This year, political frustration has reached a fevered pitch on all sides of the isle. Americans disenfranchised with the political hierarchy are saying enough is enough.
We the people want results from Washington. We the people want our government to be responsible to its citizenship. We the people are not getting what we asked for time and again.
Massive debt, federal overreach that stifles or kills small business and career politicians who are simply out of touch with their constituency all combine to form a shining example of the complete and total disconnect between those who govern and those who are governed.
We the people are not being heard. No, scratch that — We the people are being ignored. This willful neglect can no longer be tolerated.
We the people have a tool to rein in an out-of-control federal government and we are making ready to use it. Enter Article V of the U.S. Constitution.
On May 24, the grass-roots organization Convention of States achieved a milestone, a signed petition calling for an Article V Convention of States from every legislative district in every state of our republic. Over 5,200 districts represented, over 1 million Americans telling their state legislatures we demand change.
On May 25, the great state of Louisiana became the eighth state in our nation to pass the resolution calling for a Convention of States to propose amendments to the Constitution. The purpose of the resolution is to put Washington, D.C., on notice that since it is incapable of fixing itself, the states will require it be fixed under law.
There has got to be an easier way, right? Sure, elect people who will go to Washington and require it to change. How’s that working for us so far?
OK, let’s make Washington follow the Constitution. They do, sort of. Loose interpretation by the judicial branch based upon political affiliation and not constitutional intent has allowed us to deviate far from the Founders’ intent. Can you imagine how the Founders would react if they were here today to witness this “post-constitutional era?” Likely they would seek a quick return to the grave.
Our Founders did foresee a day when our federal government would become out of control. Do you want some examples?
Let’s use the national debt, $19 trillion and climbing. Need another? How about the EPA dumping millions of gallons of waste down the Animas River. OK, one more: 30 percent of our state budget consumed by federally mandated programs.
It’s a clear picture: The federal government has exceeded its enumerated powers and then some, all the while reducing the states to mere agencies of the larger federal body. Sovereignty at the state level and self-governance by the people are nothing more than words found in history books to those wielding their pens and phones in Washington.
With the federal government continuing its growth in scope and authority, it will not be very long before the government is involved with every aspect of our day to day lives. But wait — it already is.
Imagine for a moment what happens if a state refuses to comply with a federal mandate. Our government then threatens to (or does) withhold federal funding for some program. How did they get into that position in the first place? That’s NOT what our forefathers envisioned for our nation.
Every day, more and more people come to this realization and are now resolved to do something about it.
Colorado has mobilized its own Convention of States team to call for a resolution applying for a Convention for Proposing Amendments under Article V. Coloradans are drawing a line that the federal government will respect. This grass-roots organization plans to bring the resolution to the 2017 state legislative body, to pass the resolution and join such states as Florida, Georgia, Indiana and others nationwide in calling for a Convention of States.
At the convention, the states will propose amendments that will rein in the federal government, which would then be voted on by all states for approval. If three-fourths of the states ratify the amendment, it then becomes a part of the Constitution.
This process is the other way of getting an amendment passed, constitutionally authorized.
Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, whatever your political affiliation, Convention of States is nonpartisan. This is an action of Americans to reclaim America and return the authority of rule to we the people, not we the elite in Washington who have no idea or care of what is going on outside of the Beltway.
This is our country and it is time we make a stand and take it back. Let’s use the constitutional tool our Founding Fathers gave us to get our great nation back into the hands of its citizens.
Alan Knight is a broadcast engineer and volunteer State Media Liaison for the Colorado Convention of State team, a full-time husband and father of three young boys. He’s lived and worked in Pueblo/Southern Colorado for 17 years. This article originally appeared in the Pueblo Chieftain.