Sunday, 16 March 2014 16:00

Constitutional Contraction: Key Words Deleted by Con-Con Supporters

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“Syncope” is defined as “the contraction of a word by omitting one or more sounds from the middle.” While the term is usually applied to spelling and grammar, it has some analogy to recent attempts to call a constitutional convention, as well.

Since the beginning of the year, this author has traveled extensively speaking out against the call being made by some for a so-called “convention of states.” There are several groups pushing for this event, some on the Right and many on the extreme Left, as I have previously documented.

When facing off against the pro-Article V con-con crowd, I’ve noticed a disturbing habit among the presenters: that of leaving out key portions of Article V, a sort of constitutional contraction. Typically this brand of syncope, as I like to call it, involves highlighting portions of the provision in order to convince those in the audience that the process is safe and that rogue amendments (such as those being promoted by George Soros and others) will never make it into the Constitution.

One of the most egregious examples of this subtle subtraction of key constitutional language pertains to the method of ratification of amendments proposed by delegates at an Article V constitutional convention.

Concerning the method of state approval of amendments sent to them by the convention, Article V mandates that they will become part of the Constitution “when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof.” (Emphasis added.)

That last phrase regarding special ratifying conventions is the part that Article V proponents like to leave out. I have an idea why.

As I mentioned above, there are myriad socialist and progressive organizations desperate to change the Constitution and make it more conformable to their dangerous ideas of “good government.”

These socialist suggestions run the gamut from changing the Second Amendment so as to prevent civilians from owning weapons and ammunition, to increasing the amount of direct democracy in the working of Congress, to protecting the rights of homosexuals to “marry.”

Now, there are admittedly not enough state lawmakers who would vote in favor of the most controversial and constitutionally offensive amendments. What also must be admitted, however, is that the billions being spent on this effort by the Left would likely buy seats for their delegates at any special ratifying convention.

No one, no matter how heavily invested in the cause of the “convention of states” (a phrase not found in Article V) can guarantee the outcome of a special ratifying convention. In fact, in light of the lists of leftist groups found in the con-con camp, the results of these conventions could be an outright scrapping of the Constitution written by the Founders in favor of one more in line with the progressive ideologies of these Article V convention advocates.

The mind boggles at the potential proposals that could come out of a convention occupied by such radical enemies of the rule of law and republican liberty.

Besides, another demonstrable fact of modern political life is that George Soros and other globalists are spending billions to fund these fringe groups and contemporary politicians — no matter how “conservative” — aren't exactly known for their ability to resist hefty campaign contributions.

All those who are at this moment involved in the battle to protect our Constitution should make particular mention of this provision of Article V when confronting those of any political stripe who conveniently leave it out of their propaganda.

At the next meeting featuring slick and comforting presentations by the corps of “convention of states” spokesmen, remember to stand up and point out their constitutional contractions — their syncope — and the fact that adding and deleting words from the Constitution is a tactic used by enemies of our Republic, not by those sailing under the colors of the Constitution.


Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels nationwide speaking on nullification, the Second Amendment, the surveillance state, and other constitutional issues. Follow him on Twitter @TNAJoeWolverton and he can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Related articles:

Article V: Con-Con or Nothing Is the Cry of This Cause Célèbre

Article V Group Ignores States' Complicity in Federal Power Grab

Article V Convention: Dangerous Precedent, Dangerous Loyalties

Convention of States and Article V: Tearing Up the Talking Points

Compact for America Proposal Could Increase Federal Power

Convention of the States: Wrong on History, Nullification

Convention of the States: Scholars Ignore History

Repair vs. Restore: Why Constitution Doesn’t Need Article V Fix

In Defense of Con-Con, Meckler Chooses Ridicule Over Rebuttal

Socialists and Soros Fight for Article V Convention


  • Comment Link laura Sunday, 23 March 2014 02:41 posted by laura


    The purpose of Article V is to correct DEFECTS in the Constitution - a way of allowing for circumstances not foreseen by our Founders OR circumstances arising because of changing times.

    The FIRST way Article V lists to propose amendments is by CONGRESS writing, approving, then sending the amendments to the STATES to ratify or not the amendments CONGRESS writes.

    The SECOND way amendments can be proposed is when 2/3 of the states REQUEST CONGRESS call a convention to propose amendments. The CONSTITUTION calls it a CONVENTION TO PROPOSE AMENDMENTS - it is NEVER called a 'convention of states.'

    Do not forget WHAT the Constitution is - it is the rules for creating our FEDERAL government. It enumerates the POWERS of the FEDERAL government. The process for, and power to, amend these rules is included IN this document that are the written rules from the People to the federal government.

  • Comment Link Old Mullet Wednesday, 19 March 2014 22:41 posted by Old Mullet

    Wolves in sheep's clothing are slipping in everywhere. If they can't distract the truth, they will make the truth captive and spin it to make it "bad". Just as the Democrat party has attempted to blame (most of) the friction between the Republican and Democratic Congress on the Tea Party, they tangle and misrepresent the truths. Unfortunately our education system has been gutted (in re Agenda 21) and has not taught the U.S. Constitution in decades, we must seek that education. Americans must be alerted and made aware how important this document is to our Republic. Otherwise, it too will be sidetracked for use by liberal socialists to stop any movement to redress the dangers we face from the "progressive" powers in office.

  • Comment Link Dennis Wednesday, 19 March 2014 19:08 posted by Dennis

    Honestly. Does anybody really think that 38 states would ratify a change to our 2nd Amendment. If you do, then you haven't been watching the news. I have no doubt that there will be those that would attempt to change our 2nd Amendment, but it would obviously go nowhere.

    I'd be happy with a balanced budget, secured borders and voter ID.

  • Comment Link Dennis Wednesday, 19 March 2014 18:51 posted by Dennis

    It is unfortunate that conservatives are at each others throats.

    What is the purpose of Article V? Why is it included in our Constitution?

    Could it be that our founders foresaw the potential for our federal government to run amok?

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