Frequently Asked Questions
How can amendments help?
The kinds of abuses happening in Washington today aren’t just because a handful of bad laws have gotten on the books over the years, or due to the behaviors of a few self-serving politicians here and there. They are the result of actions taken by the legislative and executive branches over the years that have undermined fundamental principles of the design of our government, and have been either actively or passively allowed by our federal courts. If the federal government was going to take action to repair the damage itself, it would have done so by now. The most viable recourse we have available is to force the issue by making these practices clearly and unavoidably unconstitutional.
Can’t we just elect good people?
We can and should elect people of good character who support our Constitution at all levels of government. But incumbency offers many advantages, including name recognition, free media exposure, and taxpayer-funded constituent communication. Though Congress’ approval rating seldom exceeds 20%, re-election rates for incumbent Congressmen seldom dip below 95%. If we assume that 10% of the current Congress, and 1 in 3 of the winners of the open seats in each election cycle are “good,” then at current retirement and re-election rates, it will take a generation…more than 40 years…before “good people” comprise even a simple majority in both chambers of Congress. Do you think we can wait that long?
But if they don’t follow the Constitution Now, why Will they follow these Amendments?
We didn’t get here overnight. Courts and government officials tend to observe a text carefully for about a century. Then the people who fought for and revere the document begin to die off, and the envelope-pushing begins. We arrived where we are today one law, one executive order, one court decision at a time. We now have hindsight into the jurisprudential gymnastics that have been employed to distort what was once a plain-sense reading of the text; and can assess the long-term, cumulative impact of these actions.
We also have current contextual awareness: there was no United Nations when the Constitution was drafted, for example. And we understand how language has changed over the last two centuries. Things that used to be clear to the average person now mystify everyone except lawyers and historians. With this knowledge, we can write amendments that have the power to effectively constrain the next generation of demagogues.
Once these amendments are ratified, they will have secured such overwhelming support (remember, they will have been ratified by 3/4 of the states) that there will be significant political blowback for anyone who dares abuse them. Will this fix everything, forever? No. Our kids or grandkids will almost certainly have to do this again; but it will be far easier next time, because the fear and uncertainty will be forever behind us.
Will Democrats and Republicans really come to the table and work together at the convention?
Yes! Consider the Illinois General Assembly, which passed the Wolf-PAC resolution with bipartisan support. The COS resolution, HJR 32 (100th GA), thought by many to be a strictly conservative initiative, was carried by a liberal Democrat. Over two dozen members of both parties, including leadership, signed on as co-sponsors. Unlike Congress, almost all state legislators actually live in their districts full-time, know many of their constituents personally, and are intimately familiar with the challenges they face. They are highly motivated to find solutions, and ready to put an end to Washington’s micromanagement and corruption.