Audio: Glenn Beck Declares ‘Convention of States’ Is the ‘Only Way Back’

| December 7 2013
David Leeper

In his Dec 4 radio program, Glenn Beck endorsed the Convention of States approach as the “only way back” from a pending disaster to the constitutional republic that the Founders and Framers had in mind for us.

Actually, Convention of States (COS) is one of several movements (see also Compact for America) that rely on the Article V state-driven process to amend the Constitution without the permission or approval of Congress, the Supreme Court, or the President. This is no “stretch”, pipe dream, or distorted reading of the Constitution. The historical record is clear. The state-driven amendment process was explicitly and deliberately written into the Constitution as a remedy for a runaway federal government. As Beck says, its time has clearly come!

Learn more about COS here and here. Read also about the Dec 7 Mt. Vernon conference of state legislators at this link.

A key resource is Mark Levin’s new book, Liberty Amendments. While the book and COS are separate, COS has friendly relations with Mark Levin, and the amendments recommended by Levin are examples of the kinds of amendments that a Convention of States would consider. In his book, Levin thoroughly researches the Framers’ intent in writing Article V, and he proposes 11 amendments that would transform Washington.

Consider, for example, his first candidate amendment that would limit terms in Congress:

Liberty-Amendments-230An Amendment to Establish Term Limits for Members of Congress

SECTION 1: No person may serve more than twelve years as a member of Congress, whether such service is exclusively in the House or the Senate or combined in both Houses.

SECTION 2: Upon ratification of this Article, any incumbent member of Congress whose term exceeds the twelve-year limit shall complete the current term, but thereafter shall be ineligible for further service as a member of Congress.

In just a few years, this amendment would clear out all the old bulls of the lifetime legislative class in Congress. These fearful guardians of the status quo will never reform Congress on their own.

As Glenn says, do your own homework.  You might start with the first chapter of Levin’s book, available (free) at this link. And the book itself is available at your library or on Amazon Kindle for less than $11.

If you’re worried (as some still are) that the COS process could lead to disasters like repeal of the 2nd Amendment, your homework will show you that such a thing could never pass a 38-state ratification — only 13 states would be needed to block such a thing. This myth of a “runaway convention” is wrong on multiple counts, as shown by Levin and on the COS and CFA websites.

The Article V state-driven amendments process is, by the Founders’ & Framers’ design, our last best hope to reform a runaway federal government. With great foresight, they wrote it into the Constitution so that We the People could one day rescue ourselves and future generations from the kind of over-spending, over-taxing, over-regulating, increasingly tyrannical federal government that inhabits Washington today. We’d better use it while we still can!

dleeper47 moderator

To my own post, I add the following comment/clarification: 

A Glenn Beck endorsement is a great consciousness-raiser for the Article V initiatives. I believe that when he used the phrase "only way back", he was referring to the state-driven Article V process. He was not making an exclusive endorsement of COS over other Article V initiatives.

In particular, COS and CFA are both viable, valuable, and in no way mutually exclusive. As CFA leader Nick Dranias has written, they form an emerging long and short game in the Article V movement. Any sincere person who wants to can join either or both movements. 

Any rivalry between COS and CFA is similar to the rivalry that exists between the US Army and the US Marines. Of course they are allies, and either will rise to the defense of the other. 

COS and CFA have common enemies among the Big Government politicians in both parties, and we have the common goal of restoring and renewing the Constitutionally limited government of the Founders and Framers.


If Congress repeatedly gets away with defying the rights of the states now because the states basically "roll over," why would Congress, after all these years of defiance, suddenly say, "OK, from now on we promise to obey the outcome of your Convention of States."  If Congress defies the Constitution, they will defy amendments to it.
Article V states that Congress, after 2/3rd of the states apply to Congress, must call a Convention. It defies logic to conclude that Congress would call the Convention and then be "hands off" in allowing the states to run it completely on their own.  First of all, a national convention would have liberals and conservatives fighting to get the upper hand on procedure, and no matter how many legal precedents can be cited of hundreds of state conventions held without "running away,"  a convention within a state is not the same as a national Convention of States assembled to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution. 
Further, since when, especially in recent history, has Congress obeyed rules?  Would the states, which currently do little to exercise their rightful authority, finally stand up and stop the feds if the feds defied them?  What would the states do to challenge the feds? Appeal to the (undependable) Courts?  Basically, proponents of an Article V Convention are counting on the very Congress they say they cannot trust to "play fair" and without evidence or precedents to show that they would. 
While I cannot guarantee with 100% certainty that our Constitution would be re-written at a Convention of States, proponents of Article V cannot guarantee with 100% certainty that it would not.  Further, I have read articles and comments from proponents stating we cannot be timid in these dangerous times, we have to take risks! This implies they are willing to risk our Constitution. I am not.  And many liberal groups have been pushing for a re-write of the Constitution for decades.  Why risk playing into their hands?   
The problem is  with "we the people" who continue to elect unprincipled leaders!  The Founders commissioned us to choose our leaders wisely and exercise eternal vigilance to preserve our liberty, yet how many who share our values can name their elected leaders at the local, state and federal levels? 
I agree with the description of ills facing the nation, and even many of the Liberty Amendments, but a Convention of States is not a prudent strategy to restore our nation.  We need to pray very hard and focus our concentrated energies on the upcoming elections.

WesternFreePress moderator

@dleeper47May they keep that spirit of cooperative, friendly rivalry.

And yes, the fact that big-name radio and TV hosts are behind this is going to make all the difference. The Schlaffly/Eagle Forum crowd doesn't have the pull they used to, and they don't have enough to overcome Levin, Beck, et al.

dleeper47 moderator


If 38 states ratify the above term limits amendment (for example), it becomes the 28th amendment -- instantly -- per Article V.  Do you foresee that Congress would simply ignore that amendment?  Would states (say, CA, IL, or NY) defy the amendment and send (for example) lifetime legislative-class elitist Chuck Schumer back for another term?

WesternFreePress moderator

@Cathy@dleeper47If they would---if states would do that, or Congress would do that---that that is a fight we need to have now, while we're still strong and comparatively free.