Washington, DC, Doesn’t Need a Personnel Change. It Needs a Structural Change. Here’s How

By Nancy Flory Published on April 10, 2022

Attorney Mark Meckler was approaching the problem wrong. At least that’s what his friend Mike Farris said. Mark, who spoke with The Stream, said that he thought the United States needed a personnel change in Washington, D.C. But that wasn’t the problem. Mike (now President and CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom) told Mark that “you could put as many good people as you wanted into a bad system, and you’re still going to get a bad result.” The structure of the government was broken β€” we’d consolidated power at the federal government level, something the framers of the Constitution never intended.

The only way to fix the problem was to go back to the Constitution, and the only way to do that was to use Article 5 of the Constitution to call a convention of states and impose restrictions on the federal government. “[H]uman nature says that human beings never voluntarily give up their own power.” So, in 2013, he co-founded Convention of States Action (COSA).

Convention of States Action

COSA is an organization made up of grassroots activists all over the country. “Today we have supporters and activists in every single state legislative district in the United States of America,” Mark said. “There are over 5.2 million supporters and activists around the country.”

The resolution to call a convention of states has been filed in 49 states and has passed completely in 19 states, although it takes 34 states to call a convention of states. In the last 45 days or so, four states have passed the resolution: Wisconsin, Nebraska, West Virginia and South Carolina.

Mark believes the states will be able to call a convention of states by 2024. He continued:

“We’re going to see more states take this seriously that are Republican held states. It takes 34 states to call. Currently, 31 states have both houses controlled by Republicans. You have a split house in Minnesota. I believe that is going to flip in 2022. So that would take you to 32 states. So, you need 34, you’re two states away. I think Virginia is going to continue its flip and it will flip its Senate and be a red House and a red Senate as of 2023. And by 2024, I think we pick up another state, possibly Nevada, Maine. There are a few other states that are on the cusp of going red. So, I would say by 2024 is my most optimistic goal for calling the convention.”

Mark added that the states to watch are North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Why It Matters

Mark’s goal is first to get into convention. “Even the threat of a real convention puts pressure on Washington, D.C., to be responsive to the American people. … It causes Congress to act.” Second, the convention organizes “political muscle” to do more. “It takes political muscle to do stuff in the country.” Third, the people will be able to debate the idea of proposing amendments, such as imposing fiscal restraints on the federal government, shortening term limits and others. Finally, the goal is to “impose scope and jurisdiction restraints on the federal government,” Mark explained. “And I believe this is the most important one.” The federal government has too much power. The federal government should not be involved in education, health care, energy or the environment. “These are all areas that are handled by the state … they were intended to be handled locally and not federally.”

What People Can Do

Most people just get mad at their television when politicians are on. Some vote in elections. But the Founding Fathers had more in mind when they framed the Constitution. “The reality is that the founders expected that citizens would be educated and engaged and that they would actually be involved in the process,” said Mark. People can do more. They can fill out the petition telling their state legislature that they want them to be part of the convention of states. They can also become a volunteer for COSA.

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In any event, folks can do much more than calling a convention of states. “In Texas, one of the big fights for our Texas activists over the last couple years [has been] working for property tax reform. [T]his is something that the local activists decided they wanted to be engaged in. We helped provide the resources for them to do that. And we did get some property tax reform. I don’t think enough. And our activists will be back again, fighting for more property tax reform and other things during the next cycle.” But it’s not enough to be frustrated or angry. “Folks have to be engaged. … You have to be engaged if you want to save the country.”

‘Look for the Light’ of Hope

Mark’s faith plays a big role in his activism, too. He sees hope, even in the middle of all of the craziness. “I would encourage people to look for the light and not the darkness. There’s plenty of darkness around us.” We see it in our schools, with Ukraine and with Disney. It’s easy to allow ourselves to become absorbed by the darkness, but that’s what Satan wants. But because of his belief in Jesus Christ, Mark always has hope. “I never lose hope, but I also know that we’re always supposed to turn towards the light. And if you’re going to do that, it means you’re going to fight with righteous anger towards the things that you need to fight for. You’re going to fight to save your family. You’re going to fight to save your community. You’re going to fight to save your country. And I would say in the big picture, we’re going to fight for our posterity as our founders and framers did. They left those shoes for us to fill. They’re there. The only question is, will we have the fortitude to put them on?”


Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is a senior editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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