Is It Time for a New Constitutional Convention?

People, and I mean “We the People,” we need to take charge of our country again!  The current government is not working for us anymore.  The nation’s politics have become bogged down into a hyperpolarized, vapor locked, and ineffective stalemate.   Big Business and the very rich have special regulations and tax laws that are designed to help them keep their advantage, but work against the welfare of the average working Joe or Jill.  The middle class is being ground out of existence.  The economy is in shambles and the future isn’t looking so bright.  It is time to change the rules!

The Constitution of the United States is outmoded and out-of-date.  When the Constitution was drafted two centuries ago, many things that are common today were then not even dreamed of.  We live in a world completely removed from the lives of the Founding Fathers.

We live in a world interconnected by telephones, television, the internet, smart phones, computers and PDAs.  We have genetic engineering, space stations, nuclear weapons and nuclear power, and transcontinental jets.  We live in a world reinvented by our technology.

So why are we still using the rules that the founding fathers established so long ago?  The Constitution was not handed down by a divine, all knowing, all powerful, supreme being.  It is not the embodiment of timeless truths.  The Constitution of the United States is not Holy Writ.  It was written by the hand of man.

If the Constitution was written by men, it was written by imperfect beings.  If it was written by imperfect beings, then how likely is it to be any more perfect than the beings who wrote it?  If you work with imperfection, it is wise to check often to verify that things are functioning adequately.

It is obvious that the country is not working well now.  In fact, it appears that the whole world is not working very well.  Global warming, overpopulation, oil depletion, water depletion, starvation, plague, economic collapse, war, terrorism, etc., disaster is the ultimate outcome if we continue down the same path we are following now.  Maybe it is time to make some major changes if we are going to avoid impending doom.

Men, and they were all male, wrote the Constitution.  The words that they put down on parchment were chosen as a result of centuries of the abuse of power by monarch after monarch in the lands of our forefathers.   They left those lands and  chose a system of government that would curb abuses of power that they and their forefathers and foremothers had endured for generations.  And our founding fathers did a pretty good job of dealing with past abuses of government.  But they had no way to anticipate that the future would bring new and undreamed of changes and challenges.

No, the Constitution  is not a religious document.  The brave and brilliant group of men who wrote it drew upon generations of experience and pain to bring about a new way to organize government.  They wanted new system to provide for a system of government that provides the functions that a government should provide, but one that would not oppress the people who are subject to that government.

The Constitution of the United States of America was not the first plan that the Founding Fathers tried.  It was the second.  When they realized that their first attempt, The Articles of Confederation, were not working, they scrapped it and tried again.  The Constitution of the United States was not adopted and put into effect until 1789, twenty-two years after the Declaration of Independence and the adoption of the Articles of Confederation in 1777.  The United States was a sovereign country long before the Constitution of the the United States was written.  It will still be a sovereign country after the Constitution is replaced by a better document.

We need government.  There are roles and responsibilities that can not be performed by private citizens or by business and the open market.  The Federal government is supposed to keep us safe from foreign enemies.  Most of us believe that the government has a role to help the sick, the handicapped, and the mentally ill.  We believe that the government should provide checks and balances on Big Business to make businesses play fair with us, in both of our roles as consumers and as their employees.  The government should prevent the despoliation of the land and waterways by bad or selfish businesses practices.  And above all, the government should make sure that there is a level playing field so that, if we have inside ourselves what it takes, we can all achieve our dreams and goals.

We need a government, but we need a government that we control.  That isn’t the case today.  Businesses, the very rich, and special interests get their interests taken care of, mainly because they have money to pay for privileged access at all levels of government. Have you ever tried to make an appointment to talk with your Senator and even your local member of the House of Representatives?  It isn’t going to happen, is it?

I say “let’s change the rules!”  I call for a new Constitution for a new age.  Let’s call for a constitutional convention to draw up a new constitution for the Twenty-First century.  The world is going to Hell. Let’s take a crack at trying to fix it.

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The 2010 Mid-Term Elections

I can’t believe that just two years after electing a Democrat President that we as a nation are preparing to turn control of Congress back to the very same party that served us so poorly.  The Republican party has done nothing but oppose every initiative put forth by the Obama Administration.

The prior Administration of George W. Bush had eight solid years to screw up the economy, neglect energy policy, and ignore global warming.  America isn’t willing to give the Democratic Party even two years?  President Obama couldn’t even hope to begin to repair the damage in two years.

How can he do anything at all without control of Congress?  If we elect a Republican majority to Congress, President Obama will be totally blocked by Republicans.  In 2012 the Republicans will campaign against President Obama, claiming that the Democrats have been ineffective.

And they will be correct, but only because of Republican obstructionism.  Of course they won’t mention that part of the equation.  I fear for the nation.

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