Why a constitutional convention?

The Wisconsin State Assembly’s call for a constitutional convention – supposedly to pass a balanced budget amendment – may be a chance for the public to finally declare total war on ALEC, the right wing organization responsible for some of the most reprehensible legislation coming out of GOP-held state legislatures across the country.

Leaving aside questions about the wisdom of enforcing balanced federal budgets (spoiler alert: it’s foolish), the question we need to ask is why a constitutional convention, when an amendment would do.

The answer of course, is that the real aim of the convention would be to rewrite the constitution in ways that serve the ALEC agenda, and upend much of the social progress of the 20th century –indeed, the last 200. In the crosshairs would be:

  • Voter rights
  • Progressive (fair share) taxation
  • First amendment guarantees
    • right to assemble
    • freedom of religion – all religions
    • freedom of the press
  • Workers’ rights
  • Women’s healthcare
  • Anti-segregation decisions

Our country has not had a constitutional convention since the first one – not even after the Civil War. One reason is that a convention would open a pandora’s box and threaten our American government in ways most of us can’t even contemplate.

The argument for a balanced budget is a Trojan Horse: The call for a constitutional convention is an attempt to enshrine government by the wealthiest in our Constitution.

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