May 1st, 2009

The Dangers of a Modern Constitutional Convention


photo credit: Samcwill

Few individuals would try to argue that the collective political genius and individual virtue and integrity of our "representatives" rivals that of our founding generation. And yet, for various reasons, there exists a movement to call for another constitutional convention. Ostensibly promoted as an effort fix some problems and patch some holes in the current Constitution, this idea would instead spell absolute disaster for what little is left of our withering Republic.

As was the case with the convention that brought us the Constitution we now enjoy (if only as a historical wonder), any future convention would not be restrained in any fashion by Congressional limitation or similar statutory restriction. Likewise, no state may legally limit its scope or authority. In essence, a convention immediately becomes a runaway legislative train where delegates possess more authority than Congress, and its proposal—if accepted by the states—becomes the (new) supreme law of the land. The previous agreement between the states is dissolved—as were the Articles of Confederation—and former bonds of the Union are of necessity broken.

One might argue that if the delegates of such a convention proposed a new constitution that drastically restricted individual rights or far more greatly empowered the federal government, the states could simply reject its ratification and maintain the status quo. While feasible, recent political activity suggests otherwise. Our current Constitution, flawed in some parts though it may be, is quite restrictive on the federal government. Yet while such restrictions exist on paper, the government has nonetheless massively expanded its size, power, and intervention. Leaving aside other introductions of government power in such a convention, let’s assume that the convention would simply enshrine into constitutional law the things the federal government has already decided to do: take over the state national guards, create several departments, produce limitless fiat currency, wage warfare and expand empire on the decision of the executive, deny habeas corpus to individuals, etc.. Were the convention only to do this, it would be a political nightmare for liberty. For if the government does what it does now with the current Constitution in place, what tyrannical leaps and bounds will it further make once the new Constitution sanctions into law the things it already tries to get away with?

Just as current legislative atrocities slide right through Congress when the climate is right, any actions of the new convention would likely be glorified by a convincing media choir, explained as fundamentally necessary by an apologetic political elite, and reluctantly accepted by cowardly state legislatures. Despite the recent surge in tenth amendment resolutions, few states have proven themselves willing to stand up for the individual liberty of their citizens and demonstrate effective restraint upon a centralized government. Lacking such a backbone, it may be easily assumed that the result produced from any future convention would ultimately be accepted, when (in)appropriate force is applied.

There already exists a method by which constitutional flaws may be corrected, and that is through amendment. Any talk of a convention as a solution to our political problems in the federal government must be rejected and outed for what it really is: the perfect opportunity for corrupt politicians, conspiring power-mongers, and Hamiltonian protegés to implement their framework for a tyrannical government that respects neither individual liberty nor restraint on government power.

21 Responses to “The Dangers of a Modern Constitutional Convention”

  1. David
    May 1, 2009 at 1:50 pm #

    I fully agree with the dangers that you have listed here, but I wonder if there is not also an opportunity. When the Constitution was proposed it was to become active when nine of the states ratified it. At that time the Articles of Confederation became null and void. If the remaining four states had chosen not to ratify the Constitution it would not have been binding upon them – they would have been independent states with no existing affiliation once the Articles of Confederation were nullified.

    If a new constitutional convention were held the same rules would apply. If enough states ratified the new supreme law of the land so that it nullified the Constitution any states which failed to ratify it would, in effect, have been granted a legal secession. They would no longer be part of a larger political entity. They would then be free to remain independent of form their own coaltion of states.

  2. Jake
    May 1, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    A-men! The current US political atmosphere is as corrupt as it’s ever been. Adding to the problem is the fact that the political demography is a far cry from representing the actual citizens. Who’s to be trusted when politicians say anything to get elected, then once in place propagate their own agendas while ignoring all the promises and even go against the very people who elected them? Just as the Nicene Creed melted absolute truths into confusing compromises, a constitutional convention today would undoubtedly result in an adulterated text the Founding Fathers would lay no claim to.

    It’s certainly clear that we need change, but it’s already evident that the ‘change’ the controlling party commands is fundamentally detrimental to our rights and liberty.

  3. John C.
    May 1, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    While I think your argument is a little too dependent on a mythical time when our politics were pure, I agree that a new constitutional convention would be a bad idea (of course, I hadn’t heard of it until I read this post, so I must not be moving in the right circles).

