When the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling was passed in 2010, corporations and the wealthiest one percent were granted even more power to finance politicians than they had before. Therefore, the Move to Amend petition to reverse the Citizens United decision through a constitutional amendment should be signed by all.
But even before the detestable Citizens United ruling was passed in 2010, the conditions for democracy were still deplorable. So even if Citizens United is hopefully reversed, Americans will still be stuck with the following: the great influence of money on a two-party system; no proportional representation in the election of the House of Representatives; California having the same number of Senators as Wyoming, even though California’s population is 70 times larger; the Electoral College system for electing a President; Supreme Court Justices serving for life terms; and the corrupt, private central banking system of the Federal Reserve.
Moreover, even if an Eco-Socialist or a Green Party candidate were elected President, it would take several constitutional amendments to eliminate all the entrenched, undemocratic elements (described above) from the constitution and government. Until these archaic components are removed, the undue influence of the one percent will always be with us. The best solution is to get a constitutional amendment passed that totally revises Article V, so that it will be easier to pass laws, easier to amend the Constitution, and easier to abolish it in the future. This essay tells why and how this should be done. Article V of the Constitution has been pasted below. It will be followed by a Twenty-eighth Amendment proposal to revise Article V.
Article V of the United States Constitution
“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage”
Proposal for a Twenty-Eighth Amendment to Revise Article V: How to Amend the Constitution More Easily, and How to Abolish the Constitution in a Fair, Safe, and Orderly Way
The U.S. government can be modified when Congress passes new federal laws or statutes. The United States government can also be modified anytime new amendments are added to the constitution. But to change the federal government completely by abolishing the constitution, there has to be a Constitutional Convention to rewrite a new constitution.
How to Add Amendments to the Current Constitution More Easily
To modify the federal government by adding amendments to the Constitution, the United States Congress (including both the House and the Senate) must pass any proposed amendment to the Constitution with at least a 67 percent majority in both Houses. Then the American people must approve any new amendment with a 51 percent majority in a national referendum. The previous, additional ratification by 3/4 of the state legislatures is no longer required.
There is also another, second way to add Amendments to the Constitution: If the American people two years after every presidential election decide with a 51 percent majority that they want a Constitutional Convention, and the Constitutional Convention delegates are not able to approve of any new Constitution with a 51 percent majority, it may be that the delegates are able to pass one or more constitutional amendments with a 51 percent majority. In either case, the American people must ratify any new amendment or any new constitution with a 51 percent majority in a national referendum.
How to Abolish the 227-Year Old Constitution
The Constitution is the supreme civil law of the land. A radically new constitution and government can be formed through a Constitutional Convention. It can be achieved in a fair, orderly, and nonviolent way. A new constitution would not need to throw out the best of the old. The American people have a right to choose whether they want a new constitution. Through their chosen representatives, an entirely new constitution can be made.
For now on, the American people, two years after every presidential election, will be allowed to decide whether they want a Constitutional Convention. Thus, two years after every presidential election in November, Americans will vote yes or no as to whether or not they want to have a Constitutional Convention. If 51 percent or more of the voters say yes, then 100 delegates, chosen from the 7 largest national political parties, using the proportional representation voting method, will be sent to the Constitutional Convention at the U.S. Capitol Building to create a new constitution.
Then, if 51 percent or more of the Constitutional Convention delegates approve a new document, the American people in a national referendum, must approve the new supreme civil document with a 51 percent majority.
Here is how Proportional Representation can work in the selection of Constitutional Convention delegates: American voters will study and evaluate the platforms and constitutions of the 7 largest national political parties. Each voter will choose one of 7 political parties that he or she most identifies with. Let us pretend for pedagogical purposes that based on a national election, the 100 Constitutional Convention delegates will be comprised of these percentages and parties: 20% Republican, 20% Democratic, 15% Libertarian, 15% Constitution Party, 15% Green Party, 10% Socialist, and 5% Communist.
A National Elections Committee, whose 7 executive directors will represent the 7 largest national political parties, will be established beforehand to guarantee impartial election officials. Local election administrators will be professionalized. The National Elections Committee may use a voter-verified, paper audit trail produced by standardized voting equipment, or it may decide to use paper ballots to prevent corruption. The National Elections Committee will also be responsible for counting and verifying the membership of the national political parties.
American voters will have to officially register with a national political party for this purpose. Various websites such as www.politics1.com describe all the known national political parties.
The spoken and written words of the Convention delegates must be publicized, and citizens will be allowed to voice their own opinions in the process.
The current US Congress, the President, and the US Supreme Court will not have the right to prevent or control an Amendment or Constitutional Convention. They can, however, express their opinions and recommendations in the process.
End of the Twenty-Eighth Amendment Proposal to Revise Article V
Article V of our current constitution, with its tortuous sentence structure or legal jargon, tells how our state legislatures can bypass the U.S. Congress altogether and have their own Amendment Convention, if 2/3 of them call for it. This has never been done yet in U.S history, but, more than 2/3 of the 50 state legislatures have already called for it, but the U.S. Congress has refused to allow it! Readers may want to investigate the Friends of the Article V Convention www.foavc.org, an organization this author supports. However, if the proposed revision of Article V becomes ratified, each American voter–not state legislatures representing state citizens–will be given power to vote whether or not to have a Constitutional Convention; and if so, each voter will later be allowed to vote for one of 7 largest national political parties to determine the party percentages at the Convention.
