Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Rappert Gets Two Dangerous Feel Goods Out of Senate

Don't underestimate Senator Jason Rappert. He just got two resolutions which petition Congress to call an article V convention out of the senate. One was calling for a convention to pass an amendment defining marriage and the other was to do the same with the subject being defend unborn life.

They have not passed the house yet, but I would not be surprised if they did. Rappert very cunningly positioned himself as a champion of a traditional marriage and the unborn in a way that puts his colleagues on the spot. Much in the same way leftists are unable to distinguish between objections based on propriety on things like health care and education, many on the right are unable or unwilling to make any distinctions on these issues.

That is, just because someone is against Obamacare does not mean that they want poor people to die early. Just because someone opposes giving the state the power to take children from a home based on an anonymous tip does not mean that they don't care about abused children. An increasingly numbed-down electorate (numbed-down to the potential of abuse of power because of how regularly government power is abused) only cheers win its side wins one by any means possible and wails when the other side wins one by any means possible. Only a few of us also consider the legitimacy of the means, and that needs to change.

In this case, the legislators don't want people to think that they are opposed to traditional marriage or in favor of the ghoulish practice of abortion, so they will vote for it. Not that they expect it to do any actual good besides polishing their bona-fides on a couple of issues that most voters support but their out of control and non-representative government will refuse to let them do. They figure that if 38 states don't pass petitions with identical language then Congress will never call a convention for it anyway, and the odds of that happening are close to zero.

It is a common belief that states passing identical language initiates some mandatory trigger, and it may be true, but it is also true that there is nothing preventing Congress from calling such a convention based on differing language from the 38 states. That is, article V does not require the language to be identical, but does specifically say that the convention called would be for the purpose of proposing "amendments", note the plural. That is to say, there is no legal way to limit the subject matter of the convention to a single issue, as Rappert's resolution imply. Hence article V is a poor tool for any one issue concern. Those one issues though, are excellent tools to manipulate people into supporting a convention which turns out to be mostly or totally about other things they may not have considered.

This is an appeal for a concern about the legitimacy of the process which is every bit as great as our concern for the policy to be put in place by the process. No people who fail to do this can sustain, nor deserve to sustain, self-government. It will be stolen from them by demagogues who use policies they favor to implement processes which are in the present environment a threat to freedom.


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