The cover of the February 16th issue of NEWSWEEK magazine carries the chilling message that socialism has arrived in America. The extensive cover story effectively argues that the United States of America has become the Socialist Union of America.
Goodby USA. Hello SUA.
NEWSWEEK points out that the election of Barack Obama was not the beginning of the transformation from USA to SUA. It was the final step, the confirmation of a trend that began 77 years ago with the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and has crept quietly and inexorably upon us ever since.
It has not been the sole province of Democrats or Republicans. In fact, as NEWSWEEK so accurately notes, the 700 billion dollar Bush bailout in the summer of 2008 effectively nationalized the mortgage banking industry. It was a bipartisan capitulation to government management of the economy.
I have long been a proponent of calling a convention to propose amendments as provided in Article V of the constitution. Thirty years ago, I wrote a law review article entitled "Return to Philadelphia." I still think it's the right thing to do.
On that subject however, I have been mostly a voice crying in the wilderness. Liberals and conservatives have both opposed the idea, curiously enough because they both fear that the other side would dominate a convention and propose amendments they regard as anathama.
The Friends of an Article V Convention (FOAVC) of which I am a founding member, takes great pains to distinguish between a convention to propose amendments and a full fledged constitutional convention, summoned to rewrite the supreme law of the land.
Opponents of a convention insist that there is no way to limit the delegates; once they are convened and organized, they might do just as the Philadelphia convention did, and scrap everything in favor of a new document. Which is why strange bedfellows like the John Birch Society and the ACLU unite in opposition to a convention.
So be it. Perhaps the time for pussyfooting is over. Maybe its the season for all Americans of good will and common sense to say, "Hey, let's put the cards on the table and battle our philosophies of government to the finish. Let's see what kind of a government the people really want in the twenty first century. And let's put it down on paper in clear, unambiguous English language. Or some other language, if that's what the people want.
The preamble to the Philadelphia constitution defines its purpose this way:
"We the people of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and assure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution"
Would the current citizenry prefer something like this:
"We the people of the Socialist Union of America, in order to form a sovereign central government, establish equality, insure a prosperous economy, provide for the abolition of war, promote the physical, environmental, and economic welfare of every person, and assure the blessings of freedom and privacy to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution"?
I like the old version. But I would rather have a whole new written constitution than a nation which simply ignores its fundamental charter and allows itself to be ruled by politicians and media pundits.