously argued, created a highly centralized national state which is virtually limitless in its power.

 

declaration-p1July 4, 1776 – the unanimous declaration of the 13 United States of America, page 1.

 

The Articles of Confederation, on the other hand, were just that – a system where the national government was dependent for its existence on the individual states’ benevolence. American constitutional history can be seen as the systematic destruction of state, regional, local and, eventually, individual sovereignty from the aggrandizement of federal power, all achieved under Constitutional rule.

The Constitution negates one of the great safeguards of individual liberty – “voting with one’s feet.” Under a confederation of states, tyranny can be avoided, to an extent, by simply relocating to another political jurisdiction. If a state becomes too confiscatory in its taxing policies, its subjects can move to a less tax burdensome district. Thus, the more political jurisdictions there are the better.

Under the Constitution, there is no escape from its dictates unless one expatriates. The ability of populations to move and the greater number of political units provides a far superior check on tyranny than the supposed “checks and balances” and “separation of powers” so celebrated in American federalism.

Amendments, conventions, “strict interpretation” of the Constitution, and all other reforms of the federal system will do nothing to limit or eventually slay the American Leviathan. Decentralization is the key which means secession and a dismantling of the Union.

Secession should not be limited to the Union, but allow for the breakup of the existing states along political, economic and cultural lines. States as geographically, culturally, and economically diverse as California should be broken down into numerous smaller entities. The overriding principle in regard to liberty and prosperity is the greater number of political configurations the better.

Until the Constitution is seen for what it truly is, the rapacious federal state will continue to gorge itself on the ever dwindling productive efforts of its citizenry. Once this is recognized and efforts are taken to disembowel the beast, will the lives, liberties, and property of Americans and a great many around the globe be secured.

References:

 

*David Sherfinski, “GOP Hopefuls’ Support Boosts Constitutional Convention Idea.” The Washington Times. 24 December 2015.

**Ibid.

 

Addendum, by PT

We welcome Antonius Aquinas as a new guest author – his positively Nockian view of American history has definitely struck a chord with us, so we asked him whether we could republish his work on Acting Man, a proposal which he graciously accepted.

We have long planned to discuss the above issues in these pages, but unfortunately the day only has 24 hours, and there is simply too much to do and too little time to do it in. We are therefore quite happy to have found a kindred spirit who is able to convey these ideas in such a succinct and trenchant manner.

 

Antonius Aquinas is an author, lecturer, a contributor to Acting Man, SGT Report, The Burning Platform, Dollar Collapse, The Daily Coin and Zero Hedge. Contact him at antoniusaquinas[at]gmail[dot]com https://antoniusaquinas.com/.

 

 
 

 
 

Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.

   

Bitcoin address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke

   
 

6 Responses to “Another Constitutional Convention: An Idea Whose Time Has Not Come”

  • DeeBee9:

    Congress has the authority to propose an amendment to the Constitution at any time, and then 38 states must vote to adopt the amendment for it to take effect. No Constitutional Convention is required for this. Under Article 5 of the Constitution, 2/3 of the State Assemblies can also propose an amendment to the Constitution, and then, as above, 38 states must vote to adopt the amendment for it to take effect. Is the author’s argument that there is some great danger in the States exercising their power that isn’t present when the Congress exercises its power? Are the States to be less trusted to rein in Congress than we can trust Congress to rein itself in? I hear no serious discussion of a ‘Constitutional Convention’ (which would rewrite the entire Constitution just as was done in 1789 when the Articles of Confederation were replaced); rather I do hear much discussion of a Convention of States to propose amendments to the existing Constitution — including some to undo the damage wrought be many earlier amendments. I say that’s good news.

  • rodney:

    Excellent article … Well done.

    State legislatures restricting further centralization? When has that ever happened? Never. You might as well question the motivations of state level politicians. It doesn’t take that much wisdom to know that the solution cannot come from within politics.

    From the article:

    Under the current ideological climate, the convocation of another constitutional convention would not return the nation to its halcyon days as a confederation of independent states, but would more than likely increase the central government’s power at the expense of what is left of state and individual rights. The idea of amending the current document is naïve at best, but more importantly a gigantic waste of time.

    Agreed 100%.

    • Stormtrooper:

      So, Rodney, if having the 38 required legislatures amend the Federal government out of existence doesn’t solve the problem, what would be your solution?

  • No6:

    Ave Antonius Aquinas.

  • Roger Barris:

    The central argument here — that decentralization and more jurisdictions are key restraints on government power — is an important observation. I saw this logic at work in my former residence in Switzerland. Here is my blog on the subject: http://www.economicmanblog.com/2012/11/29/venez-a-londres-mes-amis/.

    Roger Barris

  • Stormtrooper:

    Whoever this guy Antonius Aquinas is, he has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. Is he an American? Has he ever read the US Constitution? The Convention of States has nothing to do with Marco Rubio or any of the other meaningless candidates for the position of POTUS. The Convention of States would be conducted, under Article V of the Constitution, by delegates from the various state legislatures with no involvement from Marco Rubio, Congress, a US President (when we get a legal citizen in that position) or the Supreme Court. The states, thru their delegates, would decide what amendments to the Constitution are needed to correct the abuses perpetrated on the US by the current and previous Federal governments. These amendments could include any subjects, up to and including, the total dissolution of the current form of Federal government. The state legislatures are unlikely to consider any amendments that would give even more illegitimate power to Washington, D.C. as they would surely like to return as much power of to govern to themselves as possible. And the Bill of Rights, it was created to protect the citizens of the Republic from the Republic itself. Should the states decide to dissolve the Republic thru a Constitutional amendment, there would no longer be a need for the Bill of Rights.

