Friday, January 28, 2011
There is a movement that begun years ago with various academics stating that we should hold another Constitional Convention to change the inherent flaws in our U.S. Constitution. I have recently read that some of our current Senators are beginning to return to this conversation and I want to raise my voice in opposition to this idea. I urge you to educate yourselves, form and opinion and raise your one voice in the collective voice of "We, the people".
I have penned this letter to the Lt. Governor of Texas and I will send another copy to my state Senator and Representative. I invite you to read it and then write your own (or just copy and paste mine) to your state representatives. Please take the time to make sure your voice is heard.
Lt. Governor Dewhurst,
Recently I have read that you have called for a Constitutional Convention to add an amendment to our standing Constitution for balancing the national budget. I applaud and am grateful for your fervor to balance our national budget and forever limit the spending of government. I respectfully question your reasoning behind opening up a full Constitutional Convention in order to amend our U.S. Constitution.
My concerns with opening a full Constitutional Convention are primarily based in two issues. Foremost, a Constitutional Convention will allow the constitution itself to be reviewed and changed. I understand that there are no implicit guidelines that would govern such a convention and that each and every portion of the U.S. Constitution would be at the mercy of those voting delegates at the convention. I am opposed to the current document being opened up to broad, sweeping changes. The founders of this nation provided us with a manner in which to amend our Constitution and I suggest highly that we adhere to that wisdom and guidance that has preserved our democracy through the ages. Thus, I suggest using the recommended and historically successful pattern for amending our Constitution – it is a pattern that has been tried and has remained true to the vision of the United States of America and I do not see any reason to depart from it.
The remaining concern is that the general populous of Americans will like the sound of and the idea of returning through history and opening up a Constitutional Convention without understanding that by doing so the entire document that governs our nation would be at risk. I respectfully question if that is not the reason for suggesting this course of action – solely for a group of politicians to seem to be adhering to the traditions of our country when indeed they would be placing the country at great risk. I believe that the majority of Americans are grateful for our freedoms, we want our country to succeed and we desire the ability to pursue happiness in whatever way we deem correct for ourselves. I believe that those rights are protected by the Constitution of the United States of America. I believe you were chosen to protect the rights and protect the Constitution.
I am in favor of amending the U.S. Constitution to provide a requirement to balance the national budget and to reduce current and future spending. I am in favor of following the high standards and guidelines our Founders set to amend the Constitution. I am strongly opposed to creating a setting that would open the Constitution up for broad changes and thus creating for the first time in our history a setting in which the representatives of the people would allow our Constitution to become vulnerable to the whim of man.
If my understanding of this process is incorrect I would appreciate receiving a better understanding of what is being suggested to amend our Constitution.
In a letter to G.L.Turberville in 1788 James Madison (Father of the U.S. Constitution) wrote this:
"If a General Convention were to take place for the avowed and sole purpose of revising the Constitution, it would naturally consider itself as having a greater latitude than the Congress appointed to administer and support as well as to amend the system; it would consequently give greater agitation to the public mind; an election into it would be courted by the most violent partisans on both sides; it would probably consist of the most heterogeneous characters; would be the very focus of that flame which has already too much heated men of all parties; would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts but inadmissible in other parts of the Union might have a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric.
"Under all these circumstances it seems scarcely to be presumable that the deliberations of the body could be conducted in harmony, or terminate in the general good. Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers experienced by the first Convention which assembled under every propitious circumstance, I should tremble for the result of a Second, meeting in the present temper of America, and under all the disadvantages I have mentioned."
I don't believe his words hold less truth in our day than they did in his time.