The purpose of this article is to briefly describe an opportunity we veterans have to help determine America’s future. This opportunity is non-political in nature and does not require involvement in or support of any political party or philosophy whatsoever. The opportunity is all about supporting and defending the United States Constitution.
We veterans took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and this oath still greatly matters to most, if not all of us. Many of us are deeply troubled by the direction our country is taking these days. All the recent scandals in the federal government coupled with gridlock in the Congress, the huge national debt of over 18 trillion dollars, and other major crises cry out for something better for the American people. Many people feel that the “checks and balances” originally built into the Constitution are way out of sync and are in great need of being re-established and/or fine tuned. We veterans (21 million strong throughout the US) currently have an opportunity to help re-establish/fine tune the Constitutional “checks and balances,” and our involvement in this effort may prove crucial for its success.
Many observers believe that for any meaningful and lasting change to occur in how politicians operate in Washington, DC, change must come from the outside, i. e., the politicians in Washington will never change themselves or voluntarily relinquish power. Fortunately, in 1787, our Founding Fathers included a provision in Article V of the Constitution to allow 2/3 of the state legislatures to call for a Convention of States (COS) to propose amendments to the Constitution to correct situations such as we have today. Amendments proposed by a COS would have to be ratified by ¾ of the state legislatures to become part of the Constitution. It should be noted that a COS has never been held and may not be held (due to opposition in some states) without the active support of military veterans who have substantial “skin in the game” and whose concerns are highly respected by state legislators in all the 50 states.
Examples of amendments that might be proposed at a COS include (1) a requirement for Congress and the federal government to adopt and operate on a bona fide balanced budget; (2) term limits (serving no more than 12 total years) for members of Congress and the federal judiciary; and (3) override authority on federal regulations and Supreme Court decisions by a super majority vote of state legislatures.
As of July 2015, a total of 40 state legislatures have filed resolutions calling for a COS to propose amendments to change things in Washington, DC. Four states (Georgia, Florida, Alaska, and Alabama) have fully passed COS resolutions. For sure, the year 2016 will be a very important, very pivotal year for this effort.
For further information about the Convention of States Project, veterans should send e-mail inquiries to [email protected] Additional details along with up-to-date happenings can be found at www.conventionofstates.com.