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‘Obedience to what I’m called to do’: Revisiting Dr. Tom Coburn’s legacy

Published in Blog on March 28, 2023 by Jakob Fay

Three years ago, on March 28, 2020, America suffered the loss of a great modern legend: Dr. Tom Coburn.

For decades, Dr. Coburn typified servant leadership. He “dedicated his life to service. He served his patients as a doctor, he served his constituents as a Senator, he served future generations through his work at Convention of States, and he served his country through it all.”

And he did so humbly.

Tom did not see himself as a hero. He simply sought to do his duty, faithfully obedient to the work God had called him to. 

“One of the things I’ve found that has been a principle that has guided my life is obedience to what I’m called to do,” the former senator shared from the stage of the 2019 Convention of States Summit. “There’s a security in that that nothing else matches.”

At the time, Senator Coburn had been diagnosed with the cancer that would eventually claim his life. Yet he refused to slow down or quit the fight.

“Why do you keep fighting,” Convention of States President Mark Meckler asked in 2019.

“Well,” Coburn responded, “what would you do if you didn’t?”

“Life's intended to be a battle," he continued. "We're in to survive. We're in to compete. We're in to achieve.”

“I’ll bet you people in this room have had lots more difficulties than I have in my life…. The fact is, giving up isn't in my nature, and it isn't in our nature. It isn't in our country's nature, it isn't in our children's nature… and it wasn't in our parents.' So, what are our options? I'm in this to the end,” he concluded, “whenever that is."

Be sure to watch the entirety of Dr. Coburn’s stirring 2019 Convention of States Summit speech below!


Convention of States is honored to have locked shields with a legend such as Dr. Tom Coburn. In honor of his legacy, may we take increased devotion to the cause to which he was devoted until the very end.

To join the late patriot and hero in support of Convention of States, sign the petition below and get involved today.

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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 to proposing needed amendments to the Constitution. This process does not require the consent of the federal government in Washington DC.

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