A Digest of Some Especially Good Related Reads –  

by Stuart MacPhail  May 2019
Restoring America’s Soul is a new book by Rita Dunaway, legal consultant for the Convention of States Project.  The book “defines conservatism as a philosophy that conserves the things we want to keep, then details what values and principles we must keep, and explains how Americans can conserve them,” opined former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint.

He also said “Everyone who calls themselves a ‘conservative’ must read this book. I haven’t read a simpler, clearer description of conservatism or a better indictment of the forces that are trying to destroy the ideas that make America great.”  Find it HERE.


During April the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) published Has Federalism Become Like Sandcastles on the Beach…?  a good article by Utah State Rep. Ken Ivory.  In the article Ivory talks about the principles of federalism, saying like sandcastles… those principles get eroded and washed away by the tides of federal encroachment.

He says “The crucial divisions of governing responsibility that characterize our unique American system of federalism will continue to erode, unless we begin erecting seawalls to guard our unique State sandcastles from a persistent federal tide.”  Read the article HERE.


The Epoch Times recently published a commentary by Gary L. Gregg entitled Continuing Lessons from Washington’s ‘Farewell Address’.  Gregg says “Washington’s Farewell Address has as much to say to America today as it did to the America he left when he retired.”  

Gregg tracks a few lessons from Washington’s address that still speak to 2019 America.  Read his thoughtful piece HERE.


Also in The Epoch Times, during April, constitutional scholar Rob Natelson wrote a commentary entitled What’s Good About the US Constitution?  He enumerates the governing rules the US Constitution set down, and how they have held America together.

Natelson also notes that when constitutional “rules” are broken, the nation suffers.  Read his piece HERE.


On March 28 The Washington Times carried a commentary by former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker entitled Our Kids are Counting on Us.  Pleading for support of a Balanced Budget amendment to the US Constitution, Walker says $67,000 “is the share of the federal debt inherited by every child born today in America”.

He says “When I was born in 1967, my share of the national debt was $1,640.  Back then, the national debt was $326 million.  That was about 38 percent of the national economy (as measured by Gross Domestic Product).”  Today’s $22 trillion national debt is “up to 106 percent of the nation’s economy” he says.

In the article Walker said “Our nation cannot survive with the rate of deficit spending. Now is the time for leaders to step forward and fix this problem — while we still can — because our kids and their kids are counting on us.”  Read his thoughtful piece HERE.

On April 4 Lew Uhler (chairman of the National Tax Limitation Committee) and widely published author Peter J. Ferrara responded to Walker’s piece in a related Washington Times commentary under the title Is there a right size of government?  Read their views HERE.


On April 22 the Washington Examiner carried an opinion piece entitled Resurrect Fiscal Sanity by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee regarding Scott Walker’s new position as the national face of the state-led movement to propose a balanced budget amendment (BBA) to the Constitution… as national honorary chairman of the Center for State-led National Debt Solutions.

Huckabee included the following quote from former President Ronald Reagan: “We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”

In 1982 the US Senate passed a resolution to propose a federal BBA, but the measure failed in the House.  Huckabee points out that when Reagan made the above statement “The $1 trillion in federal debt that prompted the Senate to take action in 1982 is roughly equivalent to the amount Congress now borrows every year to fund its deficits.”  Read Huckabee’s excellent piece HERE.


Constitutional/American government blogger Rodney Dodsworth has published a brief new piece entitled Our Unbalanced Constitution and Article V.  Dodsworth argues that John Adams believed that “History had taught that public virtue is the necessary foundation of republics.”

Dodsworth says “The difference between then (1787) and now is that once men like Adams realized the situation (that contemporary leaders were not always virtuous), they advocated and took measures to deal with man’s nature.  Article V opponents’ reliance on public virtue is a blind alley”.  Read his observations HERE.

On April 22 Dodsworth released another thoughtful blog entitled Machiavelli – Dealing with the Deep State Aristocracy.  In this review of Machiavellian governance philosophy, Dodsworth concludes that President Trump’s best efforts to save the American Republic “from the sword of the Deep State Aristocracy” are limited. “But, through his support of an Article V convention of states, he could lead our nation around a hopelessly corrupt Congress and federal court system.”  Mr. Dodsworth suggests “An end run, a flanking movement against criminal American aristocrats, the Deep State and its supporters, is the way to drain the swamp and possibly save the American Republic.”   Read this piece HERE.


On April 16 the Virginia Gazette carried an essay by Bruce Schoch entitled The States and Constitutional Change.  The writer discusses the options state have when they do not wish to follow federal policy.

Schoch discuses two general approaches Americans can use to deal with problematic constitutional issues.  The second, what he calls the “Decentralized Approach”, would require use of powers granted in Article V of the Constitution.  Read his thoughts HERE.

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