A new Constitutional Convention could well be the cure for many things that ail our Republic. Regardless of whether one’s political bend is to the left or right, most of us seem to agree that a serious effort to reform the political process in the United States is necessary. Even though there are serious ideological differences between the liberal-leaning Occupy movement and the conservative-leaning Tea Party movement, there is a significant amount of agreement on both sides that our political process has become corrupted by money. Considering the ravages that corrupt politics have done to our country, effective reform is long overdue, and a second Constitutional Convention is the only legal avenue toward such reform. There are caveats, yes, but would we be taking any greater risks than the Founders did?
There is considerable risk involved in holding a second Constitutional Convention especially from those who wish to change the Founders’ original intents (Occupy and entitlement). It is a risk worth taking, however, because there is also a strong movement (Tea Party and individual liberty) toward restoring the original intents which have been eroded by corrupt governments under both parties.
There is also debate and disagreement about how to initiate a second Constitutional Convention, but such debates wrongly focus on ‘precedent’. They fail to realize that Article 5 of the United States Constitution lays out the process clearly. According to Article 5, it is either 2/3 of the national legislature OR 2/3 of the states’ legislatures who initiate the convention OR the national legislature can propose a way to do it (normal legislative processes apply to this option). Article 5 shows us that a Constitutional Convention does not have to be initiated in the same way every time thus discussing setting a precedent is pointless.
Coming to an agreement on the most effective method to get the convention underway is the key for getting the process started. For the pursuers of the original intents, the states’ legislatures method is the logical course because one of the largest problems being addressed by the convention is in fact the national legislative body. Thus the national legislature has a conflict of interest and should therefore not be allowed to initiate the process.
State legislators do not suffer from any conflict of interest and are generally more easily accessible than national legislators. They also tend to be more aware of and sensitive to local constituent concerns. If our goal is to restore the original intents of the Founders, we must get to know and attempt to influence our states’ legislatures. We must seize this initiative while the opportunity yet remains to take our country back.