Dear Presidents Clinton and Bush:
We are your fellow Americans and we write to ask for your blessing. We think that our plea deserves your personal attention and response.
We, the people, were pleased to see you come together for the earthquake victims in Haiti. As the leading Republican and Democrat making common cause for humanity, you representred the best of what America is all about.
You both enjoy enormous public respect and affection and you are both still of an age when you can be, and should be, making a contribution of statecraft. America needs you. Needs your experience, your point of view, your expertise.
And we need your leadership. We, the people, are troubled. We sense that our government is broken, that our nation is crumbling, that our future is in doubt.
The pain in our hearts is not just an annoying discomfort with the perennial mess in Washington. No, it's a real, hard pain. Eight or nine on a scale of ten.
We see our two hundred and twenty year old constitution straining to keep up with modern civilization, and falling further and further behind every year.
Thomas Jefferson and James Madison would not recognize the human race if they came back from the dead today. Automobiles? Airplanes? Computers? Satellites? Ipods, for Heaven's sake? What manner of creatures are we?
And that precious document they authored in Philadelphia 221 years ago, where is it?
Entombed in special thermopane cases with helium and water vapor, shielded from ulta violet rays, and lowered electronically into a steel and concrete vault 20 feet below the Exhibition Hall of the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Is it a living document as the Founders intended, or is it a mummified relic of another day, another time, when patriots pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for liberty, and wrote words on paper that they intended to be the Supreme Law of the Land?
They sought to form a more perfect union. They knew that perfection is not possible in human affairs. But they wanted to create a process of deliberate constitution making, a process that would permit each new generation of citizens to own their government.
Because they knew that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.
We're trying, Misters President.
We're trying to do what Madison and Jefferson and Hamilton and Washington wanted us to do.
We're trying to use the tools they gave us in Article V to propose amendments. Useful amendments. Amendments that the experience of two hundred years of republican government have taught us are needed.
We can't get the Congress to help. Congress is a large part of our pain. We need a convention. We need delegates from all fifty states to come together and put their heads together and act together, just the way you did to help the people of Haiti.
A few of us have taken the initiative to form a non profit corporation and launch an interactive, virtual Article V convention on the Internet. We have done so not in a spirit of rebellion, but as patriotic Americans, trying to do what needs to be done for our nation.
I write to invite you to join us in this historic and necessary endeavor. Become our senior advisors, our guardian angels. Give us your support and encouragement. Indeed, we would welcome you to register as actual delegates from your home states.
Most Americans agree that "something needs to be done about our government." We believe that the Article V convention is that 'something.'
Your blessing will mark our efforts as a civic activity in the mainstream of democracy.
Our web site is www.ConventionUSA.org.
Thomas E. Brennan
Former Chief Justice of Michigan
Founder, Thomas M.Cooley Law School