Convention USA: Confronting Unconstitutional Inaction by Congress

Wake up patriots.  Voting is not the answer.  Not in our corrupt system.  But there is something else for US citizens.  First they must understand the importance of the provision in Article V of their Constitution for a convention of state delegates that can propose constitutional amendments just like Congress.  Then they must also learn that Congress has long refused to obey the Constitution and convene the first convention.  Sounds a little nuts, but Congress has gotten away with it.  Not that you need even more reason to have no confidence in Congress.

What can Americans do?  They can join Friends of the Article V Convention, the only national nonpartisan group with the single mission of compelling Congress to call the first convention.  This group has performed admirably to better inform Americans about the Article V convention option and, even more importantly, about the refusal by Congress to obey the Constitution, recognize over 700 applications from all 50 states for a convention, and act as required by their oath of office by convening the first convention.  Even today more state legislators are calling for a convention.  FOAVC has done what neither Congress or any other group has done; it has made state applications for a convention publicly available as well as countless other materials to broaden public support for a convention.

And now Americans are seeing the need for deep reforms of our political and government system and are fed up with the two-party plutocracy that has not delivered them have a second opportunity.

They can join the Convention USA effort and become state delegates to an online virtual convention that will behave like a real Article V convention until Congress does its constitutional duty and convenes the first Article V convention.  This is a test drive of a real Article V convention, showing how serious citizens can behave intelligently and responsibly to conceive constitutional amendments as the means intended by the Founders to update and improve our Constitution and create an even more perfect union.

This is what the new group says:

Here you will find a gathering of patriotic citizens who have assembled, not as revolutionaries, but as loyal Americans, to exercise their right as guaranteed by Article V of the Constitution of the United States, to convene as the people of the several States and to consider, debate, refine and propose such amendments to the Constitution as the experience of more than two centuries of government in our Federal Republic shall suggest.
This Convention shall be called to order if and when delegates from two-thirds of the several states shall have registered, and shall adjourn sine die whenever the Congress shall have called a Convention pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States.


This action is what makes more sense than ever before: Put aside partisan views, loss of confidence in government, and feelings of despair.  Do not assume that some victories of anti-establishment candidates in elections will suffice to reform the system.  Stay focused on your deep seated desire to make the US political and government system better, more just, more honest, more open, more effective and more efficient.  Recognize that, if you honor and respect the Constitution, unless you support using the Article V convention option given to us by the Founders you are a constitutional hypocrite.

Convention USA understands that it does not have the legal power to actually propose amendments that have the same meaning as those proposed by Congress or an actual Article V convention.  But it sees the potential power of bringing Americans together to see how a convention can make democracy work better to advance the most noble goals and values of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  What it accomplishes can also send an important message to Congress about the kinds of amendments Americans support.

Convention USA, therefore, is a lot more than mere protest.  It offers a unique path to become much better informed about the benefits of using the Article V convention approach to making the USA all that it should and can be.  To become a delegate, however, requires payment of $10 a month, something I wish the group would rethink.

The more members this group attracts, the more that Congress will find it difficult to ignore their constitutional responsibility to obey Article V.  And with strong participation from people in many states even the mainstream media might take notice.  One thing will surely become clear as Convention USA becomes fully operational: Congress fears many kinds of constitutional amendments that would truly reform our corrupt and dysfunctional political and government system, which explains why they have refused to convene the first Article V convention.  Fear the status quo, not using the Article V convention option the Founders gave us.

Those opposing using the convention option are selfishly protecting their ability to work within the current corrupt, money-driven system to advance their objectives.  Such opponents are not true American patriots.  They use lies and disinformation to instill unjustified fears, like nonsense about a runaway convention.  Remember this: An Article V convention can only propose amendments that still must be ratified by three-quarters of the states, and it does not have the constitutional power to write a whole new Constitution.  What Congress and opponents fear we the people should passionately embrace.

Take a serious look at the facts about the Article V convention issue and at the Convention USA effort.

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.

23 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. bozh said on May 29th, 2010 at 10:46am #

    Congress only disobeying constitution? What, meanwhile, did the WH, judiciary, cia, fbi [?all sworn to obey it] did to defend it or fulfill it?

    Am i wrong in declaring that only judiciary determies what Article V means? And judiciary ?solely determines what of it can be implemented?

    And judiciary is selected by brothers-in-mind? I.e., WH-congress?
    So, it seems, judges shld be elected! But in one party system, the party wld not ever allow election of judges. Or wld it? In that case, why not ask WH-congress-judiciary if IT wld allow it?

