Here is a quotation from Thomas Jefferson, author of our Declaration of Independence and third president of these United States of America, found on a panel at his national memorial:

I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and Constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.

—Jefferson to H. Tompkinson (aka Samuel Kercheval), July 12, 1816

One has to be particularly suspicious of any person who would tell you, “A constitutional convention is not needed.”

Capitol Building Honolulu Legislature. 1 may 2017
A constitutional convention could shake up the Big Square Building on Beretania. And that’s good. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

There is substantial reason to be suspect of anyone advocating for keeping people away from their own governance. When such anti-liberty provocations erupt, we must ask ourselves:

  • Why would a convention of caring citizen delegates gathering to review the living document that is our state’s constitution, not be a good thing?
  • Are we the governed, too stupid, or too irresponsible to be part of self governance?
  • How could anyone question a public discourse regarding our state constitution’s contemporary relevance for now and the near future?
  • What do parties that encourage us to refrain from collecting to govern ourselves, have to hide or protect? What specifically are they afraid of? Why would anyone be afraid of the people of Hawaii?

Ask anyone whose career or study is about a free society’s laws. They’ll remind you that in a free society, law exists to protect and promote the need for a vibrant and dynamic free society.

American laws are not meant to be set in stone, they are meant to be written, rewritten, or erased by the people they guide. “By the People…” is the balancing brick of liberty.

For the possibilities of a greater tomorrow, it is the sacred duty of good citizens to determine for themselves if there are any parts of a state constitution that might benefit from review and recommendation. It is fundamentally American to put lawmakers on notice that if they fail to govern as per the public’s best interests, that public will take it upon themselves to possibly correct any misrepresented legislation.

An Important Opportunity

In a free society the public oversees their guidance. A people’s constitutional convention is the time for the Hawaii populous to own their governance.

A specific opportunity was written into the Hawaii Constitution to allow that con con to be publicly scrutinized after a very carefully considered number of years. This very important, very specific time rapidly comes upon us. After 40 years of neglect, our choice to govern ourselves comes in 2018. Our original framers are calling us to participate in what makes Hawaii a great state.

This rule allowing the public’s direct involvement in the constitution was clearly intended to keep the power of government in the hands of the people. In 2018, we will know if the citizens of Hawaii are seen by this world as simply sheep or a responsible caring shepherd of our own destiny.

Is there any question that our society has developed new needs and opportunities since 1978? The notorious Con-Conners will soon be trying every trick to quell talk of government by and for the people.

To me, these “No Can, Con-Conners” smell of rotting fish. They’ll attempt to hide tyranny under the guise of good government. You’ll see paid promoters and desperate status quo supporters bombard you with messages of complacency. Consider it much like keeping you calm before cutting your throat.

To me, these “No Can, Con-Conners” smell of rotting fish.

It is incumbent upon us to personally take a hand in confirming if the engine of our government needs a tune-up. Perhaps a word, perhaps an entire section or perhaps nothing at all needs modification, but that responsibility lies first in the hands of each of us, together.

Let us remind those lurking dark powers that any changes to our constitution must be openly voted on by the people of our state. No one will run off with our laws, nothing will happen without the specific approval of our state’s voters.

All the constitutional convention delegates can do is examine, discuss and possibly propose amendments for the electorate at large to consider. Given this structure, how in the name of freedom can a constitutional convention be wrong?

So again, I ask you, who is it that is afraid of the people? Who is it that doesn’t trust the people to govern themselves? What is their agenda?

The next time you hear someone tell you that you should “stay out of it,” proudly read aloud the very first article in the state of Hawaii’s Bill of Rights:

Section 1. All political power of this State is inherent in the people and the responsibility for the exercise thereof rests with the people. All government is founded on this authority.”

Is there something not clear or perhaps ambiguous in that all-important opening statement?

Disregard and be careful of anyone telling you to mind your own business. As so clearly pointed out by the framers of our state, the fundamental laws are no one’s business but our own.

Let’s get to work. Let us tend to our home.

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