Open Letter to Ron Paul

There are numerous reasons to admire you, as I have for many years. Clearly you are running for president as a Republican, rather than a third party candidate, for the purpose of getting richly deserved media and public attention not available to those outside the two-party duopoly. In last night’s debate among Republican presidential candidates you proudly described yourself as a “champion of the Constitution.” However, you are missing a major opportunity to demonstrate your courage and allegiance to our constitutional republic.

You have acknowledged the appropriateness of amending the Constitution. In fact, you introduced legislation for an amendment that would stop giving automatic citizenship to babies born in the U.S. to non-citizen parents. You said: “Our founders knew that unforeseen problems with our system of government would arise, and that’s precisely why they gave us a method for amending the Constitution. It’s time to rethink birthright citizenship by amending the 14th amendment.”

Personally, I endorse this particular amendment. More important, however, I am disappointed that you have never latched on to the long history of Congress’ failure to honor and obey the part of Article V of the Constitution that gives Americans the right to a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution – an alternative to Congress proposing amendments. Interestingly, the particular amendment that you favor will probably never emerge from Congress, but might have a better chance through an Article V convention.

Why have you failed to acknowledge that Congress has ignored over 500 applications from state legislatures from all 50 states for an Article V convention? As a champion of the Constitution, surely you know that the one and only requirement explicitly stated in Article V is that two-thirds of state legislatures ask for one. And surely you know that Congress has never passed any law that expands or modifies this single explicit constitutional requirement. So, I ask you Congressman Paul: Why have you remained silent on the Article V issue?

If you do not believe that Congress should honor Article V’s provision for a convention, why not say so publicly? If you believe that it should never be used, then why not call for an amendment to delete it from our Constitution?

Please Congressman Paul, as a champion of the Constitution, do not behave like other members of Congress and silently veto a crucial part of the Constitution that the Framers wisely gave us. They anticipated that eventually Americans could lose confidence in the federal government. You clearly have earned the respect and support of millions of Americans because you object to so many policies and actions of the federal government. Thus, you, more than virtually any other member of Congress, should appreciate the wisdom of the Framers in giving us the Article V convention option.

I beg you to speak up and demonstrate just how much of a champion of the Constitution you really are by bringing national attention to the Article V convention issue and supporting its use. As a founder of Friends of the Article V Convention I invite you to play a leading role in giving the United States of America its first Article V convention.

Joel S. Hirschhorn was a full professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a senior official at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the National Governors Association; he has authored five nonfiction books, including Delusional Democracy: Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government. Read other articles by Joel.

11 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Kevin said on June 7th, 2007 at 5:46am #

    C’mon, as if Dr. Paul’s campaign doesn’t have enough changes involved. Maybe you should wait til he’s elected before you harp on an obscure element of law. He’s already standing up to so much. How much more baggage does he need?

  2. Artus Register said on June 7th, 2007 at 7:47am #

    A Constitutional convention? Have you lost your mind? Such a convention would allow the current congress to do whatever they wanted to our Constitution. No portion of it, not even the Bill of Rights would be safe! Can you imagine this congress being able to simply re-write the Constitution to reflect whatever collectivist, statist goals du jour their twisted minds can create?
    There is no way to hold a convention and leave ANY portion of the Constitution safe from alteration or deletion.
    The only way to keep the Constitution safe is to never have a Con-Con whereby it would doubtless cease to exist as the freedom-protecting document that it is. A call for such a convention demonstrates either an untter disregard for the protections of the Constitution or an abject ignorance about what such a convention truly is.

  3. Sam Marsh said on June 7th, 2007 at 9:42am #

    I have to agree that a Constitutional Convention, at this time, with the neocons and socialists controlling the agenda and the media, is pure folly. We could lose everything! Maybe, when and if Dr. Paul is president, and we have cleaned house in Congress, such an idea might be safe, but certainly not right now.

