A gun sitting on the table is no danger to anyone.
Unless the wrong person grabs it. Then it’s a danger to everyone.
That’s how it is with a New York constitutional convention. In theory, it’s a fine thing. In reality, it would be a catastrophe.
Because it would fall into the wrong hands.
If New York exercises its every-20-year option to convene a constitutional convention, to rewrite the basic law of the state, that convention will be packed with the slime that comprises the state’s political class.
That will give the monsters who wreck our state from their Albany castle an even bigger stick with which to club us.
That’s why a convention is a bad idea — especially for upstaters trying to stave off the suffocating colonialism of New York City rule.
They won’t use it to fix things, they will use it to make sure the fix is in.
Those who want a convention say that the state government needs change. Of course it does. It needs the sort of change that comes from a wrecking ball. But a constitutional convention won’t bring change, at least not of a positive nature.
First of all, the nature of a convention will be determined by its delegates. And the political parties, with their organization and money, will pick the delegates. The problem with that is that the political parties in New York are the root of our problem. They have existed for a century and a half as conspiracies of mutual benefit focused on gaming the system, not serving the people. New York political parties are about putting money in pockets, period.
And bad delegates will make bad law.
If your assemblyman is an idiot as an assemblyman, he’s also going to be an idiot as a convention delegate. If the party bosses run the legislature, they are also going to run the convention. If the governor insists on being treated like a pharaoh across the state, he’s going to want the same treatment at the convention.
Put another way, if your voice is meaningless normally — which it is — then your voice is going to be meaningless at the convention. In this state, you’re a nobody now, and you will be a nobody then.
Further empowering the same-o same-o doesn’t make sense.
Potentially worse, a constitutional convention could set in cement the most extreme of New York’s progressive fantasies. When everything’s up for grabs, and can be codified not in law but in the constitution, that brings out the zealots.
And in the midst of the progressive war on everything, that could be dangerous — particularly from the perspective of an upstate moderate or conservative.
For example, if you’re a gun owner, do you want to have a constitutional convention at a time when there is a rabidly anti-gun governor and statewide polls show strong support for even more stringent gun control?
And in this era of who pisses where and amnesty mania, do you really want to let the progressives get in there and change the fundamental rules?
As Andrew Cuomo ramps up his presidential profile by jerking ever harder to the left, do you want to let him use the state’s constitution as a campaign piece?
The answer: Absolutely not.
So nix the convention.
Yes, we need term limits. We need initiative and referendum. We need protection against domination by New York City. We need to strike back against taxes. We need firewalls against unfunded state mandates. We need a lot of things.
And we have no chance, under current conditions, of getting any of them from a New York state constitutional convention.
And, unfortunately, we have a pretty good chance of getting even worse screwed by such a convention.
New York’s political and social culture are currently restrained from their worst impulses by the constitution we have. Throwing that open for rewrite would result in a worse situation than we now face. A constitutional convention is a great tool, but only when the state is inclined to freedom and true reform. That’s not where we are now. Right now, the crazies are in charge, and they don’t need a bigger club.
A constitutional convention isn’t a gun sitting on a table, it is a gun pointed at your head.
So the answer is no.
– by Bob Lonsberry © 2017