By Ken Quinn — On September 17th our nation celebrates Constitution Day which is the date in 1787 that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed that governing document. In order to understand the intention of the Framers we must go back in time to read the Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 Reported by James Madison. This is especially true when it comes to the current debate over an Article Convention for proposing amendments. As you read the discussion on the wording of Article V you can clearly see that the wisdom and foresight of delegate George Mason was prophetical.
On September 15th Madison reports;
“Col. MASON thought the plan of amending the Constitution exceptionable and dangerous. As the proposing of amendments is in both the modes to depend, in the first immediately, and in the second ultimately, on Congress, no amendments of the proper kind would ever be obtained by the people, if the government should become oppressive, as he verily believed would be the case.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS and Mr. GERRY moved to amend the article, so as to require a convention on application of two thirds of the states”
Up until this moment the wording of Article V only allowed Congress to propose amendments if two thirds of both houses deemed it necessary or on the application of two thirds of the state legislatures. However, as George Mason stated “no amendments of the proper kind would ever be obtained by the people, if the government should become oppressive.” Immediately a motion was made to allow the states to hold a convention if two thirds applied, which passed unanimously. This gave the states the power to check the national government if their safety and security was ever threatened. The notes of Madison echo through the corridors of time to our generation and the danger expressed by Mason should ring as an alarm bell for all of us today. I ask you, why does Article V provide two modes of amending the Constitution? Is not for the very situation we find ourselves in today? Will our states legislatures heed the warnings from our Framers or ignore them and the very tool they provided to solve the problems our nation faces today?
In another sense the notes of James Madison are rising in our popular culture through the musical notes of the Patriotic Rock Band, Madison Rising. Named after James Madison our fourth president and known today as the Father of the Constitution, Madison Rising is on a mission to lead our country back to our founding principles by bringing their Pro American music into our popular culture. The band, led by Navy veteran, Dave Bray; drummer, Sam Fishman; guitarist, AJ Larsen; bassist, Tom DiPietro; and manager, Rich Mgrdechian; takes a unique approach of using popular culture (in this case, great rock music) to successfully promote pro-American values. With songs ranging from the guitar-heavy opening track of “Right To Bear,” to the striking lyrics of “Ready If It Goes There“, to the veteran tribute of “Walking Through That Door,” it is clear that this band is on a mission to not only make great music, but to send a message that American culture (as intended by our forefathers) is alive and well. Madison Rising is pushing back against our current pop culture by promoting the principles of liberty, independence, smaller government and personal responsibility.
Their patriotism and love of country is encapsulated in their inspiring version of the Star Spangled Banner which has close to six million views on YouTube. On September 14th we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key and I can think no better way to celebrate that event than to crank up this anthem and share it with as many people as you can to inspire them to stand up for America and help restore the principles which made this nation great.
Below are some excerpts of song lyrics from Madison Rising:
Because we are the brave
Yes we are the brave
We’ll fight tyranny
In the name of the free
We are the U.S. of A.
For those unaware
That flag is still there
It’s our future to save
This land of the brave
The U.S. of A.
We still believe this land of the free;
we’re still America,
We still believe in the land of the free;
we need a miracle!
You know this freedom,
is anything but free,
What we have here depends on those who
will fight for what they believe,
When we stand together,
there’s nothing that we can’t achieve,
This nation of people,
standing as one in the name of liberty!
We need a hero,
someone to show us the way,
We need a hero
who speaks for the people
and what we have to say,
We still believe this land of the free;
is still America,
‘Cuz we’re the epitome
Of whats left of the USA
We’re hard working, honest and we make
The good old fashioned way…
Well I say that the country’s fine
And with a little hard work and prayer
We can get her back on her feet
Cuz I believe she belongs there
So lets stand her up
Brush off the dirt and dust
Our lady liberty needs our help
From every single one of us
As we reflect on what the American flag means to us on September 14th may we also remember the words of Ronald Reagan; “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
The best way for us to preserve freedom today is for the states to call for an Article V convention to propose amendments that will that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress. Please join this fight for liberty and sign our petition to send your state legislators an email asking them to support the Convention of States Project Article V application.