Most of us are familiar with the legend of “Pandora’s Box”, first introduced in Greek mythology in the works of the ancient Greek poet/writer Hesiod, who is thought to have been active in the century between 750 B.C. to 650 B.C. According to that mythology, Pandora was created by “the gods” on Mt. Olympus as the first woman on earth, and was given as a wife to one of the “gods”. They also gave her a jar, or box, filled by “the gods” with all kinds of good and evil and gave it to Pandora, instructing her to never open the box. But her curiosity got the better of her, and she opened the box, thus releasing upon humankind all of the “spirits” of good and evil. Pandora, realizing what she had done, tried to close the box but by that time only “HOPE” was still in it, and was sealed therein.
In modern times, “Pandora’s Box” has become an idiom based on that Greek mythology, and it refers to “any source of great and unexpected troubles”, or its alternate meaning—“a present which seems valuable but which in reality is nothing but a curse”. In our modern vernacular, opening “Pandora’s Box” is akin to “opening a can of worms” and is to be avoided if at all possible. It is a cautionary tale that, I greatly fear, can be applied to the current push by those on the “right” and the “left” to “open up” an Article V Constitutional Convention (or ‘Convention of the States’ as its misguided supporters refer to it) for the “sole” purpose of forcing a “Balanced Budget Amendment” to be adopted, and possibly for another “sole” purpose of adopting a mandatory “Term Limits Amendment”. What other “sole” amendments may be considered by “opening up” this almost certain “Pandora’s Box” called a “Constitutional Convention” is anyone’s guess. Does the concept of a “RUNAWAY CONVENTION” disturb you? It scares the daylights out of me, because despite the assurances of the ‘con-con’ supporters to the contrary, that CAN happen! As we shall see below, it DID happen in 1787 in Philadelphia!
According to our present 1787 Constitution, it requires “…the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states”-- (i.e. 34 states), to call for a Con-Con. When that total is reached, Article V of our U.S. Constitution says that Congress “SHALL call a convention for proposing amendments”. Currently, 27 states have ‘active’ or ‘live’ applications to Congress to call a convention for—as its’ proponents assure us—“ONLY PROPOSING A BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT” to our present Constitution. Three states have rescinded their previously adopted applications, so previously the total was 31 states (Georgia’s application was “sunseted” without final passage, so the 27 number is current.) As of January, 2018, the legislature of Wisconsin became the most recent state government to pass an application for an ARTICLE V CON-CON (called euphemistically “A CONVENTION OF STATES” by its supporters to try and camouflage its dangerous potential). This passed along partisan lines in Wisconsin, WITHOUT A SINGLE DEMOCRAT VOTE. If the legislatures of seven more states pass similar legislation, Congress will be constitutionally mandated to “call a convention for proposing amendments”.
There has been a STRONG push in the month of February, 2020 here in South Carolina to get our legislature to submit an application to Congress to call for a Con-Con. Patriots have recently testified and/or protested several times before a committee of our House Delegation in protest (which APPROVED the proposal and sent it to the House Judiciary Committee), but the forces pushing FOR a “Con-Con” are persistent and well organized, and many of the people who are pushing hard for this “con” of a con-con are well-respected, even among conservative circles. On March 3, 2020 the full House Judiciary Committee met in Columbia, and despite known strong opposition to H 3125 (the Convention of States legislation), only TWO of the 25 members of the House Judiciary Committee had previously taken the time to hear public arguments against this legislation. The final vote of the House Committee was 10 “against” the legislation, 14 “for” it, and 1 not voting. H3125 is now before the full S.C. House of Representatives. If it passes there (not a sure thing), then it is sent to the S.C. Senate for approval or rejection. Governor Henry McMaster is said to OPPOSE this legislation, and he could veto it if the House and Senate pass this bill. On Wednesday, March 11, a sub-committee of the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin hearing arguments both for and against this legislation.
I find it more than a bit “interesting” that since 1791, when the last state voted to ratify our first “10 Amendments” to the 1787 Constitution, i.e. our “Bill of Rights”, the U.S. Constitution has been amended 26 times WITHOUT the need of calling a Constitutional Convention (the supporters of a modern con-con claim that a “balanced budget amendment” and a “term limits amendment” would never be passed and sent to the states by our current mostly “progressive-minded” Congress-- hence the need for the “last resort” of a con-con). In fact, our 1787 Philadelphia Constitutional Convention was the LAST—AND ONLY—national constitutional convention ever held in the U.S., and it was CHANGED AT ITS OUTSET from merely “improving” the existing 1781 Constitution--the Articles of Confederation (which all of the delegates had been assured was the goal)--to terminating the admittedly inadequate and problem-causing AoC and adopting an entirely NEW constitution which proposed an entirely NEW form of government, i.e. “a Republic, if you can keep it”, as Ben Franklin told a concerned citizen at the conclusion of the Philadelphia Convention.
