The Convention of States Project is one of the most ambitious undertakings to constrain the federal government and its long train of overreaches. The idea has been heavily emphasized by Mark Levin, and has received an official endorsement from Red Millennial. Introducing Constitutional amendments to restore the rule of law, sound monetary policy, common-sense economic policy, etc. is all well and good. However, one must not only consider the good that can come out of the Convention, but also the danger. After all, prudence is the most important virtue of the enlightened statesman.
The first questions we should ask ourselves are about the good. What can be done to stop federal overreach? A balanced budget amendment would enshrine in the fundamental law that Congress pass a budget each year (or other time frame). A regulatory amendment would limit job-killing regulations from the alphabet soup of federal agencies and bring more jobs back to the United States. An amendment to repeal the 17th Amendment would bring back more control of the federal government to the states. All of these ideas were proposed in Mark Levin’s book The Liberty Amendments.
In theory, I support the Convention of States, because Washington is never going to fix itself. Some in Congress and the Executive Branch will say there are problems to be addressed, than Washington is broken, but do we see any tangible efforts to fix those issues? Of course not, it’s not very profitable to end cronyism.
If one is to truly understand an idea they must study all its aspect, not just a narrow view that fits into a set of presuppositions and desired ends. Do we want to stop the overreach of the federal government? The rational person says yes. But that same person must also recognize that there may be unintended consequences (look no further than Iraq for evidence of that).
Who supports the Convention of States movement? Well Red Millennial for one, Mark Levin, Rand Paul, and other big names from the right. But what about support from the left? It’s there alright, and some of the names are quite concerning.
George Soros, leftist billionaire, is a major proponent of the COS Project as a measure to “get money out of politics.” Wolf PAC is heavily bankrolled by Soros, and “The Plan” of the PAC is to effectively overturn the Citizens United vs. FEC decision of 2010 to get money out of politics (in theory, that is). The support of Soros behind the COS Project should concern the diligent watchdog of politics. Do we really want a radical socialist, Progressive billionaire supporting the movement? It might be time to pause and reflect on the matter. If his PAC was able to influence an entire state legislature to vote in favor of the project, where does that lead to during an actual convention?
Another concern that has not been addressed involves who will be the delegates at the Convention. One must remember that there will not be a room full of James Madisons, Patrick Henrys, and Alexander Hamiltons. It’s going to be the average politician that attends the Convention. That should be of concern as well. Sure there may be a few bastions of liberty that attend, but if they are outnumbered by Progressives and radical left wing proponents, what good does it do for the Constitution?
If a Convention is called by the states, the manner by which delegates are sent will be determined by the states. What if the George Soroses of the world influence state legislatures to pick Progressive friendly delegates that will not really restore the Constitution, but bring out an effectively new governing document that empowers the feds and scams the states and the people? It’s not an impossible situation if one knows how things tend to go when it comes to government.
The supporter of the COS Project must take this with more than a few grains of salt. This is not a call for halting the Project, nor is it a vote to support the federal government’s current situation. It is a call for prudence in the process, to carefully select what amendments will and will not be considered, and to send people to the Convention that will only support resolutions that are in line with the spirit of the Constitution. Am I being too cautious, or paranoid? Some may say so, but when it comes to an entire nation an ounce of prevention may be worth more than a few pounds of cure.