Monday, February 6, 2017

Is it time for a new Constitution?

Before I really start, to counter anyone saying that I’m anti-American because I ask if we should change our Constitution, we’ve done it before.  Our Revolutionary War ended in 1783 securing our independence, and our current Constitution took effect in 1789.   Was this a lawless land in between?  No.  We had the Articles of Confederation.  They were the first draft of government and they were revised and replaced by a second draft.  All I’m asking is it time for a third?


Several years ago as a bit of a project for a scifi story I was working on, I started updating the Constitution.  By updating I mean taking various amendments on who can vote and Presidential succession and just working them into the main body of the Constitution.  Other changes were completely scrapping the Electoral College and clarifying some things like in the First Amendment.  (Some people argue that a comma was added or dropped – I forget which right now – which gives a different reading, usually more favorable to whatever position they already have.)

It was a fun way to kill an afternoon, but in the last few years I’ve started thinking about it more and more.  Largely because in the last few years I’ve seen more and more people who love the Constitution but seem to hate the government based on that Constitution.  They’ll say that the current government has overstepped its bound and conducts un-Constitutional actions, even if the Supreme Court – which the Constitution says are the ones who determine what is and isn’t Constitutional – says otherwise.  

Is our current government perfect?  Fuck no.  Could it be better?  One would hope.  How sad would it be if this were the pinnacle of political achievement?  At what point are fixes no longer possible from within the system, and we need to start over?  Before anyone dismisses me as a raving fanatic, the Founding Fathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence “…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government ….” Of course in the next sentence they also said, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes ….”

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