By – Paul S. Gardiner
As a retired Army man and Vietnam veteran, I am truly upset and frustrated over what I see happening to my country. The lawlessness, corruption, and abuse of power demonstrated by so many of our nationally elected (and non-elected) officials boggles my mind. I believe there are thousands of my fellow veterans who feel the same way. The question is do we continue to sit on our hands and do nothing but complain or do we decide to take some kind of meaningful action to correct things in our nation? One important action we can take is described below.
Regardless of who is elected President in November or which political party controls Congress, there are several major problems that the political “elites” or career politicians in Washington, DC, are incapable of solving. This all relates to the fact that today’s federal government is far too large and powerful, even extending its jurisdiction into public restrooms these days! I believe the trajectory of our nation is most definitely headed in the wrong direction, and if it is not soon changed, many of the most basic freedoms guaranteed to Americans in our Constitution will be greatly diminished or even eventually lost. We veterans must not let this happen—we need to continue honoring our oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
So, what can we veterans do to change things for the better in our nation? At a minimum, we can become educated about a nationwide effort to restore the balance of power, as originally intended in our Constitution, between the federal government and the state governments. This effort, called Convention of States Project, seeks to avoid what Abraham Lincoln once warned against: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
Briefly, the Convention of States Project seeks for 2/3 of the state governments (34 legislatures) to convene a convention of states (authorized in Article V of the Constitution) for the limited purpose of proposing Constitutional amendments that will 1) impose fiscal restraints on the federal government; 2) limit the power/jurisdiction of the federal government; and 3) limit the terms of office for its officials, including members of the federal judiciary. Proposed amendments would have to be eventually ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures to become part of the Constitution and law of the land. As of August 2016, eight state legislatures have passed resolutions calling for a convention of states for the above limited purpose.
I encourage all my fellow veterans to take that first step and become educated about the Convention of States Project and what it endeavors to accomplish. Information is available at www.conventionofstates.com, and presentations to veterans groups can be arranged by sending an e-mail request to email@example.com or calling 703-863-0664. Take time to learn the facts about this very important effort to change things for the better in America.
Paul S. Gardiner, LTC (ret), USAR
National Veterans Coalitions Director
Convention of States Project (www.conventionofstates.com)