SIDNEY — Author, lecturer and instructor Ricki Pepin visited Sidney Monday evening to inform local residents about the possible negative effects Article V, also known as the Convention of States, could have on the U.S. Constitution. The event was hosted by the Shelby County Liberty Group and the Shelby County Republican Party and took place in the Community Meeting Room at the Amos Memorial Library in Sidney.
Pepin is head of the Ohio chapter of the Institute on the Constitution and is knowledgeable about the inner workings of the United States government and explained how some politicians and others abuse their power and influence to create false narratives, sway public opinion and promote their person agendas over the will of the people and the traditional values held by many Americans.
Approximately 60 people met at the library to listen to Pepin’s presentation and learn more about the threat of Article V and the possible far reaching effects it could have on the U.S. Constitution. Among other things a Convention of States could lead to the end of the Electoral College and place the power of future elections in the hands of major population centers across the U.S. instead of the equal representation system which is now have in place, she said.
Pepin noted the U.S. is not a democracy as many people would have citizens believe but was set up as a representative republic by the nation’s forefathers who knew the weakness of democracies.
“This is why our Founding Fathers designed the Constitution the way they did, it allows for fair representation from all areas of the county not just the demographics of a particular group in a particular place,” Pepin said.
She continued by sharing information and a power point slide show that illustrated the topic of conversation. She began by sharing the definition of a word most have probably never heard of.
“The key word we are concerned with is ‘plenipotentiary’ as defined in the 1828 Webster Dictionary; (adj.) Containing full power or (noun) a person invested with full power to transact any business. The reason this is so important is after a Convention of States of Article V is called this word defines the kind of power a few individuals (appointed delegates) will have. There is no turning back and all the power of the states, the US Congress, and the people is surrendered to that handful of delegates who can and will decide what’s best for all of us even if it’s the last thing the people want and flies in the face of the Constitution as we know it; and that is a dangerous place to be, one we may never recover from,” Pepin said.
Pepin said supporters of holding a Convention of States claim the individual states would control the Article V convention but she pointed out such is not the case and once the convention is initiated states’ rights would take a back seat to the political whims of a handful of delegates who would determine the details of any change which could go as far as destroying the U.S. Constitution as we know it.
“I’m not saying I’m opposed to amendments in the Constitution as have been made in the past, I just don’t want to see the whole constitution put on the table and cut to pieces,” Pepin said.
Pepin said once the ball is rolling things can get out of control rather quickly, resulting in a situation where the states are then left to choose between the lesser of evils.
“There are two ways to propose Amendments to the Constitution. One, Congress proposes them and sends them to the states for ratification or rejection; or when two-thirds of the states apply for it, Congress calls for a convention. All of our 27 existing amendments were proposed under the first method — Congress proposed them. We have never had a convention under Article V,” Pepin said.
She said some of the most respected names in government all sided against Article V because it places the power in the hands of a few instead of the states’ representatives as outlined by the Constitution.
“John Jay, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton were all against Article V, and Antonin Scalia former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, one of the most respected champions of the U.S. Constitution said, ‘I certainly would not want a constitutional convention — who knows what would come of it.’ These wise individuals saw the danger in passing on complete power to a few individuals whose opinions may or may not align with the Constitution, there is simply too much at stake to take any chances, we must stick with the original document that has served us so well for so long,” Pepin said.
Pepin noted one of the greatest threats to the government is misinformation, myths,and outright lies being spread by those hoping to enact Article V and thus eliminating the Electoral College.
“People like Mark Meckler an attorney from California who recently testified before Congress in favor of a Constitution of States, are spreading myths and half-truths. His testimony was filled with false promises and several statements alluding to the idea that the states would have the power and authority to control the delegates of a Constitutional Convention which is simply not true. His testimony will certainly influence and possibly convince many uninformed politicians that they will remain in control, nothing could be further from the truth. Meckler’s theories and rhetoric may sound good at first but the underlying truth is once the Convention begins the delegates have full authority, full power to do anything they want and the process cannot be stopped or reversed,” she said.
“Education is key, it’s up to us to first inform ourselves, then inform others. I am encouraged by the progress I am seeing out there, false indoctrination is being replaced by factual education, it’s promising to see a lot of our young people stepping up and being responsible with their votes, hopefully together we can turn the tide of corruption that threatens our country,” Pepin said.
She suggested visiting the Institute on the Constitution website for more information, https://www.theamericanview.com/
After the presentation HR Pence, communications director for the Shelby County Liberty Group said a good education is necessary for making sound decisions.
“The purpose of the Shelby County Liberty Group co-hosting this educational town-hall meeting with the Shelby County Republicans Party was to prevent a nationwide effort ‘to alter’ the U.S. Constitution and end the Electoral College. We hope it encourages people to research these topics and help stop an efforts calling for Article V in Ohio, because once it’s ratified by 38 states, it can’t be stopped,” Pence said.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.