After nearly 40 years with the U.S. Navy, Bob Reinisch’s fight for freedom is far from over. While he may not serve aboard a ballistic Polaris missile submarine or work for the navy as a civilian anymore, Reinisch believes what he’s doing now is just as crucial. He’s advocating for a Convention of States, and he’s doing it with brochures.
“I’m choosing to stand for this nation as we knew it, not as we know it,” Reinisch said. “We’re going to wake up someday and everything that we’ve lived for and worked for will be gone.”
When he’s not working for Revelation Radio in the Calvary Chapel Thrift Store in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Reinisch is hitting the supermarket or the greenbelt, a United States veteran hat on his head and his jacket pockets full of brochures. “I happen to have a jacket that’s big enough,” he said.
It usually starts with a conversation, often with another veteran. Many times veterans will even come into the store and strike up a chat while he’s working. When the talk inevitably turns to concerns and complaints about the overreaching federal government, “that’s when I whip out one of these brochures,” he said.
Provided by Citizens for Self-Governance’s Convention of States Project, the brochures explain what a convention of states under Article V of the Constitution means and how it can be accomplished. Most people are receptive to and even excited about the idea, Reinisch said – once they understand it.
“The majority of people that I talked to were not even aware that Article V even existed,” he said, “and that is sad in itself.”
David Rafferty was one of those people. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Rafferty had known Reinisch for a few years before learning only months ago that he was involved with the Convention of States Project.
“My initial thought was that it was a constitutional convention, which totally turned me off,” Rafferty said. “I believe our Constitution was well-written. We should abide by it.” But after talking with Reinisch, he began researching for himself.
“With Article V, what we’re talking about is something different,” Rafferty said. “The Convention of States is something I can support…I think it’s a good vehicle to kind of turn back the clock on some things and move some of the powers that have been taken by the federal government, and give it back to the states.”
Rafferty and one other man have now volunteered to work alongside Reinisch in spreading the word by passing out brochures. The key, they believe, is informing people so they can influence the state legislators to pass a Convention of States bill.
“It’s doable,” Reinisch said. “I’m not being asked to go out there and get 10 million signatures from across the country. I’m being asked to convince 100 people in Idaho Falls that this is a good idea.”
Reinisch believes that if the people of Idaho utilize the kinds of letters and petitions found on the Convention of States website, their legislators will be forced to act.
“These people want to get reelected,” he said. “It has to start at the grassroots level. That’s what’s going to happen. That’s the on-off switch.”
While many would say that Reinisch and Rafferty have already done their part for America, they feel they have no choice but to leave their own switch on.
“My biggest concern is that I spent 20 years of my life defending our freedom,” Rafferty said, “[but] our Executive branch is exercising powers it doesn’t have, and the Judicial branch is legislating from the bench. Their rules need to be refined in some way.”
“If we do nothing, this country will cease to exist as we know it, and the Constitution will be destroyed,” Reinisch said. “My motto for the Convention of States is ‘Save our nation’.”