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Convention of States!


Civic Engagement by Minnesota's COS Volunteers

Published in Blog on May 11, 2022 by Edward Douglas Thompson

The Main Goal

There is a saying that "All politics is local" and it refers to a politician wanting to stay on the good side of constituents: Serving the local constituency, even if the larger matters suffer.

It's the reason politicians strive to bring the benefits of government largesse back home to their communities.*

The main goal for the Convention of States project is to build a grassroots movement that is so large and energized that it could only be ignored at a politician's own political peril.

This grassroots movement grows outside of the partisan political system, because the Convention of States project is more important to America's future than even the survival of any political party or any particular regime or administration.

You could even say that a Convention of States is more important than anything political.

While levers of political power can be captured by special interests, a Convention of States is something which can break such levers -- leaving those special interests out in the cold while the whole nation (and our future) benefits, instead.

Two ways to skin this cat

One way to fight this capture of politics by these special interests is to stay as far away from them as possible, growing the grassroots movement on the outside, without ever crossing paths with the political machines which exist.

But another possible approach is to engage the system, to engage in local politics, while always remembering that the main goal of a Convention of States supercedes the importance, even the continued existence, of political parties.

Convention of States is truly a "country-before-party" movement. It is non-partisan. And, in politics, it is the single-most "American" thing that Americans can do.

Another way to think of Convention of States is "principles before outcomes." Political parties have a history of sacrificing principles in order to bring forth outcomes.

There is a much greater chance for We the People to remain principled than there is for political parties to remain principled.

While I began by being skeptical about a Convention of States, let me share a question asked of the late Tom Coburn, by one Mark Levin, which forever altered my thinking about it:

LEVIN: What are the issues that you think will cause this republic to fall?

COBURN: Oh, several. One, the lack of virtue that's been promoted in the public education system. Number two, the debt. Number three, the unfunded liabilities, and number four, the abandonment of the rule of law.

Tom Coburn got out of politics in order to try to fix it from the outside. As you can tell from his answer, political party machines have had too much of a head-start on destroying America. They are almost finished with the task.

Neither side of the political aisle has remained a true friend to liberty and posterity. Because of the size and solidification of party politics, there is only one peaceful solution to this problem now: a Convention of States.

The Herd and the Spear

Imagine being in a stampeding herd which is headed for a cliff, where the herd will fall to its doom. One way to try to save everyone is to stay inside of that herd and to try to nudge others around you to change course.

Another way to save the herd is to leave the herd and build a big sign which could divert it away from the cliff. That's what Tom Coburn chose to do.

But both things can be done at the same time: An outside push for the solution, and an 'inside-the-herd' nudging toward that solution.

The difference is that Tom Coburn found himself at the "tip of the spear," so to speak -- where trying to change where the spear points may just lead to you getting cuts on your hands, but without any progress (the tip is sharp).

A different way to 'engage-from-the-inside' is to be as local as possible. This is akin to grabbing the spear by the base first, building a new direction from the ground up.

This is precisely what Minnesota COS Volunteers have begun to do, by engaging in local politics and giving those internal "nudges" toward the solution.

Examples of Local Engagement

I think that the best way to provide examples of engagement in local politics is to get it in their own words. So I asked several COS Volunteers and Team Members to share how they have been engaged in local politics in order to stir up incentive for Convention of States from the inside.


As a delegate I expressed interest in being a part of the Resolution Committee to help ensure that the COS resolution didn’t get edited into a Con-Con or completely dropped. Tomorrow I am presenting COS to delegates and alternates invited to my BPOU [Basic Political Organizational Unit]. In this way, we can help get more delegates to the State Convention on board for resolution voting at the State Convention. 


The presentation to my BPOU was really good today. This is a great tactic for us to use. It really gets the word out to the group who will be voting for candidates and for party platform resolutions. --Mary Jo Baarsch 


I have read the COS Resolution for 2 caucuses. It passed unanimously both times. That is the easy part. You need to follow up at the conventions. Volunteering for the resolution board is a good idea. Also be prepared for the resolution votes at the conventions by talking to people and handing out literature before the vote takes place. --Rick Jensen


1) I read/defended the COS resolution at the precinct caucus and it passed. I then made sure I joined the BPOU resolution committee which was important to it passing at the respective convention.

I was seated at the CD1 convention where we were blessed to have entry way, undiluted visibility to our information table. I spoke with many supportive candidates including Matt Birk, Kendall Qualls, Jeremy Munson (55% of vote) etc. Unfortunately, the CD1 resolution committee was seemingly stacked against us from the start. 1 minute back and forth debates (where they seemed to strategically get the last word/negative) was a bit much to overcome. In spite of the fear mongering, we seemed to capture 40% of the delegates. --Chris Bodenstab


I became the secretary of the caucus for the evening and signed a whole bunch of documents at the end of the night and when I asked for copies I was told no. I was elected as precinct captain for I believe the next 2 years and my husband was elected, I believe, assistant precinct chair. Neither of us have been able to learn what that means since then. I submitted 3 resolutions, COS, Never Again and Election Integrity and all 3 passed. We left with a combination of pride of participating and confusion as to what I had just participated in.


