The “Alternative” to an Article V Convention and the “Art of War”

Executive Summary

In a Machiavelli meets Sun Tzu twist, some of those supporting the “Convention of States” (Article V convention) are now trying to convince the public and state legislators they have an “alternative” to the “Convention of States” scheme.

In reality this new scheme is just one more unconstitutional plot to do an end run around Article V’s requirement that all amendments to the Constitution be proposed by a deliberative body through a deliberative process.

It is an attempt to conceal this end run through the mechanism of an Article I, §10 clause 3 Interstate Compact, which would, under this scheme, be approved by the very same Congress the promoters say will never limit its own power and thereby necessitating this scheme!

If you get on board with this you will be on a logical merry-go- round ride. But, when it stops there will be nothing merry about it, just a nauseous feeling in the pit of your stomach and an awareness you ended exactly where you started.

The purpose of such scheme is to throw over our fellow uninformed citizens and state legislators a security blanket, to deceive them in believing that an Article V convention can be limited and even more absurd its outcome can be determined in advance under an interstate compact. It is a linguistic valium.

In this scenario we would have a non-deliberative, deliberative body conducting an unlimited, limited convention! Tape your head so it does not explode and read on!


In The Art of War , by Sun Tzu, Sun tell us that it is more easy to conquer your enemy (accomplish your objective) if the right conditions are set up. He notes that all warfare is based on deception. Very little of warfare involves physical combat. If one has to resort to physical combat it is because they have failed at the “Art of War.”

Success is to get your enemy to beat themselves, without your having to fire a shot or physically engage even once, which is risky business even for the best soldier. One of the most effective tactics is to cause confusion, which often leads to panic, among your target.

Once your target is bogged down in confusion and panic you then offer them, or make appear to them, what looks like an alternative or escape route. Then you have them at your mercy. They will be where you want, when you want and anxious to escape the confusion you have induced.

The Promoters of an Article V Convention and the Art of Deception

The Promoters of the Article V (PAV) have been very clever in their approach to tricking our state legislators to go along with the PAV’s plan to amend our Constitution.

Creating Confusing Through a False Ally

The current effort to have the state legislatures go along with an Article V convention is only the latest of many that have occurred over the last fifty years since this effort was initiate by the Ford Foundation. [i] This current effort is unique in that the powers that be, those behind this campaign, have this time brought out, what many of us have realized for some time, their talking head neo-cons, such as Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.

The Progressives do this all the time with their glitzy Hollywood friends when they want to overwhelm facts and reason with emotion.

The PAVs have even engaged with others that many believed to be real supporters of Liberty such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh who have been either closet neo-cons or have been bought and paid for. (More to come on this.)

In short, they have injected confusion among “conservatives” and Liberty supporters by making it appear there is a great chasm among the conservatives on this issue. Those that are not deep thinkers or are uninformed (that look to others as surrogates to determine their own position) are in a state of confusion. On one hand, they have the most trusted matriarch of conservatism, Phyllis Schlafly, and on the other the “conservatives” Mark Levin and Sean Hannity, and they are diametrically opposed on this issue.

This emotional feeling of uneasiness is what is known as “Cognitive Dissonance “. It is purposefully brought on to set the stage for confusion and panic.

Confusion through a False Dichotomy

It is interesting to note that the PAVs themselves appear not to have a united front. There are at least four different factions within the PAVs. Most likely their differences are orchestrated considering none of their differences really amount to a tinker’s dam as to the ultimate issue:

“How will amending our Constitution get politicians, who have violated their sacred oath for over a hundred years, to suddenly begin obeying the Constitution?”

The benefit of this “division” among the pro-Article V crowd becomes apparent when we now have some promoters of an Article V convention who are now offering an “alternative” to a “Convention of States.”

Deception through a False Alternative

For example, in Kansas, the drafter of the legislative resolutions calling for an Article V convention, Secretary of State Kris Kobach, is now out and about promoting an “alternative” to a “Convention of States.”

Apparently, Kobach is now promoting some type of interstate compact tied in with an Article V convention. Compact for America is promoting such a plan. Perhaps, this is whose idea Kobach is now promoting.

These guys say their brand of Article V convention can be done in a single day! Some opponents say it’s a mere trick to convene a constitutional convention.

End-Run Around the Constitution

One of the most offensive aspects of this strategy is that it is, very simply, an attempt to do an end run around the Constitution’s Article V. In other words, it attempts to replace the substance and intent of Article V to have all proposed amendments to our Constitution proposed by a deliberative [iii] body through a deliberative process.

Article V is obviously a constitutional / federal law which sets out the federal (not state ) procedures to amend the Constitution. It establishes that amendments must be proposed by one of two deliberative bodies, either Congress or a federal convention. In both procedures all components of the federal government i.e., the general government (Congress) and the states are active participants. Neither process is completely controlled by Congress, nor is it completely controlled by the states.

“Convention of States” Deception Through Branding

The use of the term “Convention of States” is a branding effort to deceive our less informed legislators and citizens that Article V calls for a convention controlled by the states. Those that are using such term are either part of the attempt to deceive or so misinformed and failing in their due diligence as to fall victim to this branding scheme. Whichever it is, they are not worthy of our trust and should not be in public office.

Deception by the Interstate Compact Myth

Under the interstate compact myth, a majority of states can get together and by an Article I, §10, clause 3 compact, negate the deliberative aspects of an Article V convention, and thereby force their majority desires upon the minority of states. Better yet, by this threat they can force those states opposing this perversion, to go along with this nefarious plan out of fear they will be left behind.

