Two Paths to Reform: Violence or Convention by Joel S. Hirschhorn

by Joel S. Hirschhorn
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
September 11, 2011

"Stop Bitching - Start a Revolution"

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

By every one of countless measures the US is in a death spiral.  Its political system, government and economy are hopelessly broken.  No wonder that the vast majority of Americans express severe dissatisfaction with Congress, both major parties, and increasingly with President Obama.  And only the wealthy elites have any reason to be positive about corporate powers, Wall Street and the whole banking and finance sector.  They not only own the nation, they run it.

Only the truly delusional still speak about the US being the leading and best nation.  About a third of the population is suffering from one or more of these epidemics: unemployment, underemployment, hunger, homelessness, home foreclosure, no useful health insurance, income so stagnated that keeping up with rising living costs is next to impossible, and slippage from the middle class into the working poor class.  What is to save the nation?

Once you acknowledge the profound and insidious corruption plaguing the political system which is nothing more than a dysfunctional two-party plutocracy or oligarchy serving the rich and corporate interests, then you must also see that elections will not deliver salvation.  Nor can you depend on the media to rise above corporate ownership to help fix the nation.

It matters little whether you vote for and support Republicans or Democrats.  All those politicians are corrupt and unable to exercise bold, creative solutions for the good of the nation, not those special interests that get them elected, on the left and right.

Once mighty nations and superpowers have fallen before.  History speaks truth, unlike just about everything spoken by today’s politicians.

There are two paths that have the power to bring about the major, radical reforms needed.  Everything else you hear is pure garbage designed to maintain the status quo.

First, there is what brought about the birth of the US and so many other democracies: violent revolution.  Not rebellion against some foreign power, but rather against domestic tyrannical forces.  There is a limit to what many millions of Americans will endure, especially as they see the rich Upper Class enjoy every conceivable type of luxury.  True, it is hard to understand how even now we have not seen millions of angry, suffering Americans protesting violently in the streets of all major cities, as we see happen in so many European countries.  Americans seem to have been drugged into a distracted, delusional state of mind, still buying the scam that they can depend on elections.  Eventually, however, as government is financially unable to provide various kinds of assistance because of the broken economy, those most struggling to survive will inevitably resort to violence.  History speaks truth.

Second, is the peaceful route to dramatic, necessary reforms that the Founders had the wisdom to put into the US Constitution: an Article V convention of state delegates with the constitutional power to propose constitutional amendments.  At this time there are more diverse groups seriously examining and, increasingly, demanding the first Article V convention.  Why?  Because it has become crystal clear to more and more people that only through constitutional amendments that Congress will never propose is it possible to rid the political system of the corruption and dysfunction permeating it.  Get private money out of politics.  Remove the fiction of corporate personhood.  Compel Congress to balance the budget.  Worthy ideas are everywhere.

At other times attempts to get the first Article V convention met stiff opposition from the right and left.  But times have changed.  It is clearer than ever that the political and government system is so broken and corrupt that the basic rules must be amended, just as the Founders believed would become necessary.

A major upcoming conference at Harvard, using the tag line “Democracy in America is Stalled,” will surely help focus both support and opposition to using the convention route.

There are now many websites providing solid information and analysis about the convention option, particularly one by the national, nonpartisan Friends of the Article V convention that does not advocate for specific amendments.

Every time you hear some argument against using the convention option ask yourself whether the risk of sticking with the current system outweighs any conceivable risk of a convention that can only propose amendments, which still must be ratified by three-quarters of the states.  If you are not in the top levels of the economy, but rather are in the majority suffering and losing ground, then the answer rings as clear as the liberty bell.

[Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through]


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One thought on “Two Paths to Reform: Violence or Convention by Joel S. Hirschhorn

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