A leading national grassroots movement is tapping into citizen pushback against government overreach and woke policies. The group’s leader came to the Twin Cities to address a rally of citizens who say they are mad as hell and vowing not to take it any longer.
Convention of States Action President Mark Meckler was in town recently to address supporters at a Capitol rotunda rally and encourage Minnesota legislators to join. COS Action has recently added new signatory states, achieving membership level in 19 states so far that have adopted the required resolution. Citizen dissatisfaction, frustration and anger at federal government overreach, and unfettered spending are driving alarmed Americans to mobilize, seeking a solution to rein in Washington.
COS Action seeks to invoke Article V of the U. S. Constitution, which empowers a prescribed quorum of participating states to propose amendments to the Constitution.
The same resolution, which limits topics under consideration, must be adopted by at least 34 states (two-thirds) for the Convention of States to be called. It takes 38 states to ratify any proposed amendments.
Issues covered in the COS Action resolution are restricted to limiting “the power and jurisdiction of the federal government,” imposing “fiscal restraints,” and placing “term limits on federal officials,” according to the group’s website.
Minnesota COS Action legislative liaison Steve Davidson, a longtime volunteer, emceed the rally, introducing a handful of elected officials who support adoption. Davidson said that some 35 legislators showed up for a pre-rally luncheon to hear Meckler’s comments and ask questions. Davidson said growing support for the movement to return power to citizens has caused new states to join. He said insiders closely monitor progress in prospective new member states and expect three more members to join, bringing the total to 22 member-states this year. Minnesota is a prospective member.
“We were at four states when I started seven years ago,” Davidson said. “We’re gaining ground. This process will work.”
The rotunda was filled with citizens, activists, and legislators. Both Davidson, and later Meckler, noted the urgency of taking action now to protect America’s Constitution and traditional values. Both drew parallels between eight patriotic Minutemen who died on Lexington Green fighting the British Red Coats and citizen patriots of today who stand up for freedom.
“They stood that day on Lexington Green for the same things we are gathered here today — freedom, our unalienable rights, like liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and to be governed by the consent of the governed,” Davidson said. “We are here today to encourage our state legislators to join 19 other states that have already passed the Convention of States resolution.”
Meckler’s comments often drew the audience to their feet with thunderous applause in the echoing chambers of the Minnesota State Capitol. Attendees recorded videos and shot photographs throughout the rally. He began by asking the audience to consider why America is dedicated to self-governance.
“As you travel around the world, you will understand that this is a very different place …there is no other culture like the culture of self-governing,” he said. Then Meckler related the story of a revolutionary soldier named Levi Preston, an ordinary citizen who farmed his land. Preston was the sole survivor of The Battle of Concord, where private civilian Minutemen faced off against the British army regulars.
Preston in old age was the only remaining keeper of the history of the battle, Meckler recounted. A young historian came to interview Preston, asking why he, a farmer, and his civilian peers had stepped up to challenge the Red Coats. Was it the Stamp Act that imposed strict taxation on the colonies? No, replied Preston. Was it the tax on tea imposed by Britain, or anger over the tyranny of King George III? No. Was it the writings of famous authors on the principles of liberty? No, replied Preston.
The Minutemen were plainly out-manned and out-gunned. So why did Levi Preston and his mates decide to fight “the greatest fighting force in history, the best-fed, the most well-trained, the most well-paid?” asked Meckler.
“Son, when we went out to face them Red Coats we meant only one thing. We had always governed ourselves and always intended to. Them Red Coats intended that we wouldn’t,” Preston told his historian-interviewer.
“Self-governance means you’re not the boss of me, in kid parlance,” said Meckler. “It means you can’t tell me what to do. It means I’ll make decisions about my own health care. I’ll make decisions about wearing a mask. I’m going to make decisions about getting vaccinated. I’m going to make decisions about what kind of car I drive.”
“You know what I want from the federal government?” Meckler asked his audience. “Not a damn thing! That’s the starting point for being a sovereign citizen in these United States.”
“We aren’t going to hold a convention so that we can hope they give us some of our power back. The rights that we have were not granted by the Constitution” or any other government document, he said.
”Those rights belong to you because they were given to us by our Lord and Savior, and that’s the end of the story,” he exclaimed to vigorous applause that filled the rotunda.
“When we’re willing to give up our rights, when we do so quietly, when we are subservient to the federal government, when we let administrators tell us what to do, we dishonor God, we dishonor our heritage. We dishonor all of those who gave all to get these rights, and that will not happen on our watch,” Meckler said. “We will stand, and we will fight, and we will never give up!”
President Ronald Reagan once corrected commentators who claimed that we live in a time when there are no heroes left in America, Meckler said. Regan’s response? “They didn’t know where to look. Everyday Americans who are willing to fight to keep America are the real heroes.”
“We live in a country filled with extraordinary people. That’s why I have hope. We’re gonna fight and never give up. In this (Minnesota) Legislature we’re going to pass the Convention of States resolution. Are you guys with me, are we gonna do this?” Meckler asked to a standing ovation.
Meckler closed his talk by referring to a similar point in history when America faced perilous straits.
“The Founders said something when they signed the Declaration of Independence. They pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Their pledge was not made to a country, a flag, or a general. The pledge of lives, fortunes and sacred honor were made to each other,” Meckler said.
“I pledge my life, my fortune and my sacred honor to you, and you, and you,” he told his audience.