Judi Caler: Convention of States adopts ‘Newspeak’ to sell the ‘Con-Con’
In the novel, “1984,” George Orwell’s unsettling prophecy of a totalitarian society, Newspeak was the official language of Oceania.
It was devised to limit freedom of thought. New words were invented, undesirable words eliminated, and the remaining words redefined or limited in scope to further the party’s ideology. If something can’t be said, it can’t be thought, making a diverging thought unthinkable.
So too, the Convention of States project uses Newspeak to manipulate people into believing that the convention provided for by Article V of our Constitution is really a “convention of the states,” which is controlled from start to finish by state legislatures.
‘Convention of the States’ v. ‘Constitutional Convention’
Despite the attempt by the convention lobby to win conservative support by focusing state Article V convention applications on supposedly “conservative” issues — like a “balanced budget amendment” or “fiscal restraints” — they were met with resistance from conservatives who have been taught over decades to recoil from an Article V convention, also known as a “constitutional convention” or “con-con,” because it could run amok and replace our existing Constitution.
What to do?
Shamelessly, Mark Meckler and his legal operatives at the Convention of States Project turned to Newspeak. They adopted the term, “convention of the states;” defined it as a convention totally controlled by state legislators; and claimed that a “convention of the states” was the same as an “Article V convention,” and different from a “constitutional convention” or a “con-con.”
In Oldspeak, the real world of English grammar and common sense, “constitutional convention” and “Article V convention” are synonymous. Any convention dealing with drafting or amending a constitution is a “constitutional convention.” Also, any convention provided for in a constitution is, by definition, a “constitutional convention.”
But in the Orwellian world of COS Newspeak, a “convention of the states” can’t run away, by definition!
That the Newspeak definition for “convention of the states” doesn’t exist in our founding documents, doesn’t matter to the convention lobby. It serves to deceive legislators into thinking that an “Article V convention,” unlike a “constitutional convention,” can’t run away; and secures legislators’ yes votes on con-con applications.
Another word trick in COS Newspeak would replace “delegate” with “commissioner.” A “delegate” is a representative who has power; but a “commissioner” is controlled by his superiors. Accordingly, Meckler told senators at a February 25, 2015 Nebraska committee hearing that they’ll direct their “commissioners” by text messaging during the convention because legally, commissioners are equivalent to hired insurance agents!
What it fails to mention
COS operatives and their attorneys fail to mention that we have another founding document in addition to the Constitution. The Declaration of Independence, paragraph 2, expresses our founding principles which are above the Constitution: that all men are created equal; that rights come from God; that the purpose of government is to secure those rights; and that, if the government fails to secure our rights, “We the People” have the right “to alter or to abolish” our government and set up a new one.
The convention is the highest form of government, having more power than state legislatures and Congress put together. So even though the Framers met in convention in 1787 “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation (AOC),” they had the inherent and legal right, as expressed by the Declaration of Independence, to write a new Constitution which created a new government. Moreover, they set a precedent by making the new Constitution easier to ratify than amendments to the AOC. The same thing could happen today.
COS newspeak is believed and repeated in State Capitols across America by too many Republican legislators who have set logic and truth aside to buy the false narrative. They believe that the solution to an overreaching federal government that has ignored our Constitution is to change our Constitution! And that an Article V convention called by Congress can’t possibly run away because it is just a “convention of the states” in Newspeak! The same propaganda is used to fool ordinary citizens whom COS claims to “represent.”
A “runaway” convention can’t be prevented with Newspeak! Americans must educate themselves on this deception and be vigilant. Understand the real remedies our Framers said we must use to prevent federal overreach. Our existing Constitution and our liberty hang in the balance.
Judi Caler lives in Nevada City. This article was abridged by the author from her original which includes documentation: http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/caler/171007
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User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
I was a Republican for decades. The party chased me out with ideology that was good for the Republican Party but very bad for our country.