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This is part of a series of articles that will be submitted on behalf of those who support a Convention of the States. The Iowa Standard invited those who oppose a Convention of the States to also submit articles. If we receive any, we will publish those as well. Meanwhile, please enjoy this side of the issue and, as always, feel free to submit your own thoughts to! The Iowa Standard has not and does not hold a position regarding a Convention of The States. The Iowa Standard does want to encourage debate among conservatives on the issue.

I’d ask if you’ve ever felt like complaining about the federal government… but it’s probably safe to say that ship sailed decades ago. More to the point, have you ever felt utterly alone and helpless in the face of a bloated federal behemoth hopelessly beyond the restraints of the Founders’ Constitution? (I have. But not anymore.)

We were all taught that voting is how We, the People, control our federal governance. And voting is truly our sacred duty as stewards of this republic; abstaining voids our grounds for complaint. But the guy with the t-shirt I saw the other day speaks volumes about frustration teetering on desperation among citizens from sea to shining sea:

“I voted. It didn’t work.”

President Trump took office barely two years ago, when many thought the federal system already in total free fall. Before this month is out, America could face a declaration of national emergency because the political parties are behaving like spiteful children. Every parent knows it. That declaration would set the stage for even worse stalemates over increasingly petulant reasons in the very near future, from which there may be no turning back.

This is not how government was supposed to work. Raise your hand if you think someone ought to do something about it.

But tens of thousands of Iowans (with millions nationwide and more every day) are waking up to the realization that the most powerful, peaceful tool of all has yet to be picked up, and that no one else is going to do it. Is your hand still raised? Now look in the mirror. It’s up to you, who are reading this article, and me, and all of us.

It’s not a donation. It’s not a White House petition or even a protest march. What else is there? 

While drafting the Constitution’s checks and balances at the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, George Mason noticed a major design flaw. “The plan now to be formed will certainly be defective, as the Confederation has been found on trial to be.”

The problem, he said, was that the People would have no mechanism to correct abuses if Congress retained sole control of the amendment process and itself became oppressive.

That’s why there’s a second method given to us to remedy problems they couldn’t foresee. You and I have power equal to Congress’s to propose amendments that will impose term limits on Congress and other officials, impose federal fiscal restraints, and limit federal scope and jurisdiction.

How, you say?

From Article V: “The Congress… on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments…”

The Constitution gives that power to Des Moines. Des Moines listens to You.

Questions and objections abound at the very mention of this sovereign right of the People. Over the next few weeks, the Iowa Standard will examine these arguments and the scholarship informing this decision.

It’s not easy. It wasn’t meant to be. But it is Our right. And We’ve tried everything else. It didn’t work.

The Convention of States Project will.

Until next time, if you wonder why such a step is needed, consider that as I began to write this article, the National Debt Clock cited well over 21,932,877,000,000 reasons. An hour and a half later, that number had grown by 143 MILLION.

Next: But They Don’t Follow the Constitution NOW, and Other Gems

John Antkowiak

Author: John Antkowiak

John Antkowiak is a public historian specializing in U.S. military and Founding Era history. He is a volunteer advocate for Convention of States in his local North Carolina House District and, from time to time, in online fora nationwide. To find a Convention of States contact in your neck of the woods, visit or write to Jeremy Kruid at