The following was written by Paul Bremmer and originally published on WND.com.
Americans’ trust in government wallows near historic lows, with only 20 percent saying they trust the federal government to do what’s right always or most of the time, according to the latest Pew Research Center poll.
Having served six years in the U.S. House of Representatives and 10 more in the Senate, Tom Coburn understands why so many Americans don’t trust their government.
“Why would you?” the retired senator asked during a recent appearance on Glenn Beck’s radio show. “There’s a million dollars in debt per family out there, right? So how do they pay that off?”
Beck, the popular former Fox News host and founder of the Blaze, replied he didn’t think it was a bad thing that so many people distrust the government.
“I think you go back to George Washington’s time, I’ll bet you that number was in the 90s if they would have taken polls,” Beck asserted. “I mean, George Washington said you shouldn’t trust government. Treat it as fire.”
“But [what] they’re also saying is we don’t think it works anymore,” Coburn retorted. “As a matter of fact, the millennials don’t know how it’s supposed to work because the education’s been so disruptive in not teaching them, undermining the principles that our country was built upon. So I don’t worry that people don’t trust the federal government; I worry [about] the fact that what that will lead to is no confidence in anything that comes out of there.”
Beck and Coburn agreed the country is deeply unsettled primarily because America’s leaders have not adhered to the Constitution. The Constitution is America’s rudder, in Beck’s view.
“It’s going to be up to us to choose: Which path do we take?” Beck told his audience. “And that’s easier when you have the Constitution as your gospel of freedom. That’s what that is; that’s a gospel of freedom. It’s the sacred American scripture that tells us how to navigate.”
The Constitution holds the answer to America’s present crisis of confidence, according to Coburn. Specifically, the answer lies in Article V, which states the Constitution may be amended if two-thirds of the state legislatures apply to Congress to call a convention for proposing amendments.
Coburn makes the full argument for why an Article V Amendments Convention is more necessary than ever in his new book, “Smashing the DC Monopoly: Using Article V to Restore Freedom and Stop America’s Runaway Government.”
There is a nationwide effort under way to get the necessary 34 state legislatures to ask Congress for an Article V Convention to propose amendments to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, impose fiscal restraint on the federal government and limit the terms of federal officials and members of Congress. Currently, 12 states have passed applications requesting a convention dealing with this subject matter.
Any amendments proposed at such a convention would need to be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures to become part of the Constitution.
Coburn said Col. George Mason was the Founding Father who first wondered aloud whether there had ever been a government that voluntarily ceded power back to its citizens. That was the concern that led the founders to adopt the Article V Convention of States provision. In fact, Coburn said it was the only item that did not generate heavy debate at the Constitutional Convention of 1787.
“Most people don’t realize it, if you look at Madison’s notes, he did copious notes on the whole convention, and the only aspect of that convention that didn’t have vigorous debate, vigorous, hard, fighting debate before they came to agreement was Article V,” the former senator explained.
Coburn, who now serves as a senior adviser to the Convention of States Project, said the Article V Convention option exists as a sort of safety valve for the American citizenry – and he believes it’s time to turn that valve.
“Right now, where we find ourselves is that’s the only solution that’s big enough for the problem in front of us,” Coburn declared.
Beck agreed America has reached the point where the people need to take charge of their own destiny through an Article V Convention.
“If you can, get involved in the Article V movement in your state,” he urged his listeners. “It just passed in Texas and it is starting to gain momentum, and it is critical. They’ll never give themselves a limit on their power in Congress – never. You need to do it, and it needs to happen through Convention of States to change the Constitution and put a few things in there like, I don’t know, you spend the money that you have, not our children’s money.”