But what are other reasons for revising Article V? The world is changing at an accelerating speed since the constitution was written in 1787 and then implemented with the presidency of George Washington in 1789. There have been 27 amendments added to the constitution, some of which expanded democracy a little. But an entirely new, supreme civil document is now long overdue. The Bill of Rights, which was the first 10 amendments, was not added until two years later in 1791. Thus, having a Bill of Rights for citizens was not the original intent of the oligarchic founding fathers.
Many people resent the fact that our current, supreme document makes reference to how slaves are counted (Article I, Section 2) and how slavery is to be allowed until 1808 (Article V). Article V of the constitution tells how the constitution can be amended; and it is, as mentioned earlier, more difficult to amend than any other constitution on earth. Moreover, there is absolutely no place in the constitution that tells how it can be totally abolished, which, by the way, Thomas Jefferson recommended doing with every new generation!
Article I, Section 8 says that only Congress has the authority to declare war, but current Presidents start wars all the time without first getting the approval of Congress. It would also seem that the National Security Administration (NSA), the Pentagon, the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, and transnational corporations—that is, the military-industrial complex–pretty much does whatever it wants in regards to foreign policy and domestic surveillance. Considering how Congress largely represents the wealthiest one percent, the following saying rings true: “If voting could change anything, it would be made illegal.” John Perkins, author of the book Confessions of an Economic Hitman also expresses the proper sentiment: “We cannot have homeland security until the whole earth is our homeland.”
The most important feature of the ideal Constitutional Convention is the empowerment of the 7 largest political parties through the voting method called proportional representation. And the most important feature of an ideal Constitution, which would come afterwards, is the same: the empowerment of the 7 largest national political parties through proportional representation to create a unicameral national legislature.
When one considers the astronomical number of horrendous deaths that have been committed by governments throughout world history, it is easy to see the appeal of nonviolent anarchists who advocate abolishing all governments with their inherent hierarchy and forces of domination. And others from the political left, right, and center believe that it is only a utopian dream to believe that a constitutional convention can be held in a safe and fair way because they have a deep distrust of one another.
But those who believe all governments should be terminated are the utopian dreamers. Having a government, a constitution, and officially written laws is necessary. Though the United Kingdom does not have a written constitution, it is part of the American tradition to have one. Revising Article V will never happen if dystopian naysayers who oppose it maintain a majority. But these ideas and ideals are not utopian. They are achievable if they can be freely understood, valued, and promoted by enough people.
Many Americans have become addicted to mainstream TV–with its corporate-slanted news; deceptive and time-wasting commercials; frivolous content; and bombardment of sex and violence. They have been led to believe that to be happy and have “the good life,” they must partake of all the conspicuous consumption and materialism that is promoted by our capitalistic culture. Large numbers play the lottery frequently, hoping to make their wealth dreams come true.
Without having a global and an ecological perspective, it is hard for people to see the value of advocating voluntary simplicity on a universal scale. But if everyone on earth maintained the lifestyle of the average American, our environmental degradation would be much worse. The earth has a carrying capacity; therefore, our practices must be ecologically sustainable.
The Third Constitution (described in the third essay) recommends a democratic world government with a radical egalitarianism in which the highest wages will be no more than 3 times the lowest. Thus, the Third Constitution can create social justice, harmony, and happiness in the world.
If a constitutional convention is held as the revision of Article V would allow, then the 7 largest national political parties would be empowered, using a system of proportional representation to elect 100 delegates. But the delegates who have a constitutional convention in this way may not want what the Third Constitution recommends.
Having the longest-lasting constitution that is the hardest to change is a negative, not a positive—it is not something to brag about. Once the Twenty-eighth amendment proposal to revise Article V becomes officially approved, it can also become established as a precedent in the design of the next constitution. In fact, much of the revised Article V has been incorporated into the Third Constitution.
With the revised Article V, the American people will be allowed to consider having a constitutional convention every 4 years! This can give new hope to voters on both the left and the right.
Constitutional amendments are difficult to pass when the issues are polarized. The Twenty-Sixth Amendment, however, which reduced the voting age to 18, was passed in a few months. People are extremely alienated with government and tired of the gridlock. When they see a comprehensive way to remove the corruption and unfairness in the system, many of them will become politically mobilized for this cause. They will demand that their U.S. Congressional representatives and their state representatives pass this amendment.
Since the new Twenty-Eighth Amendment proposal shows how a constitutional convention can be held that totally levels the political playing field among Republicans, Democrats, and five other political parties, this idea can become popular across the political spectrum.
Moreover, if a new constitution can be simplified or made readable, shortened, modernized, easily amended, and easily abolished—more people will study it and use it regularly, and they will not feel forever encumbered by it. Why should we live by the constraints of a document written 227 years ago? A constitution can be compared to a car: it can be amended (or repaired) for a period of time, but eventually it needs to be discarded.