This article below is a sequel to my essay, “Defeating the New World Order and Creating a New Society That Allows Capitalists and Communists to Live Together in Peace After Establishing a New Constitution,” posted previously to disinfo.com.
Thomas Jefferson stated in the Declaration of Independence, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government … to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
If you look at the Constitution of the United States, there is only one paragraph (Article V) that tells how we can change our government. But Article V only discusses how to propose and then ratify amendments. It does not say anything about the procedures to rewrite the entire Constitution. At their website, an organization called Friends of the Article V Convention has verified that there have been over 700 petitions for a constitutional convention from state legislatures, but Congress refuses to grant that right, which is an inherent right of “The People.” 
The Friends of the Article V Convention insist that the constitutional convention that is now demanded by the states, based on Article V, can be only for proposing amendments, not about rewriting the US Constitution. They want a constitutional convention to discuss any amendment issues (like requiring a balanced budget, term limits, and so forth) as they are submitted by the states–amendments which later must be ratified by ¾ of the states. Read the quote below from their website:
“Constitutional scholars agree that an Article V Convention is limited strictly and exclusively to proposing amendments to the Constitution, which must then be ratified by three-fourths of the states before taking effect. The Convention itself possesses no legislative or taxing authority: it can only debate, formulate, and propose amendments.”
Chief Justice Warren Burger  is a constitutional scholar who does not agree with the constitutional scholars above:
“…The convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the convention would obey. After a convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the convention if we don’t like its agenda. The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the confederation Congress ‘for the sole and express purpose’.”
Organizations like the John Birch Society , the American Policy Center , and no doubt millions of other individuals, on the right, left, and in the middle are very fearful of a constitutional convention which has never been tried since the first one in 1787. Conservatives are sounding the alarm that a constitutional convention would take away the Bill of Rights (especially their gun rights), encourage abortions and euthanasia. Radicals on the left are also apprehensive about what conservatives might do at a constitutional convention. And apparently, for different reasons, the US Congress also dreads a constitutional convention, and refuses to turn over any power to the various states to either amend or abolish the constitution. Here is what the Constitution itself states:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
To put those tortuous words in layman’s language, Article V prohibited an amendment banning the slave trade before 1808, which is also discussed in the first and fourth Clauses of Section 9 of Article 1. Small states would be allowed to have two US Senators, or the same number as any other state. Most important of all, there would be two methods to propose new amendments, and two ways to ratify amendments, according to Article V.
Nothing is mentioned in Article V about completely rewriting the Constitution, and even if it is implied, there is too much fear and paranoia everywhere to allow The People to take matters in their own hands, since the US Congress and other branches of the federal government are not doing their jobs, based on the powers that We the People granted them.
According to Article V, if 2/3 of the state legislatures call for a [national] Convention just to propose amendments, it is not clearly stated who will decide who attends this Convention to propose amendments. And then to ratify the proposed amendments, it does state that Congress may propose either that 50 state conventions should ratify or that 50 state legislatures should ratify.
Much of the wording in the Constitution is outdated, complex, and obfuscated. It may be the supreme law of the land, but it is very boring. At the very least, we could simplify, clarify, and update the Constitution and make it readable, while removing some of the embarrassing references to slavery, among other things. If we did just that, average citizens would read it and become empowered by it.
Many conservatives are concerned that a liberal US Congress would unduly influence the Constitutional Convention if Congress selected the delegates that attended the national proposing Convention and the state ratifying conventions. They also are worried that a runaway Convention would change the ratification requirements. And they argue that the liberal media would bias people in the wrong way, if there was a constitutional convention. Some individuals argue that there would be rioting in the streets and possibly another civil war, if we had the second constitutional convention. Others say they fear a constitutional convention merely because they do not trust the current political climate in Washington DC. These fears, whether they are justified or unfounded, need to be addressed.
The challenge for many of us, on the right and the left, is that we do want to rewrite the US Constitution so that we can have a better government. But we do not want to attempt it, unless it is done in a nonviolent, orderly, and constitutional way.