The proponents of this Article V Con-Con assure the American people that they have set it up to guarantee that the existing 1787 Constitution cannot be terminated, and that “big money” interests and far leftist progressive demagogues (often one and the same) will not be able to control this convention or adopt several freedom-destroying amendments (which they have already proposed), or call for the adoption of an entirely NEW constitution, a long cherished goal of the vermin on the left. The more the “Convention of States” proponents assure us that safeguards are already in place, the MORE SUSPICIOUS I get.
Actually, this proposed Article V Con-Con is regarded by most of its proponents as some kind of a “conservative/Republican” initiative to “preserve” our present Constitution, and they promise that this Con-Con (i.e. Convention of States) is the best solution to curb the growth of leftist and ever larger government. Of course, its detractors on the left, or progressive, end of the political scale claim to fear a Con- Con as an attempt by Republicans to completely rewrite the Constitution (which is not beyond the realm of possibility, considering the dangers posed to our freedoms by “Neo-Cons” and “RINOS”, as well as the treasonous Democrat Bolsheviks of the left). I fear BOTH sides, because if history has proved anything, it is that we always have among us DISHONORABLE people with “agendas” of their own, and because I know what TREACHERY can lurk in the hearts and minds of ALL people, especially when political power—or who controls that power—is bound to be the goal of a Con-Con. I know that the LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE LEFT in the U.S. also wants a Con-Con, despite their denials to the contrary, and I suspect that they believe they have much to gain.
The proponents of this Con-Con assure us that it can be limited ONLY to a “Balanced Budget Amendment”, that the states would surely vote against any “unconstitutional” proposals (uh huh), and that Congress, the body that is responsible for CALLING for a new Con- Con, would exercise little or no power or authority or even determine who and how many can be delegates, and how many votes each state would be allowed to cast for “amendments”. To which I reply with a few snickers and guffaws, while asking: Who is trying to kid whom? Be assured that what “Congress” creates “Congress” can CONTROL! (Can you picture Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer or their obedient collectivist toadies in front of a Con-Con and trying to control and/or direct the debate? Hmmm?)
In the present world of American politics, ILLUSION reigns supreme. Just because Democrat liberals have voiced their opposition to a “Balanced Budget Amendment” does NOT assure that those same Democrats actually oppose a Con-Con. For example, the advocacy group Common Cause, financially CONTROLLED by the sinister anti-American multi-billionaire, George Soros, has come out in opposition to the Balanced Budget Amendment, and has accurately warned that a BBA Con-Con might be the same as “opening Pandora’s Box”, thereby potentially exposing our entire Constitution to all sorts of radical “revisions”, or trashing it totally. In this they are correct. But as reported in the Feb. 5, 2018 issue of The New American, in an article titled: The Left Wants A Con-Con Too, author Christian Gomez wrote: (Common Cause) “were supporters of a Con-Con just a few years ago. Prior to 2015, Common Cause supported resolutions in state legislatures, such as Maryland’s Democracy Amendment in 2014, which included provisions calling on Congress to call a (con-con) to propose the amendment. Common Cause supported a Con-Con to reverse the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in ‘Citizens United v. FEC in order to ‘get money out of politics’ and instead have public-financed elections. In fact, some left-wing organizations remain committed to a Con-Con for the very same reason that Common Cause was.”
It might be wise to recall some words of warning from the man who was called “The Father of the Constitution”, Founder JAMES MADISON. In a letter written to George Turberville on Nov. 2, 1788, he discussed the myriad dangers he perceived in convening a second “General Convention”, and he concluded:
“…(I)t seems scarcely to be presumeable 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 (1787) Convention, which assembled under every propitious circumstance, I should tremble for the result of a second (constitutional convention) meeting in the present temper of America and under all the disadvantages I have mentioned”.
Now why, do you suppose, did the man who was one of the primary originators of our present U.S. Constitution so fear another Constitutional Convention? (Is the “temper of America better NOW than it was in 1787?) Having survived a long, hot summer in 1787 Philadelphia while enduring numerous contentions and heated rancorous arguments and recriminations, Madison and his “new Constitution” allies eventually emerged victorious in that FIRST, AND ONLY Constitutional Convention, which abrogated the Articles of Confederation and gave us our admittedly superior present Constitution. Could it be that Madison et. al., having survived those hot summer months in the Pennsylvania State House as they argued and hammered out a new Constitution for Americans, knew the dangers inherent in the process—knew the passions and the threats of violence and non-compliance—knew how fragile were the eventual compromises agreed to by most (but not all) of the states’ delegates? Probably, since they were mostly wise, and mostly principled, men who wanted the MOST freedom for as many Americans as possible, based on necessary (at the time) compromises, mostly over the issue of slavery and the rights of the states.
