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Convention of Waste

Any amendments that could be ratified now would have no effect, would undercut the Constitution, or would be defied. Our problem isn’t the Constitution, it’s the Progressive parties. The only solution is to elect constitutionalists—people who use their constitutional powers to limit others in government.

James Anthony
May 21, 2021

If 2/3 of state legislatures would apply to Congress to call a convention for proposing amendments [1], and amendments would be proposed, what would happen next?

Either 3/4 of state legislatures or 3/4 of state conventions could ratify the amendments.

For amendments intended to strengthen the Constitution, as of 2020 the swing state—the state with the next-less-Progressive legislature after Hawaii, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, California, Maryland, New York, Illinois, Vermont, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, and Connecticut—was Oregon, whose least-Democratic legislative house, the senate, was 60% Democratic [2].

The swing vote for the whole nation was whichever Oregon Democratic senator was more Progressive than 17% of Oregon Democratic senators.

If an amendment would be ratified, what would happen next?

Each part of the amendment either would be used to undercut the Constitution, would have no effect, or would be defied in national, state, county, and city governments by the Progressive majority of both parties’ elected representatives.

In Congress as of today, for example, for bills intended to strengthen the Constitution, the swing vote in the House has a Conservative Review Liberty Score of only 20% in favor of liberty, and the swing vote in the Senate (the 50th senator on the Vice President’s side [3]) has a Liberty Score of only 18% in favor of liberty [4]. Such Progressive congresses pass bills, and the bills are signed by Progressive presidents from both parties [5].

Progressive governments like these have, for over a century, systematically defied the Constitution, and would systematically defy any amendments intended to strengthen the Constitution:

  • If an amendment balanced budgets, Progressive congresses and presidents would increase taxes or would create emergency borrowing. If there was a temporary line-item veto provision [6], Progressives would frame this as superceding the executive power to allocate budgets [7].
  • If an amendment limited taxes, the Progressive Fed would print and debase even more money, and Progressive congresses and presidents would continue to borrow and spend [8]. If there was a sunset provision, at each sunset Progressive congresses and presidents would enact the same legislation again.
  • If an amendment claimed to limit spending, Progressive congresses and presidents would frame this as superceding the limit defined by the enumerated powers [9], and also would claim we’re in endless emergencies. The intended maximum spending would become the new minimum spending.
  • If an amendment claimed to limit regulations, Progressive congresses and presidents would frame this as superceding the limit prohibiting delegation of legislative power [10]. If the amendment subjected regulations to review by Congress or by state legislatures, Progressive congresses and state legislatures would never review—and by doing so, would passively approve—all regulations. (Congresses already have power over agencies, and state legislatures already have power over all scope not enumerated for Congress. But Progressive congresses and state legislatures already never review—and by doing so, passively approve—all regulations.)
  • If an amendment limited congressional terms, each Republican constitutionalist [11] would eventually no longer be allowed to run for reelection, and both parties’ Progressive party bosses [12] would usually succeed at getting Progressive replacements nominated and elected [13].

Other amendments could be proposed and ratified, but the results would be the same. For every new amendment intended to strengthen the Constitution, there would be unanticipated consequences and Progressive workarounds.

Progressives defy the Constitution constantly.

The Problem Is the Progressive Parties

The Constitution’s original drafters and ratifiers took precautions that reflected reasonably-good sense about how people might abuse their offices [14].

Even if today’s drafters and ratifiers had just as much good sense, enacting more rules would not be enough to prevent Progressives from innovating to defy the Constitution.

But among today’s drafters and ratifiers, the people who are the swing votes don’t simply lack the original drafters’ and ratifiers’ good sense. No, the people who are the swing votes already unceasingly defy the current Constitution for a living [15].

Every Progressive would game every new amendment.

If the effort spent organizing to propose amendments would build a movement that could then move on to effective action, this effort might be inadvertently positive, although costly.

But the amendment approach has, in spades, the one characteristic that interferes the most with receiving feedback, taking better action, and achieving a desired result: between the time when actions are first taken and the time when effects are first seen, there’s an enormous time delay or deadtime [16].

When scarce resources are put to a use that’s of less value than alternative uses [17], what results is, in a word, waste.

The Solution Is to Elect Constitutionalists

The problem isn’t the Constitution, the problem is the Constitution defiance by Progressive elected representatives from our two major parties.

The solution isn’t to change the Constitution, the solution is to select and elect representatives who will use their constitutional powers against others in government, limiting our governments.

For now, constitutionalist candidates need our discernment and votes, especially in primaries [18].