There were in excess of one hundred 35-word statements from individuals wanting to be one of the 11 delegates to the CD and/or State convention. There were over 40 people that wanted to  add their name to this listing so each and every one of them got 1 minute to say why they should be a delegate. Painful.  

There were people making motions, they were recognized or denied and no matter what, people were mad. The voting for delegates was done on scrap pieces of paper and being the precinct captain I was responsible for picking up and submitting the votes. They were counted after the convention, which I believe was not in the rules.

The resolutions were summarized and not detailed by precinct because we were told there wasn't enough time. The COS resolution was included and there was one person that wanted to debate the COS issue and they were denied. All of the resolutions were passed on a voice vote.  -- Amy McCutcheon


I was able to bring many new people to the caucus and get them involved and some of them were even selected to become delegates. 


During this process I had been working closely with our local Legislator to get him on board with COS with no progress. After many conversations with other supporters and constituents discussing our lack of resolve for many issues and with some support from people here that were helpful and also encouraged me: I decided to take it a step further and decided to run for that House seat.  

It got me very engaged with both of the BPOUs in our District and I had to dive very deep into the delegate process. In the process of my campaign I was able to talk to many delegates about the importance of COS. In the end, i came up short and did not get the endorsement but gained support personally and with COS. Building a personal relationship with people builds strong bonds. I was selected as an alternative in the delegate process and did attend our CD1 and volunteered at the event as a sergeant at arms so was able to watch and help seat delegates from all areas.  

In the end our current representative did take that step to Commit to be a sponsor of our resolution. So that was one positive. I highly encourage anyone to take a step forward and get involved.  Even if the outcome is not what you hoped. We must be willing to practice what we preach. Stand up for what we believe in… even when its really hard… but always know… you are never alone. --Kate Snodgrass

The inspiring dedication of these Minnesota patriots to get engaged serves as a good example to us all. Being engaged in local politics is part of what self-governance means.

Conversely, being completely disengaged with the political process would invite failure on our part -- even though our solution is outside of, even above, the typical political foray.

A caution going forward: Three ways to fail

I can think of only three ways that a Convention of States movement, now the largest-ever grassroots movement that this nation has ever known, could fail:

1) become "partisan"
2) be broken into "factions"
3) the effectiveness of lies

While engaging in politics, we have to remind ourselves that our true and final loyalty is to the timeless principles upon which the United States of America was founded -- as spelled out eloquently in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

Our primary loyalty can never be to a party -- i.e., a "party-before-country" type of loyalty. It would kill our movement by giving ammunition to our opponents.

Even just breaking apart into factions instead of remaining together through our internal disagreements could kill this movement. Too much focus on pet issues, elevating them in importance above our main mission, can also cause our demise.

Our opponents are masterful at exploiting wedge issues to break groups apart. As we enter each election cycle, there is nearly always a "leak" about some race, gender, class, or sexual orientation issue.

The intention of these curiously-timed leaks is so that the corrupt political insiders can keep the voters distracted and thereby continue engaging in ongoing kleptocracy -- gutting America out from the inside.

Heading into this next election cycle, it was somehow "leaked" that Roe v. Wade is on the chopping block.


And finally, the effectiveness of the lies that are spread about a Convention of States could, possibly, prevent us from saving America from authoritarian dictatorship and ultimate ruin. Those benefitting from all of the corruption will push back on efforts to solve it, engaging in lies and deceit.

And if someone were so wily as to game the system so that they benefit while you lose -- and without you knowing -- is it any wonder that they'd also engage in lies and propaganda to prevent justice and truth?

The motto of comic book hero, Superman, was "Truth, Justice, and the American Way." Truth and justice are aligned with America for a good reason. But the people who have been steering our ship of state in the U.S. for several decades now are anything but heroes.

They are destroyers.

We'll need to bring everything we have in order to beat them back, and prevent the ultimate destruction of America. As Tom Coburn said regarding all prior republics which ended in destruction:

And so I left looking for another method with which we can cheat history and not be a republic that falls because we didn't continue with the principles - the foundational principles that we had.

Let's stay together, stay strong, get engaged, and "cheat history."

*An outrageous example from 2005 was a proposal of $400 million in federal money for a bridge to an island in Alaska, an island that only 50 total people lived on! That's $8 million in federal money for EACH constituent who lived there! Chances are that, if you spend $8 million of "other people's money" on each of your constituents, then they will vote you back into office in the next election cycle.

Our Misson: To build a strong, engaged army of self-governing, grassroots activists.

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