The Article 5 road to Gilead
Republicans are in trouble. They have no political platform. They are an international joke. As deaths by mass shootings of children become a routine part of weekly headlines, the world casts the spotlight of shame and blame on them.
Republicans have hitched their collective star to a toxic buffoon, a loser who goes on trial this week for defaming a woman he clearly raped, a man who’s repeatedly lost election after election for them, who is currently under a 34 count criminal indictment — with several more indictments to come.
What’s a Republican to do? Answer, Article 5 of the United States Constitution. What is article 5? It specifies the two methods by which the Constitution can be amended. The first is by a ⅔ vote of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The second method is the scary one. It’s where “on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments.”
In other words, if ⅔ of the states agree to call a Constitutional convention, then they will have it. Once the convention is called, those legislators who called it can propose any amendment they want in any number they want for anything they want. And that’s exactly what some Republicans want to do.
Imagine it yourself. Imagine if Marjorie Taylor Greene or Matt Gaetz or Lauren Boebert had total, unlimited power. Think of what a nightmare of intolerance and fascism the United States could become overnight. There would be no LGBTQ rights anywhere. Abortion would become a capital crime. Evangelical Christianity would become the state religion with no other religion tolerated. Liberals, intellectuals, Jews, people of color, free thinkers, would be summarily cast into prison without the benefit of habeas corpus.
While the American people turn their backs on Republican fascism, individual American state legislatures are becoming more and more radicalised. Republicans have been working diligently, state by state, to ensure that their legislative districts become so tortuously gerrymandered as to render Republican victories practically a fait accompli.
Like any vile organism, the Republican Party is imbued with a preternatural will to live. And it intends to live at all costs, even if America itself must go up in flames to achieve that end. Week in and week out we read of monstrous horrors enacted by individual state legislators. Recently the Tennessee legislature ejected two of its members for daring to stand up against gun violence. Imagine if the reinstatement of those two brilliant legislators had been declared illegal by arbitrary vote of its own members.
More than half the states are either already Republican-controlled or are battleground states. Eighteen states have either fully or partially banned abortions, and that number is steadily rising. Most amazing to me, living in a country where it’s illegal to carry firearms, 45 US states have open carry laws in one form or another. Republicans already own SCOTUS.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the Heritage Foundation, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Council for National Policy are all evangelical organisations whose endgame is the convention of states. They want control, and they fear the emerging generation of youths who will refuse to buy into the Republican agenda of bullshit.
There are no rules and no limits to an article 5 convention. States in charge of such a thing can do whatever they want. They could, for example, decide to make Donald Trump president for life and his children hereditary successors, if that’s what they want to do. They can bake it into that most sacred document, the US Constitution.
And there isn’t a thing we could do to stop them. They could rewrite the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, articles forbidding slavery, history itself. There are no limits to what evil they could do, and they have already shown us there are no limits to their own individual evil. Like I already said, Imagine if Marjorie Taylor Greene or Matt Gaetz or Lauren Boebert had total, unlimited power. It’s chilling.
That is the Article 5 road to Gilead. And while it’s far, far from achieved, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s exactly what radical evangelical MAGA Republicans want, and what they are slowly, steadily working toward day by day by day.
That is why they must be stopped. That is why the Republican Party must go. That is why money must be removed from American politics. That is why we must ALL become activists in the greatest causes before us, to save America, to save the planet and to save ourselves. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.