ARTICLE V CONVENTION: A TITANIC IRRELEVANCE
[The revitalization of the Militia of the Several States as a better path forward]
By Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.
April 7, 2014
snip of long article, see rest on link:
The more I inflict upon myself the details of the on-going, extensive, and increasingly acrimonious debate about the supposed merits or demerits of what is called an “Article V Convention of the States”, the more my mind returns to the scene I have imagined taking place on Titanic. Having struck the iceberg, the great liner is down fifteen degrees by the head, and sinking fast, while in the Grand Salon her designer Mr. Andrews, Captain Smith, and a gaggle of marine engineers are discussing a new ship, to be built according to a new design which supposedly will obviate the flaw in Titanic that contributed to her demise. While in theory this discussion might have been very illuminating to the participants, it obviously would otherwise have been an irrelevance which could have saved neither Titanic nor a single soul who went down with her.
This, it seems to me, presents a perfect parallel to the present “Article V Convention” debate—a debate so completely out of touch with the actual situation now confronting this country, that one wonders how anyone could take it seriously as an observer, let alone participate in it. Consider the following:
• First, the “Article V Convention” debate does not address the immediate issue of the looming national economic crisis about which every informed observer is warning this country in no uncertain terms. The General Government is buried under some 200+ trillion “dollars” worth of unfunded long-term liabilities. This is an unpayable sum by anyone’s calculus. The failure to pay it will have catastrophic economic, social, and political consequences. The problem will not be solved by Congress. In fact, Congress is making the situation worse. The debt is the great rent in America’s ship of state through which economic dissolution is pouring in. Congress proposes to fix this problem by borrowing more money which can never be repaid. This is equivalent to the lunatic notion that blowing off the rear quarter of Titanic would have saved the ship by allowing the water surging in at the bow to flow out through the new hole at the stern!
If this were not enough, almost all Americans are utterly unprepared to deal with the consequences of the depression, hyperinflation, or combination of the two which collapse of the national economy will cause. Nothing anyone has written in favor of an “Article V Convention” has suggested how any new amendment to the Constitution would deal with this virtual Marianas’ Trench of unpreparedness. And especially how it would deal with this danger right now, not at some distant point in the future after the crisis has broken out and hurled the entire country into chaos.
And if that were not more than enough, the top noises in the Disgrace of Columbia are even now feverishly preparing to impose so-called “martial law” throughout America when the economic catastrophe strikes—in which event, of course, the Constitution will effectively (if illegally) be set aside, and all talk of an “Article V Convention” (or of the ratification of amendments proposed at such a shindig) will become blather even more worthless than it is now.
• Second, even if some part of an “Article V Convention” were addressed to the impending national economic crisis, the process could not be made to work in time. Time may not be everything; but everything depends upon time. The convention has to be called by the requisite two thirds of the States; it has to be held, for who knows how long; and the amendments it proposes have to be submitted to the States for ratification. One or more of the amendments necessary to deal with the crisis must be ratified by three fourths of the States. Each and every such amendment must then be enforced. How many years all this will take, and who will see that it is accomplished (especially with respect to enforcement), is anyone’s guess. And guess is the appropriate word, because no one can possibly predict when, how, and to what end this pie-in-the-sky process can and will be put into effect. We do not have to guess, however, whether the national economic crisis is coming sooner, rather than later—and certainly sooner than any “Article V Convention” could produce any useful amendments to the Constitution which States in the requisite number will actually have ratified.
• Third, one of the more outspoken exponents of an “Article V Convention” (Timothy Baldwin) himself tells us that “t is time for the States to ‘take matters into their own hands’ and quit waiting for Congress to fix itself.” Yes, indeed, it is high time for that. But the question remains, how best to do it? For quite a while, I have been urging revitalization of “the Militia of the several States” as the proper way for the States “to ‘take matters into their own hands’” both in perfect accord with the Constitution and in a manner which will have an immediate and beneficial effect. It should be self-evident how, in both principle and practice, revitalizing the Militia could solve the pressing problems an “Article V Convention” could not possibly solve (and which its proponents do not even claim it could solve).