The following was written by Ryan Meilstrup, the Coordinator for Young Americans for Convention of States.
Recently I had the honor to represent COS at the first ever RNC Conservative Youth Summit at the Republican National Headquarters in Washington D.C. As I flew into Reagan National Airport, I scanned the horizon of our nation’s capital. What I saw dumbfounded me. The city skyline was dotted with construction cranes. You would expect to see that level of construction in cities with growing economies that produce goods and services that we desire as consumers. But D.C. doesn’t produce goods and services; they produce rules and regulations that stifle the creation of new and better goods and services.
I shared this observation with the over 20 young conservative leaders in attendance at the summit, and how a Convention of States could help remedy this situation by limiting the power of the federal government to spend and grow. Those of us who were in attendance stand to suffer the consequences of the debt and burdensome rules and regulations imposed on us by those occupying positions of power in Washington D.C. It is our future prosperity and liberties that are being jeopardized by those elected and un-elected government employees that occupy the “swamp.” This message resonated with those in attendance. Those I talked to at the meeting were very enthusiastic about COS. They were excited by the prospects of being the generation that could make history by calling the first ever Article V Convention of States to reign in the power of the federal government and to restore the principles on which America was founded.
The summit was a round table style meeting in which leaders from groups such as College Republicans, Young Republicans, YAF, YAL, Turning Point USA, and many others were represented. The meeting featured presentations from: Brad Parscale and John Pence (President Trump’s Campaign and Deputy Campaign Manager), Kayleigh McNany (RNC Spoksewoman), and Mitch Frekleton (RNC Director of Youth Engagement).
Following the presentations those in attendance discussed ideas to grow the conservative youth movement throughout the nation. It was agreed by those in attendance that a continuing relationship amongst the organizations in attendance was necessary for this future growth. Regular communications amongst the groups was agreed upon, as well as plans for similar Youth Summits in the future. This presents COS with an unprecedented opportunity to partner with other youth organizations to grow our movement and attain our goal of calling a Convention of States. It was very encouraging to see that there are young leaders in this country dedicated to working with each other to restore our founding principles and to preserve the blessings of liberty for our generation and those unborn.After the meeting I walked down the National Mall to the National Archives. I viewed the original copies of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Upon viewing the documents, I was overwhelmed with a sense of obligation to the men who wrote those documents. In that moment I realized that the words written in beautiful handwriting had no meaning unless we hold those in power accountable to abide by the original intent of those words.
The words of Article V jumped up from the old parchment. The founders in their wisdom left us Article V as a tool to restore the original meaning of the Constitution, knowing full well that human nature would likely cause those in power to take more power for themselves at the expense of “We the People.”
I ended the night by visiting the memorial dedicated to the man responsible for Article V: George Mason. The monument sits in a small cove in the shadows of the Jefferson Memorial. Sadly, I was the only person who was viewing the memorial. A plaque in the front of the memorial referred to Mason as the “Forgotten Founder.” It is a shame that many Americans today are unfamiliar with the man who was responsible for including Article V in the Constitution — the key to unlocking many of the problems our nation face today.
This meeting of young leaders was a step in the right direction, and hopefully the beginning of a great restoration of our values. It falls upon those of us in the younger generation to teach our fellow countrymen about the Founders and Article V. It is our responsibility to use that key to save our nation. If we don’t, we will be locking ourselves in a prison of own making and will be throwing away the key.