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Inspired by Alex Jones: Reconstitution

What if there was a halfway step between a Constitutional Convention and Secession?

Alex Jones called it Reconstitution.

Here's how I think it would work: a state secedes not from the union, but from the current federal government . It does not declare itself hostile to that government or demand its dissolution, only refuses to recognize the authority of Washington over the state and its people (excepting fair use of federal property). It remains in this position (preventing FBI, ATF, NSA, IRS, etc. from legally operating there) until such time as a constitutional convention appointed by the states can ratify a new constitution, which must then be approved by the people. It may accept delegates from other states, or recognize officers of a states-appointed continental congress for dealing with interstate disputes during this transition, but it will treat the federal government as an untrustworthy foreign power. When there is no possibility of compromise, the possibility of multiple confederacies remains a justified outcome.

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A constitutional convention is necessary when elections themselves fail to meaningfully guarantee liberty because of institutional resistance by government in fulfilling its proper role. Yet, a constitutional convention itself requires elections and is largely managed by the institution it seeks to reform.

More importantly - assuming that the institution of central government has become corrupt enough to require substantial institutional reform, would it not stand to reason that it would resist any such efforts at reform? In a society where the power of the federal government relative to the people was little, elections and conventions could reform the federal center. Once the relationship is inverted, reform can only come from within the corrupt establishment itself.

The federal government, defined loosely but correctly as the Hamiltonian status quo (more or less since Lincoln, but including more recent changes), includes not less than the following influences over the entirety of American society:

*The entire financial system via the money supply, regulation, and the century-long establishment of an opaque, privately oriented, and immensely powerful Federal Reserve central banking system.
*The majority of the education system from pre-school to advanced research via DoE money, programs, grant money, and so forth.
*Police presence via ATF, FBI, DEA, and on and on.
*Persistent totalitarian surveillance via NSA et al.
*The loyalty of entire populations of all demographics in every state via subsidies, entitlements and handouts.
*An endless multitude of federal contracts for the national defense industry and more in every last congressional district.

and on and on

With such influence, no minority, no matter how significant, could ever hope to achieve meaningful reform to the Hamiltonian status quo. No majority, silent or vocal, would be able to form any long-term coalition to advocate for reform. We are divided and conquered on every front by the federal machine.

Elections or constitutional conventions will not lead to meaningful reform.

What about the chances of a minority, free of the influence of state-academia, police presence, or dependency uniting, coalescing, and seceding as a free and sovereign people? Again, such an act would be considered outright rebellion. It might not even be desired.

So is there an alternative middle ground? YES! RECONSTITUTION!

The idea is that the best you could hope for is a small minority, forming a presence in a state or two, acting on their desire for meaningful reform of the power relationship between the federal government, and the states and people respectively.

Take this kernel, but don't secede. We want union, we believe in a political alliance between the states for a common defense, and open commerce, and more or less what we understand to be in the Constitution. The problem is a federal government that has grown beyond the bounds of the Constitution and used its power to prevent anyone from being able to reform it meaningfully.

So take a state: New Hampshire and Texas let's say. They say the following: "Based on the 10th amendment, as well as the foundational sovereignty of the states and their people, believing that the federal government is unconstitutional and abusive of power, and that it employs its power and influence to thwart the possibility of reform, we hereby call for a Reconstitution of federal government."

HERE'S THE TRICK: THE STATES SECEDE FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, NOT THE UNION. THEY REFUSE TO RECOGNIZE THE AUTHORITY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WITHIN THEIR STATE BORDERS - EXCEPTING FAIR USE OF FEDERAL PROPERTY - UNTIL SUCH TIME AS A NATIONAL, UNION WIDE, CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION IS HELD - SUCH A CONVENTION SHALL BE COMPRISED ONLY OF REPRESENTATIVES APPOINTED BY THE STATES BY A FAIR AND FREE PROCESS, AND ANY NEW CONSTITUTION MUST BE APPROVED BY 2/3 VOTE OF THE PEOPLE IN EACH AND EVERY STATE - IF NO COMPROMISE CAN BE REACHED FOR ALL THE STATES, THEN THE UNION WILL DISSOLVE INTO SMALLER CONFEDERACIES. THE STATES MAY ALSO REESTABLISH THE EXACT SAME CONSTITUTION IF THEY SEE FIT, BUT MAY INCLUDE ARTICLES OF ESTABLISHMENT WHICH DISBAND CERTAIN ACTIVITIES OF THE PRESENT FEDERAL POWER. ONCE COMPLETE, THE NEW GOVERNMENT, DULY ELECTED AND APPOINTED, SHALL RESUME OWNERSHIP OF ALL FEDERAL PROPERTY, AND SHALL RIGHTFULLY HOLD SUPREME AUTHORITY OVER ALL FORMER FEDERAL OFFICES. THE STATES AS A WHOLE HAVE THE POWER TO INDEPENDENTLY SUPERSEDE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, EVEN IF ONE STATE ALONE MAY NOT NECESSARILY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SECEDE.

In other words, Nullification, then Constitutional Convention. But wrapped up into one concept.

The utility of this approach, and the need for a unified concept, lie in the fact that any small amount of power that can be reacquired by the states and people from the federal government may start a cascade and shift of power overall.

