Why can't we change?
By Dr. Robert Owens
Paths with no obstacles usually lead nowhere.
Among those who hallow the Constitution you will find no more loyal devotee to this document that helped continue the limited government established under the Article of Confederation. There is no one who believes more passionately than the author of this article that the Constitution provided the space for the individual freedom, personal liberty, and economic opportunity needed to foster the growth of the greatest nation this world has ever seen
However, it is only necessary to read The Gilded Age by Mark Twain to see how corruption and greed, crony capitalism and lobbyists have been building their own kingdoms since before any of us were born. And just as it doesn't take a weather man to know which way the wind blows it doesn't take a constitutional scholar to know at this time and in this place the Constitution has failed.
Look at the path America is on. Do you think our current leaders or our current policies will lead to a renewing of America or to its slide into the second tier of nations? Think about the directions laid out for us.
We are told by the Progressives who lead us that perpetual continuation of unemployment payments for the long-term unemployed is good for the economy and good for jobs.
If unemployment creates jobs and is good for the economy why don't we just give it to everyone who doesn't have a job in perpetuity, and make it a thousand dollars a week for good measure?
Increase the minimum wage to $10.10. This will create jobs and help the economy. Our leaders say there are just too many people laboring for the current starvation wage of $7.25. While according to CNN Money, "An estimated 3.6 million people were paid hourly rates at or below the federal minimum in 2012, down from 3.8 million a year earlier. Just under 60% of all U.S. workers are paid hourly, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. An estimated 4.7% of those hourly workers make minimum wage or less, down from 5.2%, a year earlier. That share is the lowest since 2008." That's quite a few people: 3.6 million, and obviously worthy of notice.
However when 16 million people had their healthcare plans cancelled due to Obamacare we were told this was an insignificant number. As with everything connected to Obamacare the numbers of those who have lost insurance coverage as a result are sketchy. Some sources say more than 4.2 million Americans have now seen their health insurance policies canceled due to the new regulations. And the President's spokesman said that 14 million losing their healthcare is just a "small sliver" of the population.
We must increase food stamps. This is the only humane thing to do since so many go to sleep hungry at night, and besides it will create jobs and it's good for the economy.
If food stamps spur economic growth why not just give them to everyone and on a handy plastic card that works at marijuana stores and casinos.
We must have comprehensive immigration reform, the code words for amnesty because it will create jobs and it's good for the economy besides the illegals have earned the right to be citizens. This comes not from some general in La Raza it comes from our own Secretary of Homeland Security. If illegal immigrants have earned the right to be citizens why don't we just dispense with borders and give citizenship to every undocumented democrat who can walk across the line.
Look at these continuing soap operas we find as our national policy. These are transparent wealth transfers, give aways, and oxymoronic programs building bridges to nowhere. All passed by the gerrymandered representatives of K Street that make up the perpetually re-elected representatives of our nation and lame excuses for leadership proposed by empty suits who have occupied the White House since Reagan went home to California.
What's a patriot to do? There is a remedy in the Constitution for the failure of the Constitution. It is found in Article V which describes the amendment process. This provides two ways to amend the Constitution: either Congress initiates an amendment or the States can call for a Constitutional Convention to consider amendments. The first method has resulted in 27 amendments. The second method has never been used.
Many people fear a Constitutional Convention. Many believe that it would open a can of worms and lead to the destruction of our limited government. Our limited government has already been co-opted by the Progressives and turned into a Leviathan which is quickly devouring every limit and every freedom in its path.
What we have is not working, and it hasn't worked for quite some time. I believe Article V at least provides a method to attempt to return to limited government peacefully. Let's give peace a chance. I believe that the principles of liberty can win in the marketplace of ideas. Let us engage in a debate to save our present and the future of our children. To continue the way we are going leads to a democratic totalitarianism of the majority.
If we could find the faith and the courage to call a Constitutional Convention for what should we advocate?
I propose we do as our ancestors the Framers of our Constitution did when they were called upon to propose amendments to the Articles of Confederation. I propose we write a completely new document. Where do I get the chutzpa, the hubris to call for such an outcome?
By remembering why governments exist at all, "That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." And never forgetting "That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect (sic) their safety and happiness."
Our system is broken and all the king's horses and all the king's men can't put it back together again. If we stay within the bounds of what has been done in the past what are we to do? Propose a Balanced Budget Amendment or a Spending Restriction Amendment? Or perhaps an amendment that says, "The Constitution means what it says not what judges interpret it to say" and then stand back while the Supreme Court interprets that to mean as one Chief Justice said, "The Constitution means what the Supreme Court says it means."
If we continue to play the same game by the same rules we will lose the same hand because the deck is stacked. This is when we need to remember: paths with no obstacles usually lead nowhere.
Let us be as bold and brave as our forefathers. Let us propose fundamental change and roll the dice. If you don't swing the bat you don't have a chance to hit the ball. If we continue on the road we are traveling the only thing left to say is an attempt to explain how and why we let freedom slip from our grasp.
I believe that no one is as smart as everyone, so the ideas I am proposing I do not see as the beginning and end of debate. I see them instead as a starting point. Let's join together, demand a hearing, and move forward in an attempt to reinstate limited government and preserve this last best hope of mankind.
First of all I stand for retaining the amendments with the exception of the 16th and 17th and enshrining them within the original document.
I propose eliminating the office of President and changing to a parliamentary style government based upon the majority in the House electing a Prime Minister who is head of government and head of State. Elections for the House should continue on a two year basis.
I propose that we keep the Senate but that it reverts to its original intent as the representatives of the States and those Senators are once again elected by the legislatures of the States and serve at their pleasure.
I propose stronger guarantees for the States in a renewed Federalism: a true confederation similar to that of Switzerland.
I propose that since the scope of Federal jurisdiction will be severely restricted, the Federal Court System along with its power of judicial review be abolished. The State court systems are well able to handle the civil and criminal cases brought within their boundaries.
I propose that the Supreme Court be abolished and replaced by a Constitutional Court similar to Germany's. This court would be physically removed from the capital, and it shall have no jurisdiction beyond Judicial Review having the power to declare laws and actions of the Federal Government unconstitutional. The Congress shall have the power to override these rulings by a three quarter majority in both houses. Judges shall serve four year terms with only two terms allowed.
I know that these proposals will make some people very upset. I know these proposals will make some quit reading this History of the Future. I also know that is we do not do something to break the log jam the river will not flow free.
Yes, there are what seem to be insurmountable obstacles to change. I know these obstacles are daunting, and they will not be overcome by the timid. However, paths with no obstacles usually lead nowhere, and if what we have is no longer working, why can't we change.
Keep the Faith. Keep the peace. We shall overcome.
Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens