Drain the swamp – but how?
“To drain the swamp” has become the new mantra for the Conservative Movement, with President Elect Trump leading the charge. While this is an admirable goal, it is unrealistic to believe that the swamp dwellers will pull the plug to start the drainage process within their own domain. With few exceptions, these swamp dwellers consist of members of Congress, political Czars, lobbyists, staff members, justices at all levels, and of course, members of every rank within the government. These swamp dwellers are fed by special interests and their large donations.
How to drain the swamp?
Before anyone attempts to pull the plug on this out-of-control cabal of carpetbaggers, it would be wise to try to understand both our problems and our possible answers. Since large donations from special interests bear much of the responsibility, it is nothing less than pay-to-play whereby those that fund the campaigns of their candidates, receive favorable votes in return. Unfortunately, pulling the plug does not lie within the authority of the President – not even Superman could do that. Only We the People can.
Although it can be done by imposing term limits at election time, that is just as unrealistic as Trump believing that Congress will pass a constitutional amendment to hand themselves pink slips. These have turned their service into lucrative careers. In the process, some have compromised whatever integrity they may have had, while others delude themselves into thinking that compromise is a good thing. This is a double-whammy that couples pay-to-play with playing-along-to-get-along. The funding of their campaigns by special interests buys them media time and propaganda materials. This money, coupled with name recognition, has made it nearly impossible to get them out office once the cycle begins.
A Convention of States?
The movement known as the Convention of States (COS), believes it has the answer to ending this cycle. However, Eagle Forum (a very respectable and highly regarded organization) presents a strong counter-argument.
The COS argues that we can impose amendments to the Constitution by circumventing Congress. Their argument is based on Article V of the Constitution, that prescribes two methods to amending the Constitution:
- Through Congress (as has always been done); and
- Through a Convention of the States, which requires 2/3 of the states submitting applications to Congress for the convention.
Their website states that the Founders created Article V should the day arise when the Congress might “become drunk with the abuse of power.” They add that Congress is bound only to calling for the convention and nothing more, and that the Convention will debate and vote on the proposed amendments only, which will require that three-quarters of them agree in order for the amendment(s) to be ratified. The COS assures us that “Congress has no authority to stop such a process. The Founders made sure of that.”
On the other hand, Eagle Forum believes that such a convention would result in a Constitutional Convention, commonly known as a ConCon. They argue that this happened when our Founders met to amend the failing Articles of Confederation. Their website posts a quote from James Madison written in 1788 when NY was resisting ratification of the Constitution as originally written, based on its failure to specifically protect the rights of the people.
Madison opposed another convention of any type. At this point, our Founders had labored hard and well to produce the document we call our Constitution, and they were not willing to go back to square one and renegotiate its terms. Therefore, they agreed to amend the document by adding the Bill of Rights, which protected the rights of the people as opposed to the body of the Constitution that enumerated the powers of government and determined its model of governance.
In a nutshell, one argues that a Convention of the States is not the same as a Constitutional Convention and can be limited to the amendments proposed, and the other argues that there can be no guarantee that the Convention will limit itself to the proposed amendments. Both positions are well-supported, and both are problematic.
A limited application
The COS has ground to stand on but has made that ground shaky by proposing a myriad of amendments to limit an out-of-control government. It should be noted that an additional 17 amendments have been added to the Constitution since the original 10 had been ratified – and none of them resulted in a ConCon. However, the sheer volume of the amendments they are proposing opens the door for a ConCon, which is a frightening possibility. However, if a movement began that limited the COS to one amendment, and one amendment only, the prospect of a ConCon would be severely limited. And that one amendment should be TERM LIMITS.
A Term Limits amendment would begin to drain the proverbial swamp. It would also end the unintended consequence of career Washington politicians that have created a system of hierarchy that disenfranchises newly elected members who are not assigned to any significant committees. In essence, this practice has inadvertently created another taxation without representation situation, whereby the constituents of the newly elected representative are not effectively receiving the same representation as those who are represented by career politicians. And so, the incumbent’s argument that now – after having been assigned to some committee – they can finally get something done is realistic – but it is a realism that operates under conditions of disenfranchisement that they themselves have created. It is also interesting to note that when Congress amended the Constitution to limit the terms for presidents, they side-stepped including term limits for themselves.
A calculated risk
To be sure, a convention of any kind is a frightening prospect, and one that should not be undertaken lightly. However, should these carpetbaggers be allowed to continue, any reprieve this country may have is limited. Unfortunately, the longer we wait, the more the leftist agenda infiltrates our government through the entitlement generation aided and abetted by an ideologically driven academic system and a supporting media. This makes it more likely with each passing election that even a COS will not be able to drain the swamp. Right now, the wind is at our back. It may be time to ride the wind and throw all the bums out. Taking a calculated chance on a COS may prove to be the last chance America has before the New World Order devours our sovereignty. Act wisely, America, reprieves are only short-term solutions and worldwide cabals won’t give up so easily.