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Farris: Country's problems are deeper than they appear

Election season may be over for now, but the hard work is just beginning for Americans who are intent upon reversing our nation’s slide into socialism. During the upcoming 2015 legislative cycle, legislatures in at least 21 states (including Virginia) will consider invoking their collective power under Article V to propose constitutional amendments that will get the federal beast off our backs.

Elections are critical, and they always have consequences, but the problem we face in America today is far deeper and wider than a few laws that need to be repealed or corrected by the right officeholders. The real problem is that our written Constitution has been superseded and effectively replaced by decisions of activist judges who have approved of countless congressional and presidential power grabs.

The popular, prevailing notion of an “organic Constitution” whose meaning changes with the winds of time has destroyed real federalism. In precedent after precedent, the judiciary has released the federal government from the fetters of “specific, enumerated powers” and allowed it to take up the business of regulating every single area of our lives.

It isn’t that the Court is ignorant of the original meaning of the Constitution —we have plenty of historical records as evidence of that — it’s that according to an “organic Constitution” philosophy, the original meaning of the text scarcely even matters.

But to those of us who esteem the genius of our government’s original design, it matters very much.

Only through Article V’s convention mechanism can the people, through their state legislators, reject the modern distortions of Constitution that have been given the force of law. Only through Article V can we trump Congress, the President and the Supreme Court, and insist upon a return to the federal system the Founders gave us.

Ordinary citizens who care about America’s future are rushing to take part in the Convention of States Project, because they see it as a meaningful solution to the systemic problems we face. In just a little over a year, the project has passed resolutions in three states (Georgia, Florida, and Alaska) and has volunteer state leadership teams and thriving grass-roots networks in 45 states.

For the approach to be successful, only 34 of those states need to apply for an amendment-proposing convention under Article V to limit federal power. Once the language of the amendments is determined by state-selected commissioners at the convention, 38 states are required to ratify those proposals in order for them to become part of the Constitution.

As Ronald Reagan said, the choice we face in every election is “whether we believe in our capacity for self-government, or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”

That is still the issue in every election. But we cannot stop there.

Click here to read the full article on the Richmond Times Dispatch.

To learn more or join the team in your state, click here.