Friday, February 8, 2013


Met an interesting fellow a week or so ago. Name is Andrew Joppa. He is a Viet Nam vet, a retired college professor and a defender of the United States Constitution.

The Professor lives in Naples, where he is active in an organization called The Council for Constitutional Principles.

I met him through the good offices of my dear friend and golfing buddy Frank Harris, who spends his winters in Naples and his summers at Birchwood Farms in Michigan.

Joppa is a fiery orator. See a sample below.

He very candidly confesses that until recently he was among those defenders of the constitution who are skeptical about an Article V Amendments Convention. Like many on the far left and the far right, Joppa feared that a convention would somehow “run away” and do violence to our founding document.

Whether it’s free speech, freedom of religion or the right to bear arms, Americans are so possessive of their rights under the federal constitution, that they literally refuse to listen to any suggestion that a convention might be necessary and useful.

Forget about the fact that nobody wants to repeal the bill of rights or mess with any one of them.

Forget about the fact that no proposal which comes out of a convention would need to be ratified by 38 states.

Forget about the fact that only 9% of the American people have confidence in the United States Congress.

The very people who don’t trust the politicians, who complain about the mess in Washington, who crab about lobbyists and public debt and interminable wars and office holders who pay no attention to their oaths to support the constitution, turn their backs on the obvious remedy the Founders provided: a convention under Article V.

Happily, Professor Joppa has come around to realize that Article V is a blessing, and he speaks cogently and passionately on the subject.

I welcome him to the Cause. America needs his enthusiasm and vigor.

Still, I have to wonder.

I have been speaking and writing on this subject for more than thirty years.

I have pretty much walked down every road that beckons our citizens to work for the calling of an Article V Amendments Convention.

And I guess I have become a little jaded.

The function of a constitution is to set down the rules of the game of governance. The purpose of an Article V Amendments Convention is to suggest changes in those rules.

Is it any wonder that the people who have come to power under the existing rules don’t want to see any of those rules changed?

Is it any wonder that Congressmen don’t want to make the House of Representatives more representative of the American people?

Is it any wonder that the Senators aren’t interested in making the United States Senate more representative of the fifty states and less beholden to the powers that be within the Beltway?

Is it any wonder that judges who have received political appointments with lifetime tenure aren’t interested in changing the way judges are chosen or how long they serve?

Professor Joppa and others hope to create a popular groundswell which will induce state legislators to demand a convention.

I wish them well, but my guess is that we will never have a convention if we wait for politicians to act.

The People have a right to an Article V convention. They don't need anyone's permission.

Thomas Jefferson said it very well: When in the course of human events...

1 comment:

  1. I have met Andrew Joppa at a Univ. Mich function here in Naples. He is very passionate about his beliefs. One question would be how we would expect a better final product than we have now. The fight between left and right would be inherent in the process and would be a tug of war between those who like the current ambiguity allowing for partisan interpretation vs those who would tighten up the areas where there have been troublesome interpretation. Examples: the commerce clause and the clause separating church and state. Your blogs are great! Dick Selvala