http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-super-constitutional-convention-balanced-budget-amendment-20160706-snap-story.htmlA Brexit-scale event could happen here. Indeed, right now a quiet campaign to call a new constitutional convention — with the ostensible purpose of proposing a balanced-budget amendment — is gathering momentum in the United States.

...this would risk grave damage to the global economy. It would also drastically reduce America’s standing in world affairs — far more than handing the presidency to an incoherent, shop-worn reality TV star....

...The effort is spearheaded by a hodgepodge of right-wing advocacy groups, among them the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, Citizens for Self-Governance and the American Legislative Exchange Council, the latter being the corporate-funded group that gave us “stand your ground” gun laws....

...Even if a balanced-budget amendment were the only item on a convention’s agenda, that would be a disaster. Locking the world’s largest economy into a fiscal straightjacket would preclude any effective response to economic recession, forcing deep cuts in unemployment benefits and other aid at the very moment they are most needed....

...The bigger threat is that a constitutional convention, once unleashed on the nation, would be free to rewrite or scrap any parts of the U.S. Constitution. Do we really want to open up our nation’s core defining values to debate at a time when a serious candidate for the White House brags about his enthusiasm for torture and the surveillance state, wants to "open up" reporters to lawsuits, scoffs at the separation of powers and holds ideas about freedom of religion that are selective at best?

...Depressingly, some progressives who ought to know better are going along with the constitutional convention idea in the far-fetched hope that an amendment might emerge to reverse the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that gutted campaign finance laws.

As the November election approaches, liberals and conservatives alike will bombard voters with declarations of love for the Constitution. A good way to demonstrate that love would be to take a stand against this dangerous adventure. All candidates for Congress should be pressed for their stance on a constitutional convention....