By Joel Poindexter
Note: This essay originally appeared on the author’s blog.
Unhappy with the direction the country has been moving, there is a large and growing constituency of voters who are in search of a solution, or remedy, if you will. Some have caught onto the fact that voting bums out only gets us more bums, but most are convinced that we just need the right bums in charge. Apparently the last 1800 senators and 10,000 representatives weren’t enough to convince these voters that perhaps there’s more to the problem than just the people in charge.
One thing is certain: They’re outraged over a corrupt and unaccountable legislature; they’ve become incensed over an executive who recognizes virtually no limit to his power; and generations of activist judges have ruled the wrong way on so many cases as to completely alter the laws of the land.
After witnessing the system of careful checks and balances crumble and collapse in front of their very eyes, one might think they would be done trying to use the federal government to act as a restrain to itself. One would be wrong. Not only is there a cry to elect “the right people,” as if these saintly public servants actually exist, but an obscure constitutional provision has been bandied about.
Many seek to call a convention under the constitution’s Article V, believing this could be the instrument by which the Feds are finally put in their proper place. While this could work in theory, it has yet to play out in reality. I’m not against such a move per se, anything that gets this bus turned around before it goes over the cliff is fine by me, but consider the situation for a moment.
We’ve established that the federal government has done a terrible job limiting its own powers. So in order to effect change we’re going to use a method untried in the past 200 years, and once we get the amendment(s) we want, rely once again on a group of bums so out of touch we had to circumvent them in the first place? And keep in mind this all assumes the process won’t be co-opted or derailed altogether.
Amendments, as we’ve seen, while great on paper tend to not work so well when put up against people who have no respect for them in the first place. A perfect case in point is the First Amendment. It was the first one that fell victim to despots just a few years after it was adopted, and it’s been under attack ever since.
If the original document has been so disregarded these past two hundred and twenty something years, why should all of a sudden it become important again? This just seems like a really long, hard way to be disappointed. We may as well keep doing the same old “throw the bums out” thing, and have the same result.
Or, we could say screw the Feds and their stupid Article V and just start nullifying the unconstitutional stuff. Not only do the Principles of ‘98 have a rich history from the early days of nullifying encroachments on free speech, but they’ve continued throughout the past couple of centuries, and are alive even today. The War on Individual Sovereignty (Drugs), the REAL ID Act, National Guard deployments, and a host of pending legislation in state houses across these United States have either effectively nullified unconstitutional federal laws or will seek to do so shortly.
Nullification is not a simple process however, nor is it a panacea. There is a great deal of support needed from state legislators to make it happen. The good news on this front is that the efforts to educate members of the general public and the politicians in state capitols are working. To this end a documentary will be released shortly that helps to further spread the message of freedom and hopefully reach a far broader audience.
Help spread the message of freedom and prosperity by contributing to the volume of work already existing. Write letters to your local paper, as Austin White suggests. Take the advice of Gary North and start a blog or YouTube channel. Make it impossible to ignore our “irate, tireless minority” by “[setting] brush fires in people’s minds.” Lastly, if you are able, donate to the Tenth Amendment Center in order to ensure they may continue the fight for decentralized government outlined under the constitution.