The Article V Amendments Convention Debate

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This is a debate from the Arkansas Tea Party Alliance Meeting. The topic is whether or not now is the time to ask Congress to call an Article V convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the constitution. I represented the “No” side. Mark Alspaugh of the Convention of States project represented the “Yes” side.

I was mostly satisfied with the results, though my opponent got the last word to make some incorrect assertions that I had no opportunity to counter. For example, he dismissed my evidence that George Mason was dissatisfied with the final form of article V by saying that “Article V was approved unanimously” as if that meant Mason must have been for it. But votes in that convention were not counted by delegate, but by state delegation. So for example, if the three federalists in the Virginia delegation voted to approve Article V then the vote for Virginia would be “yes” even if Mason and Randolph had voted against it. Mason’s comments at the next to last day of convention provide ample indication that he did not trust the article V process to correct what he saw as weaknesses in the document. That may be a tempest in a teapot anyway because today’s ruling class does not care what the founding fathers thought an article V convention ought to look like.

Bottom Line: We don’t need to change the Constitution, we need to change our ruling class. Even if that means leaving the DC-run political parties and starting our own true grassroots effort to recruit candidates and get them on the ballot with another label.


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