  4. Micah said on June 7th, 2007 at 12:01pm #

    I have confidence that this issue is important to him but it isn’t critical for this campaign he is sticking to the top issues in public view. Iraq, Defense, Border Control, and the Economy.

    No politician to date has been able cover all these issues as well as Dr. Paul.

  5. R.Rose said on June 7th, 2007 at 2:50pm #

    Ron Paul is a man to be admired. I have donated to the campaign as well we have done some fundraising at our office. All 35 employees where I work are behind Ron Paul. He is not some Washington corporate whore like the rest of them, he is the real deal. He is our only hope of seeing the true United States of America again. It’s time to repair the damage that Bush and his band of traitors have inflicted on our nation.

  6. Linda J said on June 7th, 2007 at 3:30pm #

    Maybe you guys better read this stuff on the Daily Kos about Ron Paul.

  7. RLaing said on June 7th, 2007 at 4:07pm #

    I wonder how long it will be before he no longer gets invited to Republican ‘debates’.

    Betcha Mike Gravel doesn’t last much longer in Democratic debates either.

    Both of these are guilty of saying things that can be distinguished from what the others are saying on more than style.

  8. Mark Ferguson said on June 8th, 2007 at 7:21am #

    This is just a covert attack on Ron Paul — the fact that you’ve aired this one little grievance about Ron Paul in a public forum instead of a private letter to him. I resent this type of cowardice. I suggest you send this letter directly to Ron Paul and get an actual reply. When you do, I can guarantee it will be a sane one. And I expect you to print it here.

  9. nobo said on June 8th, 2007 at 1:37pm #

    Maybe you guys better read this stuff on the Daily Kos about Ron Paul.

    Socialism is liberal ends by conservative means.

    This approach, of somehow guaranteeing “social justice” by means of *force*, stands totally refuted by the facts of history. Every single regulatory agency in the US, the EPA, OSHA, SEC, FDA, FDIC, IRS, SSA, FedReserve, and on and on and on, every single one was sold as a “progressive reform”. And, *without exception*, each is in fact the tool of a corporate/statist oligopoly that is strangling individual freedom and liberty in this country.

    What is the difference, ultimately, between holding a gun to an Iraqi’s head and making him be a “good democratic citizen”, and holding a gun to *my* head and enforcing some “social contract” that is a figment of your imagination?

    The brutal truth is, modern leftism *opened* the doors to the rightist horror we now see unfolding. So whine about the neocons all you like; you set the table for them in your appalling hubris.

    Personally, I’m willing to die rather than be a slave – whether of Hitler or Stalin, whether of Dubya or the disgusting Stalinists put forward as Maximum Leader by the gatekeepers at DailyKos. The time to fight is *now*, before we get stuffed into cattle cars or shipped off en masse to some latter day Siberia.

    Liberals, examine your methods. If you really believe in true LIBERALISM, the empowerment of humanity person by person, then wake up and help us fight for *LIBERTY*. We’ll welcome you with open arms – a lot of us in the liberty movement came from your side of the political “fence”.

  10. David Helfer said on June 9th, 2007 at 10:54am #

    I have been very interested in Rudy Giuliani for president. He has the charisma of a leader. He is tough on terrorists.

    However, I recently heard about Ron Paul wanting to dismantle the IRS and that the IRS is a corporate entity that puts none of our income taxes back into supporting American infrastructure. In addition, there is no law that allows the IRS to collect income tax from individuals.

    I also found out Ron Paul is against the North American Union, which is a plan to unite the USA, Mexico and Canada as one governed nation — and that this is just one part in the overall plan for One World Government, which would be run by corporate bankers.

    I would love to vote for someone else, but these issues are too big to ignore. As an American, I have to vote for Ron Paul.

  11. Charlie said on June 15th, 2009 at 7:26am #

    No Surprise that GM had to sink like the Titanic.. Just the pain and hard work of 300 Million Taxpayers going down the drain.. Whose responsible for that?