    If IT [set of corrupt people] say no to that, and reaffirm that IT [the ogre] had faithfully obeyed constitution, what then?
    Well, seems to me, an antipodal party is the answer! Or massive passive resistance by, let’s say 80% of pop? Or massive terrorism aaginst the terrorists?
    Or continue lamenting-blaming-complaining?
    Well, anyhow, good luck! tnx

  2. hayate said on May 29th, 2010 at 2:26pm #

    Calling for a Constitutional Convention whilest ziofascists run the media, the judiciary, the guv in general, and most likely fill a lot of important and influential positions among the groups calling for such a convention seems daft to me. What’s to stop them making the country even more repressive, fascist and racist (like their sacred israel) and then spinning this as “progressive reform”. What’s to keep them from turning a convention into something like arizona, texas or utah? Look at what these things do to any political movement or how they spin any current event. The “big lie” is in evidence where ever these zionist co-opters are involved.

    First, remove the zionist influence, or you’ll end up worse off than before.

  3. mcw said on May 29th, 2010 at 9:27pm #

    If there is an International Zionist Conspiracy, I wish they would ask me to join. Helping run the world would be much nicer than my current job (which is OK, but still …).

  4. Hue Longer said on May 29th, 2010 at 10:12pm #

    hello ,mcw,

    Regarding where yours is….that’s funny what you said but it’s sort of like white privilege–hard to notice when you too are getting shat on, the president is black and your ill manners won’t allow you on the golf course or real estate board…. but it’s still there (and I’d guess you have it better than what I just described?). But if you want to help run the world outside of your current gig, I’d imagine some studied networking would give you options over others before you even contemplate moving to Israel

    (I’m not “Jewish” as far as I know but I too have privilege….Melvin once said to his hippy friend who was distraught that “Black power” was being used instead of “people power” that some could always cut their hair if the shit got too rough).

  5. hayate said on May 29th, 2010 at 11:43pm #

    mcw said on May 29th, 2010 at 9:27pm

    I have not seen that sort of hasbarat response for quite a while. You must be new to the job…. 😀

  6. Jonas Rand said on May 30th, 2010 at 3:31pm #

    ******** ¡ Cayate Hayate ! ********

  7. Jonas Rand said on May 30th, 2010 at 3:33pm #

    Misspelling Intended…


  8. lichen said on May 30th, 2010 at 4:33pm #

    Yes, it is stupid to talk about an “international zionist conspiracy” and use that to argue against a constitutional convention. We don’t live in israel or palestine, so the amendments would be about us, as determined by state government and with majority veto power. It is also extremely stupid to bring up condescending sixties bs like “white privilege” in this context.

  9. dan e said on May 30th, 2010 at 5:54pm #

    Aha! Finally “Lichen” exposes himself!

    So he thinks racism & white privilege ended in the sixties! How about that for a stupid statement!

    I’m a little surprised to see him come out with this kind of blatant teabaggery, the arrogant racism AND the cloudcuckoo crap about a “constitutional convention”, since I remember reading comments of his that seemed fairly intelligent & reasonable. Guess that was quite a while ago? because everything out of him lately has been pretty dumb. But this last is way over the top.

    Speaking of Cloudcuckooland, wonder how Big Dick Oxman & his TOSCA jive is coming along?

  10. hayate said on May 30th, 2010 at 5:54pm #

    lichen said on May 30th, 2010 at 4:33pm

    No, there’s no zionist influence on local and federal guvs in the usa and of course aipac and the dozens of related national, state and local zionist orgs do not really exist. It’s a figment of anti-Semitic minds.

    BTW, sayanim/hasbarat, I can offer you this great deal on the brooklyn bridge.

  11. lichen said on May 30th, 2010 at 6:02pm #

    Thanks, dan, for exploiting your heterosexual privilege, your elder privelege, and your overall non-participation in minorities that don’t happen to include you. That is the lesson, today, about stupid sixties-vintage identity politics, where you decide that your personal struggles are better and more important than anyone else’s, and use that to condescend to others. Because indeed, it is all about shaming people with your own lack of empathy, instead of dealing with institutional racism.

    A constitutional convention has nothing to do with “teabaggers,” indeed, those are people that like the current constitution because they think it is anti-tax and pro-christian. But I guess you don’t want a constitutional change. And no thanks to you, hayate, for your lack of quoting skills and anti-democracy views; with your pathetic dismissal of anyone who disagrees with you as being a zionist, I’m sure you’ll go far.