At a minimum, the publicity and social effect of one state entering a position of Reconstitution might lead to a few more. Especially if the process seems to be viable.

Then, with half the country 'abstaining' in 'civil disobedience' of federal power, the federal empire may not have the funds or resources (I'd bet most federal officers would be in effective strike or conscientious objection) to continue on its present course.

This final collapse of federal power would convince some of the recalcitrant states to accede to Reconstitution. California would likely prefer to be in a less lucrative union with the other 49 states with a possibility of bailout or commerce, than face isolation and a closed border.

What say you Daily Paul? Good idea huh? Can we spread it? Someone email this to AJ? Or RP?

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Ron Paul On Constitutional Convention He Says No!

Ron Paul On Constitutional Convention He Says No!
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http://targetfreedom.com/bills-in-congress/ron-paul-on-const...

Dear Friend:

Thank you for expressing your concern that attempting to roll back the dangerous expansion of government power through constitutional amendment will bring about a constitutional convention. You are indeed correct that a modern constitutional convention, given today's political climate, would be dangerous to liberty by leaving us open to sudden, sweeping change in our government.

I must point out, however, that initiating or passing an amendment is not calling for a constitutional convention, is not an invitation to do so, and is not nearly as dangerous. During the amendment process, we are not any more open to the dangers of a convention than at any other time. We have seen twenty-seven amendments to the Constitution without a convention being called. Amendments are the constitutional and safe way to change our form of government because the particular and limited issue addressed by an amendment requires a long, involved process to change the Constitution for very limited and specific ends. With each proposed amendment there is ample time to point out any apparent threats to liberty and warn our fellow citizens.

Contrast this to the current situation where almost anything can become law if a mere, momentary majority in Congress and the current president agrees. The amendment process is the proper, constitutional way to change our government's power, rather than by arbitrary lawmaking or regulatory rulemaking. Thank you again for your vigilance and dedication to liberty.

Sincerely,

Ron Paul

November 6th 2012 I voted for Dr.Ron Paul
"We must remember, elections are short-term efforts. Revolutions are long-term projects." ~ Ron Paul

No, that's not what I meant

A constitutional convention would be a terrible idea, yes.

My point was that we have this federal government that is an occupying power. It is a combination of a Hamiltonian and Bankster empire, and operates beyond the bounds of the constitution. Its reach in our society is so expansive, no reform is possible under its watch. Reform is possible only outside of its watch.

So through a form of extreme nullification, a state refuses to recognize the right of the federal government to operate within its borders, because of its abuses. This is not rebellion, because the federal government's foreign power, nor its property or institutions are contested - though no tax money will leave the state if the state can help it. It is not secession, because neither the union nor the constitution are rejected, just the federal government.

The 'Reconstitution' is not a constitutional convention, but rather and constitutional congress meant to reorganize a new federal government with new officers.

In particular, the states initiating this process are not calling for a convention where they'll accept whatever the outcome is. They are saying that the Constitution must be reformed to grant less power to the federal government, or keep the same constitution but on the understanding that the new government won't have the power it was previously understood to have.

Any change would have to require 2/3 votes of the people in each state, minimum. It would have to be a supreme compromise.

Yes, there's the danger some crisis would be exploited to adopt a worse constitution. But if this process happens once and leads to a legitimate government, it can happen again.

So long as the federal power is intolerably coercive the states can withdraw support for it and demand reconstitution.

It's like a vote of no confidence on federal government. But rather than be integrated into the written constitution (say to be enacted by the Senate), it is a natural and assumed power of the states. That means the feds can't block it because the process isn't part of their system.

Two quick observations reading my post

First: the doctrine of Reconstitution does essentially imply an ability of the states to protest the result of an election with non-participation. In other words, it makes the federal system more voluntary than it has been since 1787. However, the process is difficult, dangerous, and expensive. Only severe abuses of power through institutional failure of the constitution would lead to states pursuing this option. There also remains the very big difference between this approach and secession or the Articles of Confederation: unity. The final outcome of the process is a united voice of the states to other nations. So long as there is a constituted USA, its treaties will be law in every state. So long as there is a constituted USA, which the states find to be just, there will be one law of commerce.

Second: Stability. Though this process contains a 'scary' period where the federal power may ruthlessly crush the reform attempt, it is highly likely that a good majority of states undergoing a process that is fundamentally 'reform' and not 'secession' could convince the powers that be to save face and go along with the very public and hard to discredit reform process. This means that all the naval vessels and nuclear missiles in the federal arsenal can maintain a continuity of alertness throughout the transition. Reconstitution doesn't seek to disband the current federal government except in a peaceful transition of power to the new government. In the transition period, the states don't recognize that government's domestic powers.

In Order to Enter a Position of Reconstitution

A state would have to list its perceived abuses, as well as declare the reforms it desires. It then resists federal power until more states come on board.

As for the possibility of a state

doing this alone. Well, there are autonomous districts within countries all over Europe. So what if there's an 'autonomous' state within America which ignores the federal government and the federal government mostly ignores it. It could be a perpetual situation and not necessarily harm any parties involved.