    Acting Man: I suggest that you review the articles that you post more closely if you want to remain credible.

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • Canada: Risks of a Parliamentary Democracy
      A Vulnerable System Parliamentary democracy is vulnerable to the extremely dangerous possibility that someone with very little voter support can rise to the top layer of government. All one apparently has to do is to be enough of a populist to get elected by ghetto dwellers.   Economist and philosopher Hans-Hermann Hoppe dissects democracy in his book Democracy, the God that Failed, which shines a light on the system's grave deficiencies with respect to guarding liberty. As...
  • Federal Reserve President Kashkari’s Masterful Distractions
      The True Believer How is it that seemingly intelligent people, of apparent sound mind and rational thought, can stray so far off the beam?  How come there are certain professions that reward their practitioners for their failures? The central banking and monetary policy vocation rings the bell on both accounts.  Today we offer a brief case study in this regard.   Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari attacking a block of wood with great zeal. [PT] Photo credit: Linda Davidson...
  • Thoughtful Disagreement with Ted Butler
      Too Big to Fail?   Dear Mr. Butler, in your article of 2 October, entitled Thoughtful Disagreement, you say:   “Someone will come up with the thoughtful disagreement that makes the body of my premise invalid or the price of silver will validate the premise by exploding.”   Ted Butler – we first became aware of Mr. Butler in 1998, and as far as we know, he has been making the bullish case for silver ever since. Back in the late 90s this was actually a...
  • On the Marc Faber Controversy
      Il n'y a rien à défendre - by Vidocq   Dr. Marc Faber, author of the Gloom, Boom and Doom Report Photo credit: Michael Wildi / RDB     Il n'y a rien à défendre - There is nothing to defend Personne n'a lu ce qui a été écrit. - Nobody read what was written. Personne n'a pensé avant d'agir, comme la plupart des gens de nos jours. - No one thought before acting, like most people nowadays. L'homme que tu pends est l'homme que tu as fait, pas l'homme que...
  • Donald Trump: Warmonger-in-Chief
      Cryptic Pronouncements If a world conflagration, God forbid, should break out during the Trump Administration, its genesis will not be too hard to discover: the thin-skinned, immature, shallow, doofus who currently resides in the Oval Office!   The commander-in-chief - a potential source of radiation?   This past week, the Donald has continued his bellicose talk with both veiled and explicit threats against purported American adversaries throughout the world.  In...
  • The Donald Can’t Stop It
      Divine Powers The Dow’s march onward and upward toward 30,000 continues without a pause.  New all-time highs are notched practically every day.  Despite Thursday’s 31-point pullback, the Dow is up over 15.5 percent year-to-date.  What a remarkable time to be alive.   The DJIA keeps surging... but it is running on fumes (US money supply growth is disappearing rapidly). The president loves this and has decided to “own” the market by gushing about its record run. During...
  • Precious Metals Supply and Demand Report
      Fat-Boy Waves The prices of the metals dropped $17 and $0.35, and the gold-silver ratio rose to 77.  A look at the chart of either metal shows that a downtrend in prices (i.e. uptrend in the dollar) that began in mid-April reversed in mid-July. Then the prices began rising (i.e. dollar began falling). But that move ended September 8.   Stars of the most popular global market sitcoms, widely suspected of being “gold wave-makers”. From left to right: Auntie Janet...
  • 1987, 1997, 2007... Just How Crash-Prone are Years Ending in 7?
      Bad Reputation Years ending in 7, such as the current year 2017, have a bad reputation among stock market participants. Large price declines tend to occur quite frequently in these years.   Sliding down the steep slope of the cursed year. [PT]   Just think of 1987, the year in which the largest one-day decline in the US stock market in history took place:  the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by 22.61 percent in a single trading day. Or recall the year 2007,...
  • Stocks Up and Yields Down – Precious Metals Supply & Demand
      Where the Good Things Go Many gold bugs make an implicit assumption. Gold is good, therefore it will go up. This is tempting but wrong (ignoring that gold does not go anywhere, it’s the dollar that goes down). One error is in thinking that now you have discovered a truth, everyone else will see it quickly. And there is a subtler error. The error is to think good things must go up. Sometimes they do, but why?   Since putting in a secular low at the turn of the millennium,...
  • Tales From a Late Stage Bull Market
      Pro-Growth Occurrences An endearing quality of a late stage bull market is that it expands the universe of what’s possible.  Somehow, rising stock prices make the impossible, possible.  They also push the limits of the normal into the paranormal.   This happens almost every time Bigfoot is in front of a camera. [PT] Cartoon by Gary Larson   Last week, for instance, there was a Bigfoot sighting near Avocado Lake in Fresno County, California.  But it wasn’t just...
  • The 2017 Incrementum Gold Chart Book
      A Big Reference Chart Collection Our friends at Incrementum have created a special treat for gold aficionados, based on the 2017 “In Gold We Trust Report”. Not everybody has the time to read a 160 page report, even if it would be quite worthwhile to do so. As we always mention when it is published, it is a highly useful reference work, even if one doesn't get around to reading all of it (and selective reading is always possible, aided by the table of contents at the...
  • The Falling Productivity of Debt
      Discounting the Present Value of Future Income Last week, we discussed the ongoing fall of dividend, and especially earnings, yields. This Report is not a stock letter, and we make no stock market predictions. We talk about this phenomenon to make a different point. The discount rate has fallen to a very low level indeed.   We add this chart to provide a slightly different perspective to the discussion that follows below (and the question raised at the end of the article)....

Support Acting Man

Top10BestPro
j9TJzzN

Austrian Theory and Investment

Archive

350x200

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!
 

Oilprice.com