THE DANGERS OF A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, by JERRY O’NEIL, STATE REPRESENTATIVE & FORMER STATE SENATOR, MONTANA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 3, COLUMBIA FALLS & KALISPELL, MONTANA


AGAINST AN AMENDMENTS CONVENTION Montana State Representative Jerry O’Neil of Columbia Falls, Wednesday, 26 February 2014—4:05 PM (1 hour ago) Central Standard Time

I am against an “Amendments Convention” as called for by Mark Levin, Rob Natelson and Tim Baldwin. I do not take this position lightly.

Under the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court, our President and Congress have taken over our banking, unions, businesses, communications, and education. They have created a secret police/national police (TSA, ICE, Border Patrol, etc), and instituted ObamaCare by which government will control all our health care. They have failed to turn over about 25% of the land area of Montana as was agreed to when we became a state. 

I agree freedom could be advanced with the proper amendments to the U.S. Constitution. As a state legislator, I have attempted several times to amend the U.S. Constitution in order to place some control over, and limits on, the federal government. 

In 2003 I got a bill to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment out of the Senate Judiciary Committee – but it was defeated on the Senate Floor. In the 2005 legislative session I attempted to accomplish close to the same thing by having the Montana legislative caucuses nominate our U.S. Senate candidates to be on the general election ballot. 

In the 2013 legislative session, with Senator Verdell Jackson’s brilliantly executed motion for reconsideration in the Senate, I got House Joint Resolution 3 passed. This is a request for a constitutional amendment to put some sideboards on the “Commerce Clause” of the U.S. Constitution. I presently need some help to get other states to advance this concept. 

Then why am I against an Amendments Convention? Because I don’t believe the majority of the citizens of the United States currently understand or appreciate Freedom. It is not adequately taught in our schools or churches. Even the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church seems to be ignorant of the fact that capitalism has lifted far more out of poverty than socialism and communism ever have. 

Vaclav Klaus, the former Premier of the Czech Republic stated: 

“The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.” 

While many of us in Montana have known what is happening for many years, we have not hollered loud enough to wake up our neighbors. We have not always supported the candidates who understood the basics of freedom when they were running for our school boards, city councils, county commissioners, state legislatures, judges, congress and president. We have not sent enough letters to the editor speaking up for freedom. 

We have been complacent, attending churches where the preachers would not take a stand on Biblical principals of freedom because they were afraid they would loose their parishioners’ monetary support and their federal tax exemption. Many of these churches would not even mention it to their congregations when they knew a political candidate was in favor of government supported abortions. 

For years we have watched the Supreme Court put forth immoral, anti freedom and statist decisions , including the Dred Scott decision, the Slaughter House Cases, Wickard v. Filburn, Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority, Gonzales v. Raich, Roe v. Wade, and Lawrence v. Texas. We have allowed the bigs, such as AIG, General Electric, Bank of America and Monsanto, to choose the likes of McCain and Romney to be our presidential candidates. (Will they choose Chris Christie for us this coming election?) 
We have known for years deficit financing as advocated by Keynesian economists constitutes theft from our seniors’ retirement accounts and supports the big banks. Yet the public supported the Federal Reserve Act in order to “furnish an elastic currency.” 
We have supported our universities where the professors of economics are beholden to the Federal Reserve System as consultants, board members, or for having published their masters or doctors thesis in one of the fed’s magazines. 

We have seen the evidence of how the “bigs”, including the pharmaceuticals, banking industry, insurance, unions and other protected industries and professions own the political establishment, but we have not supported the repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment to lessen the bigs’ power and return some semblance of states’ rights. 

We have seen socialism advance but have not challenged the expansion of Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, federal intervention in education, food stamps, ObamaCare, and a whole plethora of other government programs. 

We have seen the installation of the Real ID act, the Patriot Act, and the National Defense Authorization Act, but, because we were afraid, we kept silent. We accept airport screening and government eavesdropping. We take off our shoes at the airports like good comrades. 

The people of Montana believe government can pass laws to make them more affluent. 
In 2006 we 72.7% of the voters passed Initiative I-151 to increase the minimum wage. By so doing we devalued the dollar and deprived many Indian children on our reservations, where unemployment is over 50%, the opportunity to get their first job. The minimum wage effect on those whom age out of our foster care system is similarly devastating. At the age of 26, 46.8 percent of participants responding to one study were unemployed. We need to make it easier to hire the needy, not remove the bottom rung of their ladder to prosperity. 

In our last Montana election we passed initiative I-166 by a 3 to 1 majority. The fuzzy catch phrase with which it was sold to the public was “Corporations are not People.” That was what appeared on the ballot. The rest of I-166, which did not appear on the ballot, called for a repeal of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution! The intent was to abolish the freedoms of speech, press and association that Congress is presently not allowed to interfere with. If I-166 is successful, these freedoms likely will be replaced with statutory rules as Congress sees fit. 

While the public remains asleep to the concept of freedom it is too dangerous to make it easier to change the Constitution. 
Our Constitution contains negative rights, stating what government can’t do to us or take away from us. We are too likely to throw away these “negative rights” contained in the Constitution and Bill of Rights and replace them with “positive rights,” such as a right to: free health care, free child care, living wages, and government controlled food prices. 

Maybe the chance to amend positive rights into our Constitution is the reason George Soros, Common Cause, the Move to Amend coalition and hundreds of other progressive organizations are also pushing for an Article V amendments convention. 

What are we going to do to save freedom for our progeny? When are we going to stop bowing to the socialists, fascists and communists? When are we going to demand our schools and churches teach and advocate for freedom? When are we going to join freedom fighters holding up signs along the highways criticizing the big government statists and asking for freedom? When are we going to stand up in church and speak up for political candidates who will fight for the Biblical truths and freedoms that our founding fathers fought and died for? 

Until the majority of the public understands and believes in freedom an Amendments Convention is more likely to enslave us than to free us. Therefore I am against having one at this time.

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