One of the ways we can allay the deep fears that many people have about a constitutional convention is to propose a Twenty-Eighth Amendment which could revise and clarify Article V. Since more than 2/3 of the states have called for a constitutional convention, it is long overdue. If we get new, clearly stated, and proper guidelines for having a constitutional convention–citizens will approach this event with enthusiasm and hope. The process could cause them to exercise their civic rights and responsibilities as never before, as this new monumental endeavor begins.
If the Constitutional Convention delegates created a document that was outlandishly foolish, The People, and the states, would simply scoff at it and reject it outright, and things would then continue as they were before. As bad as Congress is perceived to be, do you think it would have the temerity to say, “Okay, we will call for a constitutional convention, but we ourselves will select all the state delegates.” Article V needs to revised, in order to make a Constitutional Convention orderly, safe, and fair. Here is an example of how the Twenty-Eighth Amendment could read:
Throughout our nation’s history over 700 applications have been filed by state legislatures to request a national Constitutional Convention, from all 50 states, though not always for the same reason and not always in the same time period. Though the US Congress has a duty to call for a Constitutional Convention when 2/3 of the states request it—the US Congress, the President, and the US Supreme Court will not have the right to influence or control this process in any way, when this method of changing the Constitution is chosen.
Each state legislature shall send one delegate to participate in the Constitutional Convention, based on the Instant Runoff Voting of the citizens in the state: Voters of each state will rank 7 candidates in the order of their preferences. The seven most numerous political parties of each state will offer the voters of each state a proposed constitution and a potential constitutional delegate, who might be the one selected by the state to represent it, at the Constitutional Convention. For example, here is how one voter from Indiana might rank her votes, based on the seven most numerous political parties in Indiana:
Republican Party, 1st Constitution Party, 2nd Libertarian Party, 3rd
Democratic Party, 4th Green Party, 5th
Socialist Party, 6th Communist Party, 7th
If no candidate in Indiana gets a 51% majority, then before the second round of voting begins, the candidate who had the least amount of votes in Indiana would be dropped from the list of choices (making the total now 6). If after the second round of voting, still no candidate has a 51% majority, then the candidate who had the least amount of votes would be dropped (making the list of choices now 5). If after the third round of voting, the Republican Party (which may have just proposed the Constitution we have now) received at least 51% of the votes, then its candidate would be the delegate representing Indiana at the national Constitutional Convention.
The 50 representatives from each state will choose where, when, and how they will have the Constitutional Convention within three months. After that, the Convention will have one year to work on several revisions, if necessary, of the newly proposed Constitution, in the constant effort to get ¾ of the state legislatures to ratify it. If a state ratifies a version and a new version is made, that state must vote again on the latest version. If the new constitution does not get ¾ of the states to ratify it, then the proposed constitution will be null and void, and the current Constitution will continue as before. All of the debates and dialogue of the delegates will be publicized, and citizens will be allowed to voice their opinions in the process. Thereafter, whenever 2/3 of the state legislatures again call for another Constitutional Convention for any reason, then this process must be started anew.
There is another way to make amendments to the United States Constitution: If 2/3 of the members of both Houses of the United States Congress approve of a proposed amendment, then that amendment will not be ratified and added to the Constitution, until ¾ of the state legislatures approve it. The state legislatures will have one year to decide over the amendment proposed by Congress. If a state endorses a proposed amendment, it is allowed to rescind its approval later. However, once an amendment is officially passed, a state cannot rescind its previous approval of that ratified amendment. [End of amendment proposal]
This proposed amendment to revise Article V, does not allow Congress to ever choose state conventions as a way to ratify amendments or a new constitution. Only state legislatures can ratify amendments or a new constitution.
Our current system is based on “the winner takes all,” which means if a candidate got a plurality with a mere 35% of the popular vote, for example, he or she could get elected. Our nation still uses the Electoral College system for electing presidents, which is not considered to be very democratic. Though I admire libertarian Ron Paul, I regret that he still endorses the Electoral College system.
