Convention of States overdue

It may be too little too late, but at least there is a mechanism and a plan in the works to limit both the terms of our elected officials and the overreach of the federal government. Plans for a Convention of States (COS) is in the works and has been for the past several years.
Elsewhere in this newspaper you can read all about what has been happening with the COS process being spearheaded locally by Harvey Fitzgerald of Buffalo Gap, formerly of Hermosa. He is a retired S.D. Army National Guard lieutenant colonel who now operates a small ranch.
He has been meeting people at country fairs, rodeos and parades for the past several years. He is currently on a speaking tour of District 30 towns and was in Custer Monday, April 19, and Hill City April 26. In between he made a presentation in Hot Springs and has been well received wherever he goes.
We believe the current political climate in this country has people on both sides of the aisle concerned about where our country is headed. This could be one reason he is drawing crowds of 50 and more people at these COS presentations. People seem to have awakened to what is going on in the country and are asking, “What can we do?”
In their wisdom, the framers of the Constitution established Article V which sets up the mechanism for a COS to vote on a limited number of amendments to be added to the Constitution. It is not an easy process, one that involves a minimum of two-thirds of the states, or 34, to agree on three amendment topics and no more. There are 15 states that have agreed on three amendment topics.
The first is term limits. Our framers never intended for elected and unelected offices to become a career. Today’s career politicians are all multi-millionaires on a $174,000 annual stipend. Incumbents will never, ever agree to pass term limit legislation. We know that for a fact.
The second proposed amendment calls for a balanced budget goal by limiting both spending and taxation. This is a lofty goal that needs to be accomplished if we are ever to survive as a nation. The third amendment would limit the power of the federal government to its original intended boundaries under the general welfare clause, commerce clause and necessary and proper clause. We all can see the need for this action.
These amendments don’t seem like much, but they are a good start in addressing what is wrong with our current system of government. If you agree that a Convention of States would be a good idea, be sure to let your legislators know so South Dakota can be added to the list of 15 states.
We commend Fitzgerald for taking the lead on the COS issue and wish him the best as he attempts to educate the public about the need for such an historic event. The time seems to be right for a COS to come together to tackle some of these important issues facing our country.

User login