While power is in the hands of the people, or democratic part of the community, more especially as at present, it is easy, according to the general course of human affairs, for the few influential men in the community, to obtain conventions, alterations in government, and to persuade the common people they may change for the better, and to get from them a part of the power.
— Federal Farmer, October 12, 1787
The various proposals being pushed by the broad con-con coalition are supported by very powerful men who, as Federal Farmer foresaw, would convince well-meaning friends of liberty that they can change the Constitution for the better. The stick at the end of that desirable carrot is the transfer of power, not from the federal government to the states as those on the right wing of the coalition promise, but from the people to the monied interests paying the bills of the Convention of the States (COS) crowd.
Before pulling back the curtain back and exposing some of the wizards pulling the levers of the con-con movement, I want to dismiss some of the COS talking points that may have convinced a few good conservatives to support their dangerous plan.
A Con-Con By Any Other Name
First, on nearly every website repeating the con-con propaganda, the particular group publishing the information denies that they are calling for a constitutional convention.
For example, from the Convention of the States FAQ (frequently asked questions):
What is a Convention of States?
It is not a constitutional convention. It cannot throw out the Constitution because it derives its authority from the Constitution.
It’s curious that the COS people go to such lengths to deny that they are calling for a constitutional convention, yet they have no problem calling what happened in Philadelphia in 1787 a constitutional convention and it was called for EXACTLY the same reason as the COS: to propose amendments to the existing constitution.
This is the last paragraph from the report of the Continental Congress calling for the convention of the states held in Philadelphia begun in May 1787:
Resolved that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several states be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the states render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government & the preservation of the Union.
Change a few words, modernize the language a little bit, and this is precisely the same call being made by the COS organization, yet they consistently deny that they are calling for a constitutional convention. They cannot have it both ways.
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