Some people say, “We just need to follow and obey the Constitution we have for a change.” Those people need to be asked, “Do you mean the Constitution including all the amendments? Do you believe that certain amendments were big mistakes? Do you believe some amendments were unconstitutionally ratified?” Upon closer examination, you will find that many of these people are dissatisfied with the Constitution in some respects. With a new constitutional convention, they would have an equal opportunity to fine tune the Constitution more to their liking. We the People are capable of having a constitutional convention. And we can do it in an orderly, safe, lawful, and fair way.
After the proposed Twenty-Eighth Amendment is ratified, which calls for a Constitutional Convention, political parties and concerned citizens could start publicizing their own proposed constitutions months in advance before the Constitutional Convention began. Delegates attending the Convention would be held accountable to their political party and the citizens from their home state. If done in this way, there would be no shocking surprises.
Moreover, if people see workable ways that our “sacred” Constitution and government can be improved, they will be more inclined to consider a constitutional convention. To show one way our current Constitution and government could be improved, I have written a new constitution, called the Third Constitution of the United States (the first constitution was the Articles of Confederation, the second is the one we now have). 
In the Introduction to my Third Constitution, I list 45 reasons why we need a new constitution. The average US citizen would agree with most of my recommendations once they were fully understood. Considering the corruption in government, the shortcomings of our current Constitution, and the differences in political preferences that have emerged since our Constitution was implemented in 1789–the only solution is to create a new document that creates a live-and-let-live society.
In my Third Constitution I advocate Instant Runoff Voting, which would give third parties equal access to the political process. I recommend having 435 federal legislators (as we now have in the House of Representatives), based on districts of equal population. However, the US Senate is totally eliminated, and all bills must be passed with a 2/3 majority, not a mere 51percent. The new government that would evolve from the Third Constitution would be devised in a way that would make a smooth transition from the old to the new. It would build government from the bottom-up, not from the top-down, which has never been tried before.
The Third Constitution would maximize local community self-reliance, whenever possible. Each precinct community could choose free market capitalism or socialism, or some mixed economic system. In dealing with matters such as rivers, power lines, fire and police protection, for example, the preferences of precincts could be overruled by township boards, the preferences of townships could be overruled by county boards, the preferences of counties could be overruled by state government boards. Each state would be largely autonomous. The federal government would be greatly downsized and have narrowly defined powers such as national defense, interstate trade, and so forth.
Each neighborhood precinct would choose one representative to serve on the township board. The township board would have legislative powers and make judicial and executive appointments that pertain to that particular township. Each township board would vote (among themselves) and send one representative to the county board. The county board would have legislative powers and make judicial and executive appointments that pertain to that county. Each county board would vote (among themselves) and send one of its board members to the state government board. The state government board would have legislative powers and make judicial and executive appointments.
In years past, I typically voted a straight ticket for about 20 different offices about which I knew very little. The process usually took about four minutes. I do not think everyday citizens should vote for a county recorder, state auditor, and similar offices. Experts who work in these fields should appoint persons for these types of positions.
However, in annual elections, members of a precinct could replace their one representative to the township board, for example, based on that person’s voting record and performance. The township board, in annual elections, could choose to elect a different person to sit on the county board for the same reasons. The county board also could choose a different person to represent it, at the state level.
In Indiana, for example, (if you can cope momentarily with some of these details) the city of Indianapolis and Marion County pretty much have geographical boundaries that coincide. There are about 600 precincts in Marion County (each precinct has about 500 adult voters). There are 9 townships inside the county. That means each township board would consist of 66-67 precinct representatives (600/9=66.6). Each of the 9 township boards would elect one representative to serve on the county board, which would thus have 9 members, at least in Marion County.
There are 92 counties in Indiana, so therefore there would be 92 members on the State Government Board, which would replace the current Indiana House and Senate state legislators. Each state legislator currently represents about 600,000 or more adult voters, a number that is way too large. A precinct president and delegate to the township board, on the other hand, could easily become acquainted with all of the 500 voters in his or her precinct.
