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Convention of States!


Rally for the Resolution in Raleigh!

Published in Blog on May 21, 2024 by Peter Spung

Despite the gloomy forecast and overcast weather, hundreds of Convention of States (COS) supporters from all corners of North Carolina and adjoining states turned out for a Rally on the Halifax Mall at the State Legislature complex on May 15th, 2024. It was truly heartwarming to witness compatriots who are actively engaged in the fight to save our country! A resounding shout-out and heartfelt kudos to the dedicated volunteers who meticulously organized this event. Their planning and execution were impeccable, resulting in an informative and incredibly enjoyable gathering. Here are some memorable impressions from the event.

The history of the COS Resolution in North Carolina was introduced, which includes its passing multiple times in the State House and once in the Senate during previous biennial legislative sessions. During this session, the resolution passed the House in 2023. It is on the threshold of a vote in the Senate, perhaps as soon as this month. We are all encouraged to contact our Senators and ask them to support and vote for it when it comes to the floor for a vote. Should that happen soon, North Carolina will become the 20th state to pass the resolution. See this US progress map for more details. 34 resolution-passing states in total are needed to invoke a call for an Article V Convention of States to propose amendments that fall into three categories: limit federal terms, restrict growth and balance the federal budget, and reduce federal jurisdiction and overreach.

Opening prayer was reflective of the divine providence that underpinned and guided the founding of our great country. The prayer also foreshadowed messages echoed throughout the event about enduring human nature, which reflects the fallen state of man who is sinful and especially coerced to seek power. It is to thwart or counter this tendency that structures were designed into the Constitution to check, balance, and distribute power throughout our constitutional republic. That includes the second clause of Article V that gives rise to multi-state conventions and the COS movement.

May is military appreciation month. Many veterans are involved in the COS movement, as patriots who are concerned about the future of our country and the unbridled and runaway federal government in DC. In that spirit, the anthem of each branch of service was played and service members stood in tribute to their branch. It was truly inspiring to hear and see that tribute, and get a glimpse into the passion these veterans have for the future of our country. As an indicator of their passion and commitment, of the 2.5+ million petition signers, 17% are veterans.

Co-founder Mark Meckler laid the foundation for the movement, emphasizing the need for calling a Convention to address structural issues that elections have not and cannot address. Large swing classes of patriots have been elected in the past, intent on addressing very popular concerns of We the People such as incumbency and related power and corruption that accrues to reelection and tenure in DC. The popularity of solutions such as term and budget limits is irrefutable – these have been polling at super-majority percentage levels for decades, and at least two nationwide grassroots movements have them as a core tenet. However, neither newly elected swing classes, nor those in DC in general, pursue these. DC has proven over time that it will not limit itself. COS is a solution as big as the problem and was designed into the structure through Article V of the Constitution to address these issues. It is the expectation and obligation of We the People to rise up through our State Legislatures and check and limit the power in DC when it is clear that they will not limit themselves.

That point was highlighted by the two of the primary sponsors of the COS Resolution in North Carolina, who participated in a panel discussion: State Representative Dennis Riddell (in the middle of the picture) and State Senator Tim Moffitt (on the right). Both described their introduction and path into the movement, which included association meetings of state legislators nationwide. Several of the states’ legislatures had already passed the COS Resolution in response to DC’s recklessness, and the pleas of We the People to intervene. Both praised former Representative Bert Jones who worked tirelessly to rally support in North Carolina’s State Legislature in the early days of COS.

Rep. Riddell made a provocative and salient point when asking us, “Who rules the rule-makers?” When it’s clear that the lawmakers, policymakers, regulators, and bureaucrats in DC need reining in, who must do it? “Well, We the People do,” said Rep. Riddell; we must rule the rule-makers admonished Riddell. Article V gives us the means and structure to do it, and the expectation to act when needed, which is now. In the run-up to the Rally, both Rep. Ridell and Sen. Moffitt expanded on the importance of the movement and the need to call a Convention now – please read their excellent Op-Ed here.

COS co-founder Michael Farris addressed the crowd next. He emphasized the timelessness of human nature and our tendencies to sin, to seek power and its corrupting influence. Of this, the framers of the Constitution were well aware. Per Farris, their overarching and guiding principle was that those who govern, sinners by nature, must be prevented from aggregating and centralizing power. This pervades the design and structure of the US Constitution – its multiple governing bodies and branches, its small number of limited and enumerated powers that reserve most responsibility and authority to the decentralized States, and checks that limit, balance, and decentralize power. These include Article V itself. Farris also described current abuses of Articles I and II, especially treaties, that could be addressed by an Article V Convention of States.

Former US Senator Rick Santorum brought the day home by sharing his experiences in DC, and the power plays observed there among those reelected to many terms. He also encouraged us – any and all engaged in the COS movement – to persist, resist, and have faith. Too often people give up hope and succumb to the status quo. Santorum pointed out that this includes the crowding out of God and faith in the public square, discourse, and relationships. We’re all encouraged to be bright lights, demonstrate our faith in public, continue to persist in this movement, and be joyful and optimistic about it to our Legislators and any we’re trying to attract to the movement. If the COS Resolution does not pass in NC during this two-year biennial session, which has happened before, Santorum pointed out that we must continue to actively pursue it and advocate for it.

The closing was very invigorating, as shouts reverberated around the legislative office complex. Using a call and response, the Legislators became acutely aware of the purpose of the rally. To the call, “What do we need?”, the crowd responded “COS!”. After the call, “When do we need it?”, we responded, “Now!” The chant “COS! Now!”, “COS! Now!”, “COS! Now!” reverberated throughout the legislative office complex and legislators’ offices -- see the first 10 seconds of this video. I hope it resonates with the Senators who will debate and vote on the COS Resolution as strongly as it did with the Representatives who passed it, and the hundreds gathered to rally support for it.

More information about the event and COS is available at these links:

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