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AUDIO UNCOVERED: Ronald Reagan for Article V Convention of States

Published in Blog on July 06, 2021 by Convention Of States

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You probably already know that President Ronald Reagan supported the state-proposed amending process outlined in Article V of the Constitution--what we know today as a "Convention of States." We've highlighted his comments about the Article V process in the past, but we've recently uncovered an audio recording of the Gipper discussing the Convention of States option, and it's worth a listen.

This comes from a series of recordings Reagan did in the period between his governorship of California and his presidential candidacy in 1980. They were called "Viewpoint with Ronald Reagan" and "Ronald Reagan Radio Commentary," and this excerpt was provided to us by the National Archives. 

As Reagan explains, Americans in the 1970s were extremely concerned about government spending. Vast majorities of Americans supported ratifying a balanced budget amendment that would require Congress to be fiscally responsible.

"My own belief is, cutting taxes will have the effect of cutting spending if government can no longer run a deficit, and that will end inflation," Reagan says in support of a balanced budget amendment.

Reagan outlines the efforts to impose fiscal restraints on Congress via the amendment process, including one proposal by another Article V supporter, Milton Freidman

Then, he answers the age-old "runaway convention" objection. Though he incorrectly calls an Article V Convention of States a "constitutional convention," Reagan deftly responds to the long-debunked runaway convention theory.

"In my view, those who warn of this show little faith in our democratic procedures. The Constitution provides for both methods, and the Convention is a safety valve giving the people a chance to act if Congress refuses to," he says.

Reagan admits that he would rather Congress propose amendments, but he points out, as George Mason did, that Congress has been unwilling to propose the amendments required by We the People. When that happens, the Convention of States option is the solution to legislative inaction.

No one can question Ronald Reagan's commitment to freedom or his love for his country. He spent his life implementing limited-government reforms, but he knew that the federal government would only go so far to limits its own power. The Founders included the Convention of States option in Article V to allow the states and the people to propose constitutional amendments if Congress won't. 

Since Reagan spoke these words, Congress has grown even more unwilling to limit its power or control its spending. If the Gipper believed a Convention of States was necessary in the 1970's, how much more so is it needed today to rein in federal power, limit federal spending, and reduce the terms of career politicians.

To join Reagan and a host of other freedom-loving thinkers and leaders, sign the petition below!

Sign the petition to call for a Convention of States!

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Petition your state legislator

Almost everyone knows that our federal government is on a dangerous course. The unsustainable debt combined with crushing regulations on states and businesses is a recipe for disaster.

What is less known is that the Founders gave state legislatures the power to act as a final check on abuses of power by Washington, DC. Article V of the U.S. Constitution authorizes the state legislatures to call a convention for proposing needed amendments to the Constitution. This process does not require the consent of the federal government in Washington, DC.

I support the Convention of States Project; a national effort to call a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution, restricted to proposing amendments that will impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.

I want our state to be one of the necessary 34 states to pass a resolution calling for this kind of Article V Convention. You can find a copy of the model resolution and the Article V Pocket Guide (which explains the process and answers many questions) here:

I ask that you support the Convention of States Project and consider becoming a co-sponsor of the resolution. Please respond to my request by informing the national COS team of your position, or sending them any questions you may have: or (540) 441-7227.

Thank you so much for your service to the people of our district.

Respectfully, [Your Name]

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HUGE thanks to Gary Brenner of Convention of States New Jersey for finding this audio!

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