Which brings us to today’s America, where many of those who are pushing for a SECOND Con-Con (or Convention of States) may not be as principled—may not be as honest about their intentions for all of us—as our Founders were. This so-called “Convention of States” is fraught with major dangers to our liberties. For example, we know that sinister mega-billionaires like George Soros and the Koch Brothers have “agendas” they’d like to accomplish, since they have been financing the push for an Article V Con-Con. Could it be that these ultra-wealthy people are seeking an opportunity to replace our existing U.S. Constitution with some kind of a NEW system of government, which would be antithetical to our existing freedoms—which would promote the long-sought goal of many of these very wealthy seekers of total power to form their long pursued “NORTH AMERICAN UNION”, under which Canada, the United States, and Mexico would be POLITICALLY AND PERMANENTLY INTEGRATED, and some form of a “North American Parliament” established (like the disintegrating European Union has), and a combined MILITARY AND POLICE force set up over all the people of North America? Unless you prefer to live in “Fantasy Land”, you know (or strongly suspect) the answer to my question.
We all must realize that this push for a “Convention of States”—an Article V Con-Con—isn’t truly between Republicans and Democrats—between conservatives and liberals. It is A FIGHT BETWEEN THOSE WHO WISH TO ESTABLISH GLOBAL GOVERNMENT over the people of North America—and those who are determined to maintain our present U.S. Constitution and our PRECIOUS NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY, and oppose the attempts of the “one worlders” to impose a dictatorial and collectivist world government over all of humankind! And if they can take over this “Convention of States” and propose, and get ratified, even one or two anti-freedom amendments (such as eliminating ‘free speech’, eliminating our 2nd Amendment, and/or eliminating the wise and needful Electoral College), they are that much closer to their goal of a true North American Union, and their ultimate goal of a world government under THEIR control.
“Today various factions are lobbying state legislators (they’ve been before the Legislature in Columbia, S.C. several times, beginning on Feb. 6, 2020) to call for an Article V Convention. They use various ‘hooks’—i.e. proposed amendments which sound like they will solve our nation’s problems—e.g. “term limits”, “a balanced budget”, “getting money out of politics”, “limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal courts”. But these are BAIT designed to appeal to specific groups of people to get them to support an Article V Convention.
“Remember: The phrase in our current 1787 Constitution--“A Convention For Proposing Amendments”--does NOT restrict the delegates to just ‘proposing amendments’ to our present Constitution. Remember: Our Declaration of Independence recognizes that a people have the ‘self-evident right’ to throw off their present government and set up a NEW government. We’ve already invoked that right TWICE. In 1776 we invoked it to throw off the British Monarchy, and in 1787 James Madison and others invoked it to throw off our ‘first’ Constitution—the Articles of Confederation--and set up an entirely NEW government under our present Constitution”.
Those who are pushing for a “Convention of States”, including a man I normally respect and often (but not always) agree with, MARK LEVIN, should realize that there are many enemies of our present Constitutional Republic as it exists under our venerable 1787 Constitution who would love nothing better than to insinuate themselves into that inaccurately defined “Convention of States” in order that they and their convention allies could push for potentially ANY number of amendments, and would not allow themselves to be bound by rules established by conservative or Republican delegates. Mark Levin and his allies must realize that, as Christian Gomez wrote: “Ever since the 1787 Convention, historical precedent has been on the side of a RUNAWAY (emphasis mine) convention, rather than a totally safeguarded one, meaning that a modern-day Constitutional Convention could propose bad amendments or even a TOTALLY NEW CONSTITUTION and force it on the American people by way of creating and utilizing a new mode of ratification. There goes the three-fourths ratification requirement and safeguard” that exists in our present Constitution.
And for those of you who have forgotten, or never learned, our history, THAT is exactly what happened in Philadelphia in 1787, when that ONE AND ONLY Constitutional Convention totally ignored the rules previously ratified in the Articles of Confederation by ALL thirteen states and totally scrapped them, and wrote and ratified our new Constitution under ITS rules BEFORE it was even ratified by all of the states’ delegates. So don’t tell me that a RUNAWAY convention can never happen, because in 1787 IT DID! THAT is how the United States of America was born!
If you agree, with me, that a “Convention of States”, or as it should properly be referred to as “An Article V Constitutional Convention”, has the potential to be a “Pandora’s Box” better left unopened, and would be a true “can of worms” once called, then please IMMEDIATELY write, call, or email your State Representatives and your State Senators, and tell them to honor and uphold and OBEY our present U.S. Constitution, and do this NOW, for the sake of all our futures, and insist that they OPPOSE the call to establish an Article V Con-Con. This is especially important here in South Carolina! And it wouldn’t hurt to remind your Federal Representative and your two Federal Senators that you expect them to OBEY our present much maligned and attacked Constitution, for if ALL members of our Federal government would OBEY our existing Constitution, there would be NO need for concerned citizens to call for a Con-Con to solve our national problems via new constitutional amendments. Now isn’t that a novel idea?