It seems increasingly likely that Bernie Sanders will fail to win the Democratic nomination. Even if he does manage to beat the odds, however, his entire candidacy is based on the premise that our system is broken. Hence, whether or not he wins the nomination, I believe that the only possible next step for Bernie Sanders is to declare a constitutional convention.
Note that I said “declare.” The existing U.S. Constitution includes an intentionally laborious process by which one may call for an official constitutional convention — but a constitutional convention that follows a pre-existing template is not a constituent assembly at all. It is just a committee to reform the existing arrangements.
The Founders themselves devised a new ratification process for our current Constitution that did not follow the rules set out in the Articles of Confederation. We should follow their example and declare a genuine constituent assembly to replace an order that has become every bit as unworkable as the Articles of Confederation were in their day.
Why should Bernie Sanders take up this solemn responsibility? Because he can, and because no one else will think of it. And if Trump tries to get in on it, he can declare, with the backing of natural law and the custom of all nations from time immemorial, that he has called dibs.
The time is now! Senator Sanders, you owe it to your followers and to all future generations of Americans to reinvent American government from the ground up. In Year Zero of the Third American Republic, we shall all well and truly Feel the Bern.
4 thoughts on “Bernie Sanders’ next move: A constitutional convention”
Thank you for responding to this post in the spirit in which it was offered.
Ra, when Adam refers to the common law tradition of “dibs” I think you need to read for tone.
Does anybody have the telephone number for Mr. Dibs? Sounds like he is awfully important. Is he by any chance related to Mr. Shotgun?
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