    I’m curious about one thing, though. Do you think that the amendment process should be changed? It is, I think, very likely that is it harder to get an amendment passed today than it used to be, but I don’t know if that is a bad thing. In particular, I don’t think we could create amendment reform by anything other than an amendment. In any case, do you think that it should be easier to get an amendment to the Constitution passed? I don’t personally, but I would be interested in the opinions of the folk in this forum.

  4. jasonthe
    May 2, 2009 at 11:51 am #

    There is a subtle, but telling, example hidden in your post of your own role (or rather, those of your mindset) in the dumbing down of this discussion, ad naseum.

    You could’ve just as easily linked to the Patriot Act, or the expansion of the NSA as a “legislative atrocity,” but you didn’t. I think that gives everyone reading a good idea of where you’re coming from, and what inspires you to rediscover the Constitution.

    Unfortunately, something like the Patriot Act serves as a much better example of the dangers of an expanding government.

    Thus, we’ll never have a reasonable debate on this issue in a timely manor. Too many Tea Parties instead of rational constitutional understanding. The left sees federal laws as small islands surrounded by a sea of rights, the right sees federal law as the sea surrounding small islands of rights.

    In a way, both are close to the truth of the guessed at intent of the framers of the document itself (the last time our country was truly bipartisan in any meaningful way worth heralding?).

    Those “bunkering down” over Obama’s first 100 days while conveniently ignoring much more damaging advances during the Bush years are those who make this discussion nothing more than a circus of angry mobs and tea parties; good for a laugh, but not very useful beyond that.

    One of the most ridiculous statements, as example, is the common thoughtless chant of “let me keep my income.” I think this is indicative of the crowd who wants to disband the Fed (without acknowledging the need for a centralized bank) and who can generate up much fear over economic federal influence (while again, ignoring past abuses on civil and legal protections). The irony (beyond their own cognitive dissonance, of course, required to join) is that in many ways, there would be no income exchange system without the same federal protections so many want to bemoan.

    And really, Connor. I’ve followed your blog some time now. I don’t think you’d be one of the few fairing well if we return to the barter trade, goods for skills economic system.

    There are many arguments to be had over our overly financial economy (but we must discuss outsourcing and trade in that discussion as well), or the lack of oversight in the bank bailouts (as long as we discuss, realistically, the effect their sudden absence in failure would have on our economy), or even the increased spending (as long as we acknowledge we are in a recession of some magnitude and length, instead of letting ideology blind us into the “we could’ve just ridden it out” idiocy). See where I’m going? We can have a reasonable conversation, but too many (yourself included) are willing to attribute “reasonable” only to what they have already subscribed to, and all else as lunacy. It’s not a “left” or “right” thing, it’s human nature.

    But until you can bring yourself down to a level of reasonable discussion, which includes overall realities, not convenient renditions, perhaps your high horse is a bit too high.

    All that said, the odds of a constitutional convention are nil, at best.

  5. Connor
    May 2, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    David,

    If enough states ratified the new supreme law of the land so that it nullified the Constitution any states which failed to ratify it would, in effect, have been granted a legal secession.

    I’m not entirely sure that this is correct. When the states went forward with ratifying the Constitution in their respective conventions, they in effect seceded from the “perpetual union” created by the Articles of Confederation in favor of this new government. But the other states remained bound under that agreement until they, too, seceded.

    Given that there is no Constitutional clause regarding its own nullification when X number of states opt for a different government, my understanding leads me to believe that it would remain in effect for whatever other states did not implement the new constitution.

    John,

    While I think your argument is a little too dependent on a mythical time when our politics were pure…

    It might be helpful for me to clarify my thoughts regarding this “political purity” you describe. I have no delusions about there not being any contention, argument, and difference in opinion among those of the founding generation. One need only read Madison’s notes on the convention to see plenty of examples on the spectrum of political ideology that existed at the time.

    However, what I firmly believe to be true is that the level of integrity and statesmanship during that time far exceeds our own, and while there were plenty of cultural forces at play that affected various elements of their private virtue, the degree to which they rose above their restraints and presciently created a wonderful framework for liberty to flourish is something that would not be repeated today.

    Do you think that the amendment process should be changed?

    No. I think the amendment processes was (correctly) purposefully made difficult, so that it would not be a lightly sought after tool, thus quickly and easily changing the Constitution into something unrecognizable from the original.