Here is another aspect of this system, which I call the precinct empowerment system: Let us say Wayne Township has Precincts #533-600 in Marion County. If the Wayne Township Board elects Mrs. Smith (from Precinct #539 in Wayne Township) to serve on the Marion County Government Board, replacing Mr. Jones (from Precinct #581, also in Wayne Township), then Precinct #581 in Wayne Township has no one in government representing it, since Mr. Jones was removed. So the voters of Precinct #581 would vote for a person to serve on the Wayne Township Board to fill the vacancy there that occurred when Mrs. Smith advanced to the Marion County Board, replacing Mr. Jones.
Now, even if Mrs. Smith got promoted to the State Government Board, either the members of the Marion County Board, where she came from, or the people in Precinct #539, where Mrs. Smith came from originally–could vote her out of government completely, if they were not happy with her performance at the State Government Board. If that happened, then the voters in Precinct #539, where Mrs. Smith came from, would need to vote for someone to serve on the Wayne Township Government Board.
Indiana now has 10 federal legislators who serve in the US House of Representatives and 2 US Senators (like every other state). Since the US Senate is eliminated under the Third Constitution, Indiana would have 10 federal legislators to serve in the new, unicameral US Congress. So, an Indiana citizen would vote for one person, from his or her precinct, to serve in either township, county, or state government, depending on how high that representative advances. That Indiana voter would also vote for a president of the United States and one federal legislator to serve in the US Congress. That would bethree elected officials to keep track of closely, not twenty-three.
Though most of the 600 precincts will not have their representative on one of the 9 township boards become a representative on the 9-member city-county board, it will not matter that much in this highly decentralized society: A state will not do whatever a self-reliant county can do; a county will not do whatever a self-reliant township can do; and a township will not do whatever a self-reliant precinct can do. Indiana might choose this system; other states might choose something else or even keep the system they have.
A lot of the details in my essays and the Third Constitution are being revised constantly, as I get feedback from people. Many individuals do not want to read a long essay, especially about getting rid of our “sacred” Constitution. When I share my political beliefs with family and friends, they say things like “That’s too disturbing to think about. If it’s true, I don’t even want to hear it. After all, what can I do about it? You can’t change the system. It’s too powerful.”
A new US Constitution could motivate people to make civics vitally part of their everyday reflections. Many people feel apathetic and powerless about participating in government. But it does not have to be that way.
If we sit back and do nothing, the powerful corporations and global elitists, bent on establishing a new world order, will remake our society for us, and they will not be hampered by our current Constitution and government. We can remake our Constitution in a way that truly empowers common people for the first time, and we can drastically reduce corruption in government. But we better act now before it is too late.
Roger Copple retired this year (May 2010) from teaching third grade in a public school in Indianapolis. He turned 60 on June 3. Roger became a libertarian supporting Ron Paul after previously identifying with the Green movement. Now he is trying to reconcile libertarian, socialist, and anarchist political theories. He has a Master’s degree in Special Education, and a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Here is the link to the Friends of Article V Convention Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.foa5c.org/mod/resource/view.php?id=2
 Scroll down the page at this link and you can read Chief Justice Burger’s comments in a letter to Phyllis Schlafly :http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/concon/burger.htm
 This John Birch Society website article also refers to part 1 of 4 youtube videos entitled “Beware of Article 5 Convention” which explains their viewpoints on this issue: http://jbs.org/freedom-campaign/4941 . All four of the youtube videos can also be found here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=beaware+of+article+5+convention&aq=f
 Here is a link to the American Policy Center: http://americanpolicy.org/more-issues/powerful-forces-now-calling-for-a-constitutional-convention.html
 The “Third Constitution of the United States” and the latest version of my essay “Defeating the New World Order and Creating a New Society That Allows Capitalists and Communists to Live Together in Peace After Establishing a New Constitution” which was posted at www.disinfo.com on July 4, 2010, and some of my other writings, can be found at my website www.NowSaveTheWorld.com .
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