As soon as possible, constitutionalists need a good major party that applies [19] the Constitution’s superb design of separated powers, limited enumerated powers, and offsetting powers to also limit at least one good party [20]. When a good party is built by voters, activists, and media, new politicians will join in [11], and existing constitutionalist politicians will vote with them [21].

What won’t work is to add more rules and wait and see. What will work is to use the powers we have, with vigilant broken-windows policing of the smallest Constitution-defiance.

The solution isn’t to balance power, it’s to overpower Progressives. Constantly. Forever.

References

  1. USA Constitution, art. V.
  2. “2020 State & Legislative Partisan Composition.” National Conference of State Legislatures, 1 Apr. 2020, www.ncsl.org/Portals/1/Documents/Elections/Legis_Control_2020_April%201.pdf. Accessed 21 May 2021.
  3. Coenen, Dan. “The Filibuster and the Framing: Why the Cloture Rule Is Unconstitutional and What to Do About It.” Boston College Law Review, vol. 55, no. 1, Jan. 2014, pp. 39-92.
  4. “Liberty Score.” Conservative Review, libertyscore.conservativereview.com/. Accessed 21 May 2021.
  5. Anthony, James. “Republicans: The Key Progressives.” rConstitution.us, 21 Aug. 2020, rconstitution.us/republicans-the-key-progressives/. Accessed 21 May 2021.
  6. Barnett, Randy. “A Bill of Federalism.” Forbes, 20 May 2009, www.forbes.com/2009/05/20/bill-of-federalism-constitution-states-supreme-court-opinions-contributors-randy-barnett.html?sh=7584f9a41f1b. Accessed 21 May 2021.
  7. Anthony, James. “The First 1,461 Days of a Constitutionalist President.” rConstitution.us, 8 Jan. 2021, rconstitution.us/the-first-1461-days-of-a-constitutionalist-president/. Accessed 21 May 2021.
  8. Anthony, James. “Your Future Earnings Are Quickly Becoming Other People’s Money.” The Federalist, 8 Sep. 2020, thefederalist.com/2020/09/08/your-future-earnings-are-quickly-becoming-other-peoples-money/. Accessed 21 May 2021.
  9. Diamond, Martin. “The Forgotten Doctrine of Enumerated Powers.” Publius, vol. 6, no. 4, Autumn 1976, pp. 187-193.
  10. Lawson, Gary. “Delegation and Original Meaning.” Virginia Law Review, vol. 327, no. 2, Apr. 2002, pp. 327-404.
  11. Anthony, James. “A New Major Party Is Forming Right before Our Eyes.” American Greatness, 5 Apr. 2021, amgreatness.com/2021/04/05/a-new-major-party-is-forming-right-before-our-eyes/. Accessed 21 May 2021.
  12. Anthony, James. “Socialism Kills Freedom.” rConstitution.us, 26 Mar. 2021, rconstitution.us/socialism-kills-freedom/. Accessed 21 May 2021.
  13. Anthony, James. The Constitution Needs a Good Party: Good Government Comes from Good Boundaries. Neuwoehner Press, 2018, pp. 41-60.
  14. Lawson, Gary. “The Constitution’s Congress.” Boston University Law Review, vol. 89, no. 2, Apr. 2009, pp. 399-407.
  15. Anthony, James. “Votes Matter When a Party Requires Good Voting Scores.” rConstitution.us, 6 Nov. 2020, rconstitution.us/votes-matter-when-a-party-requires-good-voting-scores/. Accessed 21 May 2021.
  16. Smith, Cecil L. Practical Process Control: Tuning and Troubleshooting. John Wiley & Sons, 2009, pp. 72, 83, 85, 87-90.
  17. Sowell, Thomas. Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy. 5th ed., Basic Books, 2014.
  18. Anthony, James. “Voting Guide for Constitutionalists.” rConstitution.us, 30 Oct. 2020, rconstitution.us/voting-guide-for-constitutionalists/. Accessed 21 May 2021.
  19. Hargadon, Andrew B. “Firms as Knowledge Brokers: Lessons in Pursuing Continuous Innovation.” California Management Review, vol. 40, no. 3, 1998, pp. 209-27.
  20. Anthony, James. The Constitution Needs a Good Party: Good Government Comes from Good Boundaries. Neuwoehner Press, 2018.
  21. Anthony, James. The Constitution Needs a Good Party: Good Government Comes from Good Boundaries. Neuwoehner Press, 2018, pp. 65-71.

James Anthony is the author of The Constitution Needs a Good Party and rConstitution Papers and has written articles in The Federalist, Foundation for Economic Education, American Thinker, American Greatness, and rConstitution.us. Mr. Anthony is an experienced chemical engineer with a master’s in mechanical engineering.

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