A journey that began on a summery day in June 2016 culminates on this wintery day in January 2017...I'm wrapping up my final review of Eric Metaxas' wonderful and timely book, If You Can Keep It. Last summer I joined his booklaunch team. I have enthusiastically and passionately blogged about it extensively (and some of those posts have hit my all time top 10 blog-posts-that-have-been-read list). Yet I have had one final post left in reserve saved in my draft folder...because I have an action point in mind that is not in the book and I've struggled with how to say something.
When I first saw Metaxas' announcement about If You Can Keep It, I enthusiastically put it on my "to read" list. Then I was even more excited to be accepted to the booklaunch team...because I'd then get to have more opportunity to talk about something that has been important to me for years. My goal as a teacher my entire life has been, to the best of my ability, to incorporate an "if you can keep it" mindset as much as possible into all of my teaching. I've started out with the little that I know and keep adding as I go. I knew this would be a great resource (and I was right).
The book finally arrived! I enthusiastically read it, page after page! Incredible human interest stories and history of our Founding Fathers...all information sadly being left out more and more from public school curriculum, colleges and the national discussion.
However, one thing, one, saddened me about the book. This is why this post has been merely a draft for 7 months. Although there were some great ideas of personal things we can do to become more aware of what our country is about, I didn't think it contained viable action points on how we are to keep our republic.
Now I feel awful for having said that because I am such a huge fan of Metaxas (and am totally thrilled that I got to meet him last summer). Now let me repeat myself as I try to explain a possibility as to why no viable action point is given: viable action points are "sadly being left out more and more from public school curriculum, colleges and the national discussion." In short, how are we to know unless we hear?
I have to admit, if one asked me a few years ago for an action point I'd have merely suggested keeping in contact with your elected officials and studying your history. After my college years I got very busy with constantly writing my elected officials, holding each one to task, no matter which party they came from, whether I voted for them or not. I kept contacting them. After all, what more could I possibly do?
Then, in 2014, I learned about another way, a more viable way of keeping the republic as our Founders intended. I attended a debate between Michael Farris (Constitutional Attorney who has successfully argued before the Supreme Court fresh out of law school) and Delegate Bob Marshall on an Article V Convention of States. (Farris took the position of supporting a Convention of States. You can read more of my experience and find a link to the debate at the above link.)
I became a Convention of States volunteer because I first heard about this MOST viable option of keeping our republic from Michael Farris, whom I've followed for over 20 years. Yet, even though I had first heard of it in 2014, I did not become a volunteer until 2016. I greatly regret I did not get on the bandwagon sooner. I confess that I have been pretty much beating myself up for not joining the cause sooner. What was wrong with me? How did I not hear? Why did I not take action? So I'm really not criticizing Metaxas at all.
What I am saying is this. The Convention of States Project is unique. Even though we have a history of conventions in America (I recently was asked by my NoVA COS leadership to give a speech about that to our local state representatives a few weeks ago. This COS project is unique in part because of the grassroots effort.
Most of us in the grassroots effort are volunteers. We lead busy lives by day yet fit in the duties to keep our republic by sharing COS news to all we can personally reach in any moment that we can find. Even so, after two years...it has not gained as much public attention as one might hope. Even the incredible Eric Metaxas hadn't heard of it until September 2016 when he met Jenna Ellis (whom I met in Feb 2016 and Oct 2016) who informed him about the Convention of States. She seized the moment and he was like, "Wow!" Metaxas was so amazed, that the next week he had Ellis on his radio program to talk about Convention of States to share with his own circle of influence!!!! That is what grassroots is all about!!!
You can listen to the interview here where Jenna Ellis describes more about makes our COS project unique, namely she details the application process.
Even though I *think* I said something about COS somewhere on Metaxas' social media, I don't remember for sure, because I've been trying to wrap my head around all the details myself. Also, I am rather fearful of initiating. So finally...this post. You see, I may be a volunteer, but I have had missed opportunities. (Yet I refuse to quit. I keep trying to push myself. After all, I've met great people through this and the process of sharing has been fun! Probably because I love to teach and this is important stuff!)
So, I am offering a challenge to myself to become ever more verbal about the Convention of States Project.
Furthermore, I am hoping that the editors of Metaxas' If You Can Keep It will add a follow-up chapter exclusively about the Convention of States. I'd love to read Metaxas' style in this. He was a literary guy in college. He loves his country passionately. All of that is evident in his book. His writing style is incredibly informative, heart-warming, engaging...it's great! I highly, to this day, recommend reading If You Can Keep It. It was purposely written in such a way as to be easily absorbed on the weekend. Nothing heavy. Just great patriotism and what our country is all about. It's written for the layman and laywoman. It's non-partisan. For as much as I already knew, I learned more and it gave me more to ponder about application points in my own life.
Meanwhile, the addendum to his book is in this link, the interview between Jenna Ellis and Eric Metaxas on how the Founders intended Americans to keep our republic...through an Article V Convention of States!
ps In June 2016 I became Grassroots Coordinator of Northern Virginia Central. There are teams all across America. Come join us in Keeping a Republic! Our Republic...that our Framers so wisely gave us. Yet if we don't keep it, we'll lose it!