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Progress and dangers

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William Horning


With so much negative news out there these days, such as the discouraging headline in the Dallas Morning News this past Sunday, "Incumbents win in most city, ISD races", it is always refreshing to see some positive things taking place, especially people getting back to thinking constitutionally. Look at what Maine and Utah did last Saturday.

In Maine, conservative republicans at the state convention, to the amazement of party elite (read liberals), put in an even more constitutional party platform than had been in place. Who was behind this more? Those tea party people of course. Good for them. Can the conservatives grow strong enough to put their own on the ballot instead of disasters like Senator Olympia Snow? That remains to be seen.

If this does not sound like a big event, consider that Maine is not known as "conservative" territory, but rather is part of the liberal northeast. It was really good to watch a video of the meeting and hear Americans getting up and talking about the Constitution being our "rule book" and that it needed to be followed. How true that is, and necessary in all 50 states.

In Utah, three term incumbent Republican Senator Bob Bennett was thrown out of office at the state convention even with NRA and Romney support. He was the victim of too much tea and an unconstitutional voting record.

There is more good news – from Kentucky this time. In the Republican primary, Rand Paul, son of Texas Republican Ron Paul, is running to be the Republican candidate for the Senate against the liberal establishment candidate Trey Grayson. Dr. James Dobson, who never met a liberal Republican he couldn’t support, originally threw his support to Grayson.

When he found out that GOP leaders had lied to him about Rand Paul being pro choice and anti home school, etc., Dobson retracted his endorsement and has now endorsed Rand Paul. Dobson finally got one right! Rand Paul is facing heavy opposition from liberal in and out of state Republicans, but he has a strong lead in the polls. Way to go Kentucky! Finish the job on May 18.

While rejoicing in progress, we need to be on the outlook for dangers. One of the biggest ones facing us is the threat of a call for a Constitutional Convention like the one we barely escaped in 2008. A major effort with ten amendments to the constitution is being proposed and promoted to state legislatures.

They sound good, but there is a problem with a convention. Once 34 states agree, what they do is entirely in the delegates hands. Proponents say the states could control what happens by setting up guidelines, etc. Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Warren Burger wrote to Phyllis Schlafly, President of Eagle Forum, that "there is no way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention."

Delegate selection and voting would be very tricky propositions. Article V of the Constitution provides no guidelines. Congress could control the entire delegate selection process. There are dozens of ways they could work to keep control. How many tea party members would be selected, or would they be kept out for being too "extreme."

I bet most of us don’t realize that we have been through this once before. In 1787, we had a government operating under the Articles of Confederation. Some of the rules weren’t working well, particularly in the area of interstate commerce.

The states decided to hold a convention to fix the trade problems and many states told their delegates to discuss nothing else. What do you think happened? After a month of secret meeting, we were presented an entirely new nation – under our current Constitution.

In 1787 we lucked out. We had James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and a bunch of other wise and mostly honest men who came up with the best document ever written for the governance of man. Do you want to give our current Congress under Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid the same opportunity?

Obama wants a new constitution based upon "current events." Many people in government and education unfortunately think our old one is out of date. Nothing could be further from the truth. We just need to use it as originally intended. Tell your state legislators – NO Con Con! Fix the problems starting right here in Ellis County, then in Austin.

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