How a Trojan horse project to rewrite our Constitution could actually happen if Trump wins in 2020
It’s often said that if Trump is reelected, it’ll be the end of democracy in America. But how could Trump get reelected, and how could democracy get wiped out in the USA?
Turns out, there’s an actual project to rewrite our Constitution, turning America into a corporate-run oligarchy.
They’d end the income tax, eliminate federal regulatory agencies like the EPA, end all labor protections (including laws against child labor), let states ignore anti-discrimination and other federal regulations, and impose term limits so the only “institutional memory” for legislatures will be the corporate lobbyists.
All it needs to succeed—within just a few short years—is for Trump and the GOP to win big in 2020. And the prospects of that happening are going up every day. With a big Trump win will come a rewrite of our Constitution itself, if the billionaires funding it have their way.
But how could he win? With another $2 billion worth of free publicity, just like in 2016.
One example is how Trump’s reelection campaign got a great boost recently when the media, just like in 2016, went all-Trump-all-the-time around his ICE raids, and when he told four congresswomen of color to “go home” to the countries of their ancestors—a racist trope for centuries.
The ICE raids were merely arrests of undocumented people who actually have committed crimes (beyond crossing the border) and currently have legal deportation orders already in place; they’re arrests like the ones Presidents Bush and Obama did daily.
There was nothing unique about them, and year over year, Trump has actually deported fewer people than Obama did.
But Trump tweeted the media into a frenzy, and like obedient hounds, they frantically ran after the bits of hamburger he threw their way.
As Ayanna Pressley noted Monday, the media shouldn’t “take the bait.” Nonetheless, literally every week—virtually every day—since Trump was elected, he’s gotten the media to put his name on the front page of the nation’s newspapers and at the top of the TV news shows.
And in America, as P.T. Barnum (whom Trump has cited as a role model) said, it doesn’t matter if publicity is positive or negative, “As long as they spell my name right.” And they always spell Trump’s name right.
As we saw with the 2015–2016 Republican primary, that Barnum-like daily publicity was all he needed to take down an entire field of competent, professional, and well-financed Republicans. Taking down Democrats may be even easier if he can paint the Democrats with his “open borders” and “Soviet-style socialism” lies (among others).
NBC trained Trump well; they spent millions teaching him how to do a reality show, from cliff-hangers to pitting “heroes” against “goats.” It’s one of the few things he’s actually good at. And instead of his old “Apprentice” weekly show, he’s now producing a daily show from the White House.
But to what end?
It’s looking more and more like the endgame here for Trump—and the right-wing billionaires who support him and the GOP—is not just to get reelected, but to actually rewrite our Constitution and end the American experiment.
The group leading this charge for the billionaires is called Citizens for Self-Governance (CSG), which SourceWatch.org says, “is a right-wing political organization ... that is campaigning for an Article V convention to amend the U.S. Constitution.”
SourceWatch notes that, “Through its ‘Convention of States’ project, CSG promotes an effort to amend the U.S. Constitution pursuant to Article V, which provides that thirty-four states (two-thirds) can trigger a convention to propose an amendment, which must then be ratified by 38 states (three-fourths).”
They add, CSG director Eric O’Keefe “has deep ties to Charles and David Koch and has been a founder and funder of numerous right-wing groups including Wisconsin Club for Growth,” and the CSG, “Through its Convention of States project, is pushing for a constitutional convention in order to severely restrict federal power, for example by redefining the Commerce Clause to prohibit Congress from enacting child labor or anti-discrimination laws, or by adding a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.”
And they’re actually doing it, complete with annual dress rehearsals in the Washington, D.C., area. As Wikipedia notes:
“In December 2013, nearly 100 legislators from 32 states met at Mount Vernon to talk about how to call a convention of states. … In February 2014, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn announced that after his retirement from Congress, he would focus on promoting the Convention of States to state legislatures.
“In December 2015, Marco Rubio endorsed CSG’s efforts to a call [for] an Article V Convention. In January 2016, Texas Governor Greg Abbott called for a Convention of States to restrict the power of the federal government.”
And their rehearsals now include delegates from every state in the union.
“In September 2016, CSG held a simulated convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution in Williamsburg, Virginia. An assembly of 137 delegates representing every state gathered to conduct a simulated convention. The simulated convention passed amendments relating to six topics, including requiring the states to approve any increase in the national debt, imposing term limits, restricting the scope of the Commerce Clause [to its original meaning], limiting the power of federal regulations, requiring a supermajority to impose federal taxes and repealing the 16th Amendment [end the income tax], and giving the states the power to abrogate any federal law, regulation, or executive order.”
The Convention of States website notes that as of 2019, 15 states have signed on, and enough to hit the critical 38 are lined up, just waiting for right-wing billionaire takeovers of their state legislatures.
And taking over state legislatures in 2020 just became a huge priority for those billionaires because of the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing radical gerrymandering. Expect hundreds of millions of dollars to pour into state legislative and gubernatorial races (thanks to Citizens United), with virtually no opposing funding from the handful of left-wing billionaires.
Progress to rewrite our Constitution was slow but steady when Georgia’s legislature was the first state to join, in March of 2014. States that signed on before Trump’s election included Georgia, Alaska, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.
As of now, the call for a Convention to rewrite the Constitution has also passed at least one chamber of the legislatures in New Mexico, Mississippi, Iowa, South Dakota, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, and New Hampshire.
And with Trump in power, the Convention of States website notes that just this year (2019) they are working to bring in Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia, Illinois and Hawaii.
If Trump is as successful in manipulating the media as he was in 2016, and the GOP can ride his coattails (along with hundreds of millions from right-wing billionaires) to sweep the Democratic-controlled states they’re targeting, they could hit the 38 states needed to replace the Constitution in the first year or two after his reelection (there are 40 states in the lists above).
A probably apocryphal quote often attributed to Arnold Toynbee says, “When the last man who remembers the horrors of the last great war dies, the next great war becomes inevitable.”
Similarly, when the last American who remembers how quickly democratic constitutions were replaced in Europe in the 1930s dies, the replacement of democracy in America becomes inevitable.
This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.
Thom Hartmann is a talk-show host and the author of The Hidden History of Guns and the Second Amendment and more than 25 other books in print. He is a writing fellow at the Independent Media Institute.