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The Frighteningly Exciting Prospect of a Constitutional Convention

Written By Jeff Edwards

Posted January 5, 2016

I’m not saying the idea of a constitutional convention is inherently bad.

I see how it may be useful to correct many of the ills of modern America, as well as clarify many of the great constitutional questions of our day.

But if I’m being entirely honest, it scares the living daylights out of me.

There is actually a grassroots movement right now to convene such a convention, and presidential candidate Marco Rubio has thrown his support behind it.

When a constitutional amendment is passed individually, as has been the case for all the amendments throughout American history, this great nation only changes one amendment at a time.

But if the state legislators were to convene a constitutional convention as outlined in Article V of the Constitution, then it’s open season on the country we know and love.

And to be honest, I don’t have a whole lot of faith in the people who would be running that show.

The Beauty of Capital Hill Gridlock

People will often complain about the lack of action in Washington, D.C. as if it is inherently a bad thing.

We complain about the nature of partisan politics and how it prevents anything from actually getting done in Congress.

But what if that were a good thing? After all, is it really necessary for the federal government to take action when the states can do so themselves?

I suppose it might be good if legislation was being passed out of Washington that was the product of compromise and reason on behalf of a politically divided nation.

But to be honest, I feel like I have a better chance of finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

When one side completely dominates the political landscape, laws get passed regularly and with dramatic consequence.

Take Obamacare for example.

It passed because the Democrats dominated the House and the Senate, while a fairly liberal president sat in the White House.

To be honest, that might have been a season where we would have preferred a little good old-fashioned Washington, D.C. gridlock.

So when you talk about opening up the entire Constitution to a massive rewrite, it absolutely terrifies me.

What I Hope Would Happen in a Constitutional Convention

I’ll go ahead and confess that I have some moderately conservative leanings.

So if you were to ask me what I hope to happen during a constitutional convention, you might think it would be to establish a more conservative interpretation of America.

But actually, nothing could be further from the truth.

I recognize that we live in a divided nation right now, and were the conservative governors and legislators that dominate the current landscape of state government to force such a view on the rest of America, it would only divide us further.

Rather, I think you might actually find some bipartisan support amongst the states for doing nothing other than reigning in the rapidly expanding powers of the federal government.

It doesn’t have to be about traditional policies supported by the Democrats and Republicans.

This nation existed just fine before those two parties came along, and I’m not really open to the idea of giving either party the opportunity to radically change this nation by re-writing the Constitution.

But I’m very open to the idea of the states taking back power from the federal government.

In fact, I’m actually of the opinion that we are only as divided as we are because we are trying to make 50 very diverse states come together and agree about matters they ought to be able to decide for themselves locally.

To force the good people of Montana or Wyoming to agree with the good and yet fascinatingly wacky people of, say, San Francisco is absolutely absurd.

So yes, I am frightened at what might come out of a constitutional convention.

However, I am excited and intrigued by the notion of the states putting the federal government back in its constitutional place. It seems to be quite the predicament.

For on one hand, I toast the idea of a convention, and then when I consider the politicians who would be leading such a convention, I lower the glass and fill it with the strongest whiskey I can find.