Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Give Up The Constitution? Are You Crazy?

As the pork laden Fiscal Cliff fiasco continues onward coupled with the President's desire to destroy the Republicans and punish the rich for no reason other than his own the thought of giving up the Constitution chills my blood.

Louis Michael Seidman, A professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University,  writes in The New York Times that our insistence on adhering to it is really to blame for our dysfunctional government.

It's true that it has been abused almost from it's inception right up to the present day.  It's true that many of it's provisions may seem unimportant though they were included with purpose.  To maintain a balance between the branches of government and to provide order.

I don't think it's the document that's the problem at all.  It's what we've done to it.  It's true too that many arguments base their arguments on their constitutionality when the constitution doesn't even apply.

It represents something we don't much like any more.  Structure.  Guidelines. A statement of vision. And much like the Bible or holy book of any religion, it's ripe for misinterpretation and abuse.  It's the fault of 'we the people', not the document.

Just look at our representatives now.  Many are in office thanks to the gerrymandering of districts making fair and equal elections impossible.  'We the people' allowed that.  The parties have become become such ideologues that comprehensive debate is impossible.  'We the people' allow that too.  Can you imagine what we'd have without some sort of structure no matter how tattered it may be?

Should we pick and choose that which we like and eliminate the rest?  I'd say that would be an impossible task.  We're too polarized as a people for starters.  There is a process available.  Amending it.  But amending doesn't equate with eliminating.

I cringe when I think what politicians would do if allowed to run totally amok. We're too close for comfort as is with a President who has no patience with negotiation.  Somewhere along the way he's come to think he knows what's best for us.  He lectures us.  He demeans us if we don't agree with him.  He punishes those who aren't like him, who don't fit his image of who and what we should be. And he uses his 'privilege' to get his way.

If we sacrifice our Constitution or denigrate it, such politicians will find it far more easy to achieve their goals.

President Obama is not the first President to test our trust in the Constitution, not by a long shot.  Bush did a good job of it to be sure and many others before these contemporaries of ours.

What we could use is a refresher course.  Not taught by some professor who has his own interpretation, but rather by picking up a copy along with the bill of rights and giving each a good read.

Then we should create a test, put together by 'we the people' to be given to every aspiring office holder, elected or appointed, to see if they get the gist of it.

It's past time for all sorts of change in the way our government does business.  It doesn't look promising for any time soon.  But leave the Constitution be.  It's really all we have to remind us who we are and why we exist.  If we lose that we will truly be lost.


Word Tosser said...

the sad thing is... "we the people" lost control of Congress a long time ago.. I can't find anyone who can tell me where we the people let Congress vote in their own wages, raises, and etc. Anything we the people want has to be voted on by Congress.. like term limits... can't be changed unless Congress votes for it..and who is going to vote themselves out of the job? Congress was never meant to be a career.. yet it is. We can vote for whom we want for our stste.. but we are at the mercy of those who vote in their states... meaning we are stuck with the likes of the California misfits and Neveda's Reid.. and etc. We lost control so long ago. I knew they would never pass a tax on those of the $250,000 because that is the wages of Congressmen.. and they sure aren't going to vote for a raise in taxes on their wages. Why is it the cuts are Medicare, education and military, but never Congress? sad..sad in deed.

Margie's Musings said...

It would help a lot if the average citizen would actually READ the constitution and the bill of rights.

It doesn't say what the pundits say it says. The problem is too many citizens actually believe what the pundits say instead of reading it for themselves.

Does any modern person actually think we NEED a militia? We have a standing army and a police force in today's world.

Mari Meehan said...

Actually Congressmen make $174,000 a year. You have to be Speaker or equivalent to hit the threshhold.

Obama was going to raise their salaries to $174,900 by executive order but they had the good sense to say no. If only they could extend that good sense to other areas!