    What I think needs to happen is that more states need to start rejecting federal encroachment of power under the tenth amendment. Resolutions will not suffice, and have no teeth. This has started in some states regarding the Real ID act, and if continued and expanded, the federal government would be much more restrained in what it could compel the states to do when they are breaching the contract in the Constitution.

    jasonthe,

    You could’ve just as easily linked to the Patriot Act, or the expansion of the NSA as a “legislative atrocity,” but you didn’t. I think that gives everyone reading a good idea of where you’re coming from, and what inspires you to rediscover the Constitution.

    Look, I’ve grown tired of your asinine accusations. You have come on this blog numerous times and essentially accused me of being a Bush cheerleader for not opposing the actions of his administration. I’ve provided links to several blog posts before where I argue against the very things you here mention. And then you never respond, apparently lacking any desire to be corrected or see the error you continue to perpetuate.

    Frankly, few (if any) like-minded folk that comment on this blog merit the accusation you’ve made, for there is general consensus here that Bush was a horrible president, and a complicit Congress willingly passed all sorts of horrible legislation. Nobody is disputing that, so you need to get off your high horse (or is it donkey?) and quit trying to be an Obamapologist and play your partisan games. I’m done.

  6. John C.
    May 2, 2009 at 6:19 pm #

    “However, what I firmly believe to be true is that the level of integrity and statesmanship during that time far exceeds our own, and while there were plenty of cultural forces at play that affected various elements of their private virtue, the degree to which they rose above their restraints and presciently created a wonderful framework for liberty to flourish is something that would not be repeated today.”

    I would disagree. I think that Jefferson and Madison could be just as dirty as any modern politician, to name a couple founding fathers. I think that we were very lucky in having George Washington as the first president, but the presidents have been partisan and power hungry ever since. Really, I think that the pure era of politicians with integrity is a myth perpetuated to increase the strength of strict constitutional readings. In saying this, I don’t think that strict constitutionalism is always wrong; nor do I think that the founding fathers were universally awful. I just think that the argument relies on a particular view of history that isn’t supported by the public record.

    jasonthe,
    I don’t usually agree with the general tone or tenor of the discussion here, but your accusations strike me as entirely baseless and as non sequitors that don’t have anything to do with the topic at hand. Seriously, I don’t think that you read the same post I did.

  7. David
    May 3, 2009 at 6:48 am #

    Connor,

    You are right that the Constitution has no clause regarding its dissolution, but neither did the articles of confederation. The “X number of states” that would have chosen the new system would have been specified in the modern constitutional convention, similar to what happened in 1787. Essentially the creation and adoption of a new constitution is the legal means of succession. If a majority of states (I’m assuming X would be at least a majority) adopted a new constitution your conclusion that the remaining states would still be bound by the existing Constitution is reasonable but even under that interpretation the remaining states would be able to interpret, enforce, or alter the existing Constitution free from the influence of those states which had adopted the new constitution.

  8. Connor
    May 3, 2009 at 8:44 am #

    Your comment, David, reminds me of a couple quotes regarding the Latter-day Saints ultimately being the ones to uphold, live under, and abide by the Constitution:

    When the people have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States, the Elders of Israel will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men, and extending the hand of fellowship to the oppressed of all nations. This is part of the program, and as long as we do what is right and fear God, he will help us and stand by us under all circumstances. (John Taylor, via Quoty)

    The day will come–and this is another prediction of Joseph Smith’s–I want to remind you of it, my brethren and sisters, when good government, constitutional government–liberty–will be found among the Latter-day Saints, and it will be sought for in vain elsewhere; when the Constitution of this land and republican government and institutions will be upheld by this people who are now so oppressed and whose destruction is now sought so diligently. The day will come when the Constitution, and free government under it, will be sustained and preserved by this people. (George Q. Cannon, via Quoty)

    Perhaps through some change in form of government (martial law, new constitution, dissolution into regional factions, etc.), the Latter-day Saints in the Rockies decide to secede and continue operating under the Constitution we’ve been told in the Doctrine and Covenants was inspired by God and intended for all His children.

  9. Joel S. Hirschhorn
    May 4, 2009 at 6:59 am #

    Negative views about using what the Founders knew we would need to use are based on very poor information and considerable propaganda from status quo political forces on the left and right. The Founders gave us the Article V convention option because they correctly anticipated that Americans would lose confidence in the federal government which would inevitably become too powerful. The one and only requirement for a convention has long been satisfied, with over 750 applications from all 50 states, but Congress has refused to obey the Constitution – and that alone should tell you that we need a convention. Learn all the facts at http://www.foavc.org

  10. Reach Upward
    May 4, 2009 at 1:53 pm #

    While the framers of the Constitution were politicians that suffered from many of the same effects as current politicians, the character of the members of the convention is not the basis for a strict interpretation of the document. Rather, the legal good faith execution of the provisions that made the Constitution a binding legal agreement is the basis for strict interpretation of the document, as is the case for virtually every other legal document in our society.

    Any court of law would immediately slap down any effort to re-interpret or come to some kind of modern understanding of the provisions of any other legally binding document, regardless of its antiquity. Why is our nation’s most important legal document any different in this regard? If the document needs to be modernized, then by all means, amend it according to the recognized amendment process rather than through some kind of back door legislation or judicial opinion.

    You can whine that the amendment process is too difficult, but I assert that we would find it much less cumbersome if our institutions insisted on strict interpretation. If it was known that there was no other way around the provisions of the document, you would see more openness to the amendment process.

    What we have today is a situation where the power brokers (across both parties) pay lip service to the Constitution but act however they wish, creating an ever growing gap between the document and reality. With each passing day the Constitution increasingly slides toward becoming an arcane museum artifact that has no real impact on how we practice government.

    Treating the document’s provisions this way does not make it a “living Constitution,” as promoters of this view assert. Rather, it makes it a dead one.

  11. John C.
    May 4, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    Reach Upward,
    I like the amendment process as it is and I wasn’t whining. I was curious, which is different. I also agree that the power of the Constitution is in the document itself and people’s willingness to submit to it. I was suggesting that the mythologizing of the integrity of the founders was something we use to buttress this, not that it was the foundation thereof. I happen to agree with Hamilton regarding the use of the elastic clause to expand the notion of the general welfare (which is hilarious, because I don’t agree with him on much else), but even I can see the danger of abuse there (I’m just not certain that we have gotten there yet).

    Setting all that aside, judicial opinion is not intended to be an end-around on the constitution. It’s written into it and everything. You may not agree with it, but it is constitutional.

  12. Reach Upward
    May 4, 2009 at 5:27 pm #

    The judiciary is permitted to determine whether laws pass constitutional muster. But, as was expressed in Federalist #78, “if they should be disposed to exercise WILL instead of JUDGMENT, the consequence would equally be the substitution of their pleasure to that of the legislative body.” Thus, they are to determine the quality of the law in relation to the language of the document. They are not tasked with offering solutions or de facto alternative laws. Such rulings constitute end runs around the Constitution.

    Your agreement with Hamilton on the general welfare clause was effectively codified by SCOTUS in 1936 and 1937 (United States v. Butler and Helvering v. Davis). Thus, there is no longer any ‘constitutional’ limitation on what the federal government may do, since the general welfare clause can be twisted by politicians to apply to just about everything. I happen to agree with Madison’s take on the matter, but that view has been overruled.

    You may not feel that we have yet arrived at the point of abuse, but many feel otherwise. Unfortunately, there is no longer any authority for anyone to put their hand up and yell stop when your idea of the point of abuse is crossed. An ever flexible interpretation of the general welfare clause necessarily means that abuse will occur. It is human nature and the nature of the political class to make sure this happens. It cannot now be avoided short of a constitutional amendment.

    That is not a happening thing because relatively few care at all about it. States bluster about federal overreach, but they are now so deeply intertwined with the expansive federal leviathan that they will not in actuality rebel in any meaningful way.

    You have your wish. So do the rest of us. Heaven help us.

  13. John C.
    May 5, 2009 at 11:35 am #

    My wish? What are you talking about, RU?

  14. Reach Upward
    May 5, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    You wrote, “I happen to agree with Hamilton regarding the use of the elastic clause to expand the notion of the general welfare….” Well, you’ve got it.

  15. John C.
    May 6, 2009 at 7:06 am #

    Dude, that’s hardly a wish fulfilled. That’s acknowledging a political reality that has existed for nearly 70 years. That I don’t find that the worst thing ever hardly makes me the worst thing ever. Dial it down, RU.

  16. Carborendum
    May 7, 2009 at 9:06 am #

    Reach:

    States bluster about federal overreach . . . they will not in actuality rebel in any meaningful way.

    Is that so?

    Several states are now passing legislation that will negate federal legislation regarding gun control.