  12. lichen said on May 30th, 2010 at 6:05pm #

    Dan’s arrogant youth-hating homophobia comes out above; I’d like to say he once posted sensible things, but I can’t.

  13. Jonas Rand said on May 30th, 2010 at 6:06pm #

    If you would only Shut The Hell Up And Discuss The Article, maybe we could get to a sensible argument, somewhere amongst the morass.

  14. hayate said on May 30th, 2010 at 6:08pm #

    lichen said on May 30th, 2010 at 6:02pm, lichen said on May 30th, 2010 at 6:05pm

    Bring on the violins. 😀

  15. lichen said on May 30th, 2010 at 6:18pm #

    hayate said on May 30th, 2010 at 6:08pm:
    I use anti-zionism as a cloak to hide my right wing sociopolitical views.

  16. hayate said on May 30th, 2010 at 6:30pm #

    lichen said on May 30th, 2010 at 6:18pm

    Why stop there, sayanim/hasbarat? Go ahead and do the full sayanim/hasbarat slander routine.

  17. Deadbeat said on May 30th, 2010 at 8:07pm #

    lichen writes …

    Dan’s arrogant youth-hating homophobia comes out above; I’d like to say he once posted sensible things, but I can’t.

    I notice that lichen has a penchant to gay bash his opponents. This seem to be lichen default response when his adherence to liberal-zionism is exposed. This is a tactic a ploy of Zionist media of late to use especially to smear oppressed communities when in fact there’s traditionally has been a lot of racism as sexism within the gay community.

    lichen writes …

    I use anti-zionism as a cloak to hide my right wing sociopolitical views.

    I agree.

  18. lichen said on May 30th, 2010 at 10:06pm #

    There has traditionally been a lot of sexism and homophobia in the african american community. But to race bash, as dan e. did above, is quite typical of dogmatic ideologues who don’t understand the independent left and never do anything. Oh well to them.

  19. Deadbeat said on May 31st, 2010 at 2:02am #

    There has traditionally been a lot of sexism and homophobia in the african american community.

    Sorry lichen that’s not correct. Primarily because African American men have a history of OPPRESSED by the dominate society African American women had to pick up the slack. Ironically the long oppression of Black men brought greater “equality” to Black women. The notion that sexism is a “major” issue in the Black community was generated by white Feminist — to malign Black men for obvious reason. You should read or listen to Elaine Brown, former LEADER of the Black Panther Party for her perspectives or that of Ismael Reed who often writes for Counterpunch.

    But the fact that you would smear an oppressed community as your rebuttal clearly exposes your mission here. The projection of racism, sexism, homophobia, Anti-Semitism upon oppressed communities is the despicable M.O. of Liberal Zionists.

  20. lichen said on May 31st, 2010 at 3:07pm #

    Actually, yes, it does matter whether you express horizontal racism or not; you aren’t absolved from discrimination against young people, those with disabilities, GLBT people, men, or women just because you are black. Furthermore, your issues and your history are not more important than anyone elses. And if you are absolved from discriminating against others because you’re a minority, than so are all other minorities; not just you, so watch what you say if you’re going to be so sensitive. You can either link with other struggles towards real equality for everyone, or don’t; the choice is yours.

    I will continue to make my points to people like dan, who called me a racist because I said I didn’t jive with sixties political speech. Right wing antizionists who claim that opressed communities are racist are truly deluded.

  21. hayate said on May 31st, 2010 at 3:17pm #

    lichen said on May 31st, 2010 at 3:07pm

    The comments about:

    dan e said on May 30th, 2010 at 5:54pm

    are absurd personal attacks that bear no relation to what was posted by dan e in that post. This lichen is nothing but an offensive troll running personal attacks on other commentators.

  22. lichen said on May 31st, 2010 at 3:25pm #

    No, actually, my response to dan’s calling me racist was entirely in step with what he said, and 100% appropriate, and within the forum’s guidelines. You are the troll here; find your own discussion.

  23. Hue Longer said on May 31st, 2010 at 4:34pm #

    Wow! All this started with my response to someones unseen personal privilege being used to question any greater privilege? Talk about thread killing!

    lichen said on May 30th, 2010 at 4:33pm #
    It is also extremely stupid to bring up condescending sixties bs like “white privilege” in this context.

    extremely stupid or just stupid, lichen? Careful of those qualifiers because you don’t seem like the kind of guy that can take being what he thinks he hates and I’ll argue (easily! in fact it’s hard to find a simpler way to phrase what I did) that I wasn’t merely “bringing up” but making an accurate analogy concerning Jews who don’t “run the world” to those who “never owned slaves”.