Tangents & Traps: Con-Con Movements
Posted on: October 27, 2011
By Don Fotheringham
Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers of the first Convention which assembled under every propitious circumstance, I should tremble for the result of a Second….
— Letter of James Madison to George Lee Turberville, November 2, 1788
In recent decades, groups calling for a constitutional convention (con con) have brought the nation to the brink of disaster. A con con is an assembly of state-appointed delegates meeting for the purpose of proposing amendments to the federal Constitution, as provided in Article V. But the powers of a con con extend far beyond merely proposing amendments. A federal convention concentrates in one place all sovereign powers inherent in the people of a free country. For this reason, its powers have no limits. A con con can change or repeal every word of the U.S. Constitution, including the rules for ratification of any new or revised Constitution.
For these obvious reasons no second federal convention has ever been held. We do not believe, in today’s climate of Insider media control, influence, and political deal-making, that our Constitution could survive a modern convention.
A con con is triggered when two thirds of the states formally pass a resolution asking Congress to call one. The purpose for which a state might apply to Congress for a convention has no real significance, for once a con con meets and is called to order it can do anything it wants. A con con is a sovereign body and has power to create a Congress or to disband a Congress or, more generally, to change any federal entity or abolish any government office or limitation established by the first convention. If you are not yet fearful of a modern con con, please re-read and re-think the above.
The Conspiracy’s hand in trying to assemble a modern con con has been patently obvious, for certain members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) advocate an overhaul of the Constitution, yet support con con efforts promoted under the most conservative-sounding pretexts. When you see leading figures in the CFR lobby for a balanced federal budget, for traditional marriage, and against flag burning, you know something’s fishy in Denmark. They are using popular conservative issues as a pretext to get their hands on the Constitution. Moreover, con-con advocates falsely assert that a con con can be limited to the single issue for which it is called.
In 1983, the country was just two states away from a convention. Thirty-two of the necessary thirty-four states had filed applications with Congress under the balanced-budget pretext. The work of slowing down this drive and turning it around was a monumental, organized effort undertaken by the author and led by the future founding officers of Freedom First Society.
Please be aware that it is much easier to ward off a con con movement at the outset than to rescind state resolutions in state-by-state battles. At this writing, 13 states have withdrawn their applications. Adding those to the two-state deficit of 1983, we now have a 15-state safety margin protecting the Constitution. These figures are important, because alarmists and rip-off artists are still raising funds by claiming the nation is just now only two states away from a con con. We call these characters con con con-artists, and we trust you will send them no money.
Every patriotic American should work to preserve the Constitution by opposing any state resolutions asking Congress to call a convention — no matter how appealing the reason. Any state request for a con con, even one supported ostensibly as a mere tactic for convincing Congress to act to propose an amendment, is a foolish gamble and a dangerous tangent.