    We’ve never heard of other referenda that have been submitted to annul the 16th amendment. From what I’ve heard there have been hundreds of them. But Congress refuses to act on them.

    I see the biggest issues that states will be willing to go to war for are:

    1) Gun control
    2) Abortion
    3) Gay/alternative marriages
    4) Income tax
    5) Freedom of religion

    The traditional family and religion are the basis of all conservative ideals. Yet the federal government in particular and most government entities in general continue to pass legisltation eroding the rights of both.

    I see this as a course for civil war unless our representatives start listening to us. Poll after poll shows more people are in favor of traditional families. Yet laws continue to get passed eroding the family–not by popular vote, but by an elected legislature that continues to go against the opinion of their constituency. Are they really representing us?

    I’d like to think that we are the Who’s and precious few representatives are acting like Horton. But there just aren’t enough of us making a noise.

    Connor,

    In a previous thread you asked me what I meant by “time to jump ship”. It’s somewhere in this region.

  17. James P
    June 1, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    In his post “The Dangers of a Modern Constituitonal Convention” , “Connor” wrote;

    “Our current Constitution, flawed in some parts though it may be, is quite restrictive on the federal government…”

    I address the matter of “restrictive on the federal government” later in this post. But first I comment on the suggestion that it is in part “flawed”.

    From the perspective of a Latter Day Saint I would respond with latter day scripture that enlightens us on the veracity of the the U.S. Constitution:

    “… the constitution of the people , which I have suffered to be established, and shoud be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to Just and holy principles;” (D&C 101:77)

    and then,

    “And for this purpose have I established the Constituion of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose…” (D&C 101:80)

    With that said, I am not so quick to concur with Connor in his statement “flawed in some parts though it may be”. At least not as it was originally written and then ammended by the Bill of Rights. However, subsequent ammendments have indeed “flawed” a once sound document.

    One can argue the plausibility of a constitutional convention one way or the other but the Constitution in it’s original form or as it was for example on February 17th, 1834 when this was first recorded and later prepared by The Prophet for inclusion in the Doctrine and Covenants, stands as that “…which I [the Lord] have caused to be established…”.

    A practicing latter Day Saint has very little wiggle room here. Subsequent prophets have likewise reiterated the same with regard to the veracity and inspired status of the U.S. Constituion. If we engage in a deeper study of the Founding fathers and the 28 principles they based this inspired document on (see “The 5000 Year Leap” W. Cleon Skousen 30 year anniv. edition, 2009) we can clearly see that the subsequent ammendments and actions of the Legislative, Juduciary and Presidents of the U.S. have indeed been flawed (e.g. 17th Ammendment, case law & activist judiciary, executive orders etc.).

    If a constitutional convention is called, it should be done so as to undo these and other gross abuses by the legislative, judiciary and executive branches of the federal goverment.

    The U.S. Constitution in it’s original form and the Bill of Rights. I find the so called risk of a constitutional convention (by the States!) much more palateable than civil war, strife, or in other words Anarchy (on one end of the spectrum) or to Tyrany on the other end which is the direction we seem to be currently headed. And it seems anarchy often follows tyranny. We are on a collision course and we must decide how to stop a speeding train or in this case a wreckless federal government that is corrupt and has little or no regard for it’s representation of “the people”.

    The solution is to find an effective way to educate the electorate on the Constitution and the Founders (whom “[God] raised up unto this very purpose”, D&C 101:80) principles upon which they based it. The public education system has failed (quite possibly by design of some) to educate American in is core principles.

    As long as Americans are largely ingorant of the constituion, the founders and the principles upon which they based the constituion, they will be swayed and led by “every wind of doctrine” or in other words by smoke and mirrors, and by emotional rhetoric spewed by modern pop culture and media. We see this bile spew forth every election cycle and the media and many in pop culture are willing or unwhitting accomplices.

    If “the people” are educated in our form of goverment, a constitutional convention would be useful to course correct and udue abuses of the past as it was designed to do. However, our elected officials go unchecked by the States (17th ammendment) or the People (ignorance of the constituion). Note that the lesislators, the judiciary and the office of the President do not determine the outcomes of a constitutional convention. Even the conventions requires checks.

    The balance of power between the States and the Federeal government are grossly out of balance and the Federal goverment is spinning WILDLY out of control, plundering the public money and violating our trust. We must act soon. One way or the other. Neither of the major political parties are exempt. Like at the time of the first constitutional convention, this land, again is at a major crossroad and there are no easy answers.