This is democracy at it best! Yes the very democratic actions the Founders hated and attempted to protect us against by having the Constitution in the first place. It is mob rule, plain and simple, which these PAVs are proposing! Such could not have been the intent of the Framers!

To Drop the Constitution and Leave Us Unprotected

The untenable situation that these good “conservatives” would put us in is aptly described in A Man for All Seasons:

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

A Historical Parallel-The Rise of a Dictator

In the 1930s the German people, in a state of orchestrated confusion and panic, supported lawfully making a little known politician the dictator to combat the terrorist threat of communism. They cut down the law that protected their Liberty, to get to the devil. When the real devil then turned on them they had no law to protect their rights! At that moment they realized their folly but it was too late to save themselves or their Republic.

The Root Problem of our Republic

“We have met the enemy, and they are us.” – Walt Kelly, “Pogo”

The failure of we citizens, as individuals, to uphold our moral and patriotic duty to hold our politicians, state and general, accountable is the root problem eroding the Republic and our Liberty. If the Constitution is not the problem, how can amending the Constitution be the solution!?

As part of our moral and patriotic duty we should be chastising those who would have us “…cut down the Constitution to get to the devil…”

We have a duty to defend not amend the Constitution.

“We the People” the Enforcers of the Constitution

Article V was never intended to be used to keep the central government under control as the PAVs keep saying. Its purpose was to correct possible errors such as that that resulted in the Eleventh Amendment.

The Promise of Federalism

The Framers understood that the Constitution, being a mere paper document, could not defend itself, even through Article V. And, they understood that the governments were inclined to corruption and accumulation of power, authorized or otherwise.

To protect “We the People’s” sovereignty and Liberty the Framers set up a federalist system, a participatory government, in which we citizens would have an active and pivotal role in safe guarding our own Liberty. By throwing our support with either the central government or the states we could keep one or the other of the governments in check, as the situation needed.

Under this federalist system of government, the states are part of the federal government as is the central government. But, the central government is not part of the state governments.

The state governments are shielded from actions by the central government and the states retained their sovereignty and their duties to “We the People” under the sovereign principle of Allegiance and Protection.

As part of the federal government, the states’ officers have a duty under the Constitution to support and protect the federal Constitution, including from violations of the central government. Any such violation is automatically nullified under the provisions of Article VI clause 2 and the officers of the states are duty bound from enforcing or otherwise honoring any unconstitutional federal enactment.

(There is no such thing as an “unconstitutional law” because no unconstitutional enactment ever becomes law! Likewise “state nullification” is a myth. There is no “unconstitutional law” for the states to nullify!)

Under Allegiance and Protection the states have another separate duty to interpose to stop any infringement on our rights by any entity. Violations of our rights, as referred to in the federal Constitution, are just such infringements.

Thus, as the Framers set up the federal government, it is the states working together and with the citizens that are to keep the central government under control. “Under control” means within the bounds of the Constitution.

The Framers recognized that “We the people” could not by ourselves keep the central government under control. We needed the help of the states. This was the promise of federalism the Framers gave to us.

The Root Problem

The problems we now have in our Republic are a result of “We the People” losing control of our state governments. As a result the central government began getting the states to go along with its unconstitutional enactments and actions. How did it do this? By bribery, primarily.

One of the central government’s first and most damaging acts was to bribe the states to change their militia into federal standing armies by the Dick Act of 1903. Following that the central government began getting involved in social welfare programs, education, housing and every other nook and cranny in our lives.

The states went along to get the “federal dollars”. The central government set up and spent money on programs it had no constitutional authority to be involve in. The states received their payoff, generally short lived and always with federal string attached.

Now we are at the point that our state governments cannot live without their “federal financial fix” and we can no longer live with them.

It is like living with a drug addict. They constantly promise to change just after this last fix. Mean while everyone gets sucked down into the ruin and despair. Unless there is some type of intervention destruction is the only end.

The Real Solution

Before we can get our central government under control we have to get our state governments under control. There is no other solution. This is the way the Founders set up our government.

Making a hundred different amendments to the Constitution will not help. Enacting a hundred new Constitutions will not help. The Constitution is not the problem and amending it is not the solution! Our concern should not be whether there can or will be a runaway convention but rather whether we citizens will continue to run away from our patriotic and moral duty.

To empower the citizens to regain control of the state governments we must demand that our state Constitutions, not the federal Constitution, be changed to give the people the power of initiative [iv] , referendum [v] and recall [vi], so we can recall every elected official from dog catcher to Governor.

The next time a Governor tells us he opposes the unconstitutional Obama Care (sustainable medicine) and then contracts with the central government to enact it, we will recall his dishonest and sorry butt! The next time politicians attempt to cram sustainable education (common core) down our throats we will recall both the law and the totalitarian politicians. The next time our county commission insists they enact some of ICLEI’s comprehensive planning (sustainable development) we will recall them and send them on the road packing their icky ICLEI mandate.

Do you get the message? Good! Now let’s get the message to our public servant!

For the sake of Liberty,
Richard D. Fry, November Patriots
General Counsel, Patriot Coalition


[i] R. D. Fry, The Ford Foundation’s Pursuit of Globalism: The Con Con Connection
[ii] Joe Wolverton, II, J.D., How the Compact for America Threatens the Constitution, The New American (01/10/2013)
[iii] “involved in or organized for careful discussion and debate.”
[iv] The right and procedure by which citizens can propose a law by petition and ensure its submission to the electorate.
[v] The right reserved to the people to approve or reject an act of the legislature, or the right of the people to approve or reject legislation that has been referred to them by the legislature.
[vi] The right or procedure by which a public official may be removed from a position by a vote of the people prior to the end of the term of office.