Mesmerized by Melodic Rhetoric
|February 21, 2009||Posted by Joel S. Hirschhorn under Progress Report, The Progress Report|
Mesmerized by Melodic Rhetoric
Stave off violent chaos with constitutional change
This country needs major surgery, some say, to avoid disintegration; they offer a venue for serious discussion.
by Joel S. Hirschhorn, February 21, 2009
“I’ve been through Y2K and I’ve been through 9/11. I have never seen people so afraid as what we are seeing right now, said gun shop owner Scott Moss recently. With more guns per capita — easily 250 million privately owned ones — will this still worsening economic calamity spur political rebellion and preempt massive social havoc?
What Obama and Congress are doing wont help the vast majority of Americans before millions more lives are devastated. More than half a million jobs continue to be lost a month; 3.5 million in the past year. Millions are losing their homes, health insurance, and ability to buy food.
Obama said: A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe. But what matters is exactly what actions the government takes and whether they are what are needed.
Meanwhile, the elite are sitting pretty in their McMansions, penthouses, private jets, and yachts. They enjoy their $50,000+ cars, still wine and dine in incredibly expensive restaurants, and retain more wealth than ordinary people can imagine. Brioni mens suits for $40,000+ are selling fast.
So what are ordinary Americans doing? Are there crowds of screaming, sign-carrying Americans in city streets? No. Or outside congressional buildings and the White House? No. Are there riots and looting by hoards of hungry and angry people? No. Do we see anything like the anti-Vietnam War protests? No. Do we see anything like the rebellion against the British that created our nation? No.
What do we see? Millions of people getting notices that they have lots their jobs, getting eviction notices, applying for bankruptcy, trying to get unemployment benefits, standing on long lines to get a shot at few jobs, filling crowded hospital emergency rooms to get medical help, taking their children out of child care they no longer can afford, and buying fewer and cheaper foods or seeking free food.
Compared to rioting Europeans, Americans seem like docile, drugged out sheep herded towards the economic cliff, mesmerized by melodic rhetoric of political messiah Barack Obama.
We simply are not demanding enough of those we elected.
Meantime, President Obama has successfully stimulated one business sector. Since November, gun and ammunition sales have soared, as have requests for concealed carry permits. “Our sales are up 15 to 20 percent since October,” says the owner of Shooter’s Service in Livonia, Michigan. “It’s not the 40 percent other stores are reporting, but it’s good business.” Oakland County in Michigan issued 130 percent more concealed carry weapon permits in January than a year earlier. Such permits are up as much as 90 percent in some Western North Carolina counties. According to the FBI, background checks for gun sales in January jumped 29 percent over January 2008; this followed a 24 percent rise in December and a 42 percent increase in November. In many places gun sales have dropped because of shortages.
Gun owner Chad Roberts in Tennessee said this recently: “With the economy like it is more people are going to be desperate wanting to steal from you. So, perhaps we will see a contagious, rapid descent into mass criminal violence. As suffering, gun-toting Americans resort to looting, theft, robbery, burglary, and other economically driven violent acts to get what they need, other gun owners will shoot to defend what they have. As gun-toting citizens put their Second Amendment rights to the ultimate use, government threatened by armed rebellion. Brutal police and military actions result, and for many no police protection. Constitutional freedoms suspended in a national emergency.
One way to avoid the abyss is to give Americans what they have a constitutional right to have, something the Founders in their wisdom knew we would need. They provided an option in Article V of the Constitution that Congress has refused to honor, even though the one and only requirement has long been met. It is a convention of state delegates to consider proposals for constitutional amendments. This would provide a national forum for the public to seriously become involved with possible ways to reform and improve our government structure. Over 700 applications from state legislatures for an Article V convention have been submitted from all 50 states; they are being made available for the first time at foavc.org. Because the convention can only propose amendments that still must be ratified by three-quarters of the states there really is nothing to fear about harming our Constitution.
In these dismal times using what the Founders gave us makes more sense than ever before. Americans need more than two-party politics. They need a serious debate about structural reforms through constitutional amendments that can attack the deep rooted corruption and incompetence that plague the federal government and contributed to creating our current economic meltdown.
[Joel S. Hirschhorn is a co-founder of Friends of the Article V Convention; contact him through delusionaldemocracy.com.]
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