"With me everything turns into mathematics."
"It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well."
"It is truth very certain that, when it is not in one's power to determine what is true, we ought to follow what is more probable." -- Rene Descartes
You can change the document all you want, but changes that digress from this centuries old struggle as well as the political historical constants evident in every previous system in every age, is a path to the very tyranny that it is designed to protect us from.
The founding documents were as much a statement about the historical character of man as it is protections against tyranny and protection of rights. In order to unite the colonies into a cohesive body capable of fighting together for a common cause, for the greater good, there were some frailties of man that would not be able to be addressed at that very crucial time, such as slavery, voting rights, etc. These issues had to be left out in order to form the union, as not everyone involved was a student of history, men's character or the Age of Reason... and they were left to future generations to educate the population and eradicate these evils to freedom and liberty.
Changing the constitution for any other reason is weakening it, not strengthening it.
If you accept that the constitution was and is a work in progress, part of a well defined process then one must look at the entire context of the document. The first founding document was the Declaration of Independence, which lays the groundwork and builds the framework around which all other documents are drafted.
The Virginia Declaration of Rights was also written in 1776, though prior to the Declaration of Independence. This work would be heavily influential in every debate to follow, and it's influence can be seen first in the DOI.
The political thought and desire for freedom did not spring into existence between 1776 and 1787... in an unbroken line it extends back to June 15th, 1215... nearly 800 years ago with the signing of the Magna Carta.
To make sense of the constitution, to know it's clarity, there is no shortcut... not only must the thoughts and opinions of those that penned and debated these issues be known, but the school(s) of thought they studied and drew upon. And that my friends, draws back into the whole of human history and the many forms of tyranny man's weaknesses inevitably lead him to.
The constitution is sacrosanct, changes made to it were only meant to close the holes necessitated by compromise to form the union at all. They are NOT open to future interpretation... it is the PAST that must be understood and jealously guarded against.
Personally, I believe that the Constitution was NOT intended to be anywhere near as much of a "living" document as it is now seen. However, I would suggest that it does need to be slightly maleable in that the individuals who wrote it were somewhat naive in believing that they didn't have to include the Duties and Responsibilities of the Citizenry as much as the Rights and Priviliges thereof. It is unfortunate, but we need to go back and put in those things the Founders left out in order to correct a large number of our social and societal issues.
Last edited by jamesrage; 08-20-11 at 07:58 AM.
"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"
Cicero Marcus Tullius
The First Amendment would be a solid foundation, but you have to build out from what it says. It doesn't say "internet" or "cell phone" anywhere. If you don't change the interpretation to apply to new technologies and ideas, then it doesn't really apply anymore.
That said, I said yes. The ideas behind the founding of the Constitution put in place everything Americans profess to believe in. If you don't interpret the words themselves to apply to our current society, then it's just a philosophical document from 18th Century gentlemen farmers.
If it's not a living document then it sure as hell is confusing and muddled - for it to be set it stone it needs to be more precise and specific, not wishy washy and permissible to alter and add onto.
The Code of Hamurabi makes more sense sometimes. It's unfaltering, chisseled, specific and precise. No muddled meanings, multiple interpretations. "Do this, don't do that" . . .there - no questions asked.
Obviously the founders didn't hve much concern over this because they intentionally left things open to interpretation - that's supposed to be the beauty of it.
A screaming comes across the sky.
It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow