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Will we follow the Founders?

Despite this year’s election chaos, I feel optimistic about the future of our nation. Why? Because a massive group of dedicated Americans—citizens and state legislators alike—are taking the bold action the Founders intended us to take at a time such as this.

The Founders had high expectations for us, their posterity, based on their own experiences. In the time leading up to the American Revolution, patriots stood up and led the way, not only to revolution, but in presenting a plan for self-governance.

Today, the American people have a plan for self-governance inspired by our Founders. The Founders knew that a tyrannical king was threatening their very way of life. An overbearing, far away government was encroaching on their liberties. They felt the presence of the Redcoats heavy upon them, they knew more were coming, and they knew what that meant.

We face similar circumstances in 2016: a tyrannical federal government is threatening our very way of life and far away politicians, judges, and federal bureaucrats are encroaching on our liberties. This tyranny grows stronger every day, with unelected bureaucrats imposing new job-killing regulations on our energy, farming, ranching, mining and construction industries, and an inscrutable tax code that is used to target those who dare to disagree with the administration’s policies.

As citizens, we watch our country falling apart, and wonder how things could’ve changed so quickly. It’s hard to face our current reality, and admit that things have fallen so far so fast. But we must, if we want to change the course of our country, and preserve the freedoms which we have enjoyed for our children and grandchildren.

And the reality is, it is up to us to do something about it. Just as the Founders decided they must ready themselves for the inevitable and create a plan to overcome tyranny, we must do the same.

We can’t rely on any “savior” candidate to fix the broken system, because the problem is not about a change in personnel, it is about a change in structure. The structure of our national government is broken. It has been broken by over one hundred years of Supreme Court decisions expanding federal power. It has been expanded by Presidents who do not believe they are bound by the strictures of the Constitution, and it has been violated by a Congress which doesn’t have the stomach to assert its authority to keep the other branches in check. The problem isn’t the people in Washington, DC; it’s Washington, DC, itself.

We have created the only real, functionally executable plan to restore our liberty and rein in a federal government that has run amok. The Convention of States Project is the only solution as big as our nation’s problems. Now is the time.

In order to pave the way for a Convention of States, we are undertaking a historic endeavor and hosting the first ever Simulated Article V Convention of States. This will give state legislators first-hand experience running a convention, and put to rest the myth of a runaway. We will show, in practice, not just in theory, how a Convention of States will function: exactly as planned and according to the specific instructions issued to it by the states.

We have invited 150 sitting state legislators, representing all 50 states, to participate in this unprecedented event. The Simulated Convention will be held September 21 - 23, concluding Constitution Week, in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, the birthplace of the American Revolution.

This bustling colonial city, is where James Madison, George Washington, George Mason, and many other great patriots, met in taverns, streets, and public houses, to discuss American independence and the principles of liberty. Williamsburg is also the location where George Washington convened the Continental Army to plot the battle of Yorktown; the turning point of the Revolutionary War.

Our primary objective will be to build a national network of legislators, the new American revolutionaries, dedicated to restraining the power of the federal government, and returning the power to the people. We will show, by video and written records, how this Simulated Convention of States went off exactly as planned, and how a real Convention of States is going to function in the near future.

The Convention will be run according to rules commissioned by Citizens for Self-Governance, as drafted by the leading Article V scholars in the nation (Professors Robert Natelson and Michael Farris), and approved by the COS Caucus membership.

As with the actual convention, the rules for this Simulated Convention of States, will make clear that the ONLY amendments that are able to be proposed and debated, are those which fall under the limited subject matter of the COS Resolution: imposing fiscal restraints on the federal government, limiting the power, scope and jurisdiction of the federal government, and imposing term limits on Congress and the Judiciary.

Only state legislators have the power to call a convention and propose amendments. It is an awesome power intended by the Founders to give the people real control over the federal government. The Bill of Rights itself hangs in the balance. When the Virginia House of Burgesses was struggling to formulate an appropriate response to British tyranny, Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give me liberty, or give me death,” speech. In that speech, he implored the House to action, telling them:

“I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House.”

Like Henry before us, we must ask, “What is it in the conduct of past administrations, Democrat or Republican, which justifies the hope that any administration or Congress will return to the people, their rightful power and sovereignty via the states?”

Such hopes run counter to logic and human nature, and are merely an attempt to cloud the clear and brightly burning lamp of experience.

It is time to act, in the spirit of the Founders, and move rapidly towards an Article V Convention of States. It is time to take back the power which rightly belongs to the people. Not to ask…but to take.

History remembers fondly the names Robert Morris, Haym Solomon and John Hancock as men who put their lives, fortunes and sacred honor on the line. Today’s revolution requires such patriots once again. And it is in this vein that we come to you for your support. Today, here and now, we will make a stand. We will hold the first ever Simulated Convention of States.

And ultimately, soon, the nation will hold its first ever Article V Convention of States. When it does, we hope that yours will be one of the names remembered fondly as having stood with great American revolutionaries in defense of liberty in its time of need.

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