    Disclaimer: These veiws do not neccessarily represent those of the Thomas Jefferson Center for Constitutional Studies and are the sole property and viewpoint of the author. The author accepts exclusive responsibility for the opinions, facts and statements expressed herein.

  18. Connor
    June 1, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    From the perspective of a Latter Day Saint I would respond with latter day scripture that enlightens us on the veracity of the the U.S. Constitution:

    The Constitution provides for change through the amendment, and thus the Lord’s approval of the document would, of course, take this into account. Were this to be considered otherwise, your position would imply that all Latter-day Saints should be against amending the Constitution in any fashion, since God rubber-stamped the end result of the original Constitutional Convention. This, of course, would be a bit nonsensical, since the original document afforded the very opportunity for amendment we would later reject.

    So, my interpretation of the Lord’s approval of the Constitution is more along the lines of principles than specific provisions. In other words, we can pass fifty other amendments to the document, and so long as they are in accordance w/the principles established in the original document, it would still merit the Lord’s approval. Amendments that drastically/radically change those principles, and any actions that disregard/disobey the Constitutional mandates of which the Lord approved, would (in my mind) lose the Lord’s blessing.

    If a constitutional convention is called, it should be done so as to undo these and other gross abuses by the legislative, judiciary and executive branches of the federal goverment.

    To the point of my post: while this may be your desire for a convention, there would be no way to control the delegates’ actions, nor few delegates who likely would agree with your/our interpretation of “gross abuses”.

    The solution is to find an effective way to educate the electorate on the Constitution and the Founders (whom “[God] raised up unto this very purpose”, D&C 101:80) principles upon which they based it.

    Agreed.

  19. James P
    June 1, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    Exactly. The principles of the constitution or- the 28 principles upon which the founders built the constituion have been grossly violated and perhaps abandoned in some instances. The ammendments were done “legally” as far as I know. The ammendment process is good and we probably agree it should be difficult to ammend it so as to preven our supreme law(s) from being politically tossed by every wind of doctrine and public opinion or corruption.

    True. There never has been any way to control “delegates” or any of our elected (legeslative, executive) or appointed (judiciary) officials. As an electorate, our intellectual capacity and understanding of the constitution and it’s PRINCIPLES is the key to “controlling” the delegates or representatives. Was it Franklin or perhaps Adams that said (in paraphrase) this goverment was constructed for a righteous people and that it was incapable of governing otherwise? I would add; and an educated electorate, but not just with degrees but with principles and an understanding of our constitution and its foundational principles.

    I recommend “The 5000 Year Leap to every person that has an interest in “Real Change” lol because it doesn’t focus on ideology. It reveals the founders principles or those they uncovered as they studied previous governments as far back as ancient Israel. Those are the principles that were the common denominator to effective government or referred to as “Natural Law”. :) Natural law is fixed and immovable. They in their very nature are governed by the universe (diety).

    If the American people are “educated” of an accurate history of the Founders (not the contrived slanderous history, often perpetuated by liberal professors/historians with ideological agendas) they will learn those principles or natural laws that make for success. Becuase that is governed by a knowledge and acknowledgement of Principles or natural law or a higher power in the universe it requires a righteous society to succeed.

    It is critical that we find a way to inject the study of the constitution AND the founders back into society. The public school system is not. My dream is to initiate a national essay contest where prizes (scholarships, education trust funds, books, trips to historic US cites and ancient civilizations/ruins etc.) are given to semifinalists and finalist. The key is to provide incentive for the youth, the parents and the media. I have given lot’s of thought to it. I have a friend that is well aquainted with a major TV news personality. I hope to get some interest and see if I can get it going.

    If you would like to contact me personally you can contact me via FaceBook (James Poll in the Salt Lake, Utah area).

    Glenn beck wrote the forward to the 30th anniv. edition of The 5000 Year Leap.

  20. James P
    June 1, 2009 at 10:54 am #

    P.S. With regard to a national essay contes I meant to say that there needs to be incentive for educators too. Not just youth/students (America’s future), Parents (electorate), and media.

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  1. Breaking Down The Hedges (#2) « Watchman on the Tower - October 7, 2012

    [...] a new Constitutional Convention is a BAD idea! In the words of Connor Boyack (The Dangers of a Modern Constitutional Convention): As was the case with the convention that brought us the Constitution we now enjoy (if only as a [...]

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