I think the Founding Fathers of this country and the Framers of the Consititution are some of the best, brightest and bravest people this country has ever known. Thomas Jefferson stands by himself. Ben Franklin is one of my heroes. They were all visionaries, but even the best and brightest can't see 240ish years into the future. There's no way the Framers could foresee all the technological and sociological changes we've gone through in the past 2+ centuries. Many of the tenents written into our Constitution are evergreen and will never stale. Much like the commandments in the Bible.....thou shalt not steal or kill are pretty universally accepted, even today. But, when someone dares to suggest that changes should be made to that document, watch out.
Former Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens, just released his second book and outlines 6 things he'd like to see changed in the Consititution. Two of them have to do with the 2nd amendment, one about abolishing the death penalty and another couple about campiagn finance. Granted, Stevens was on the Liberal side of the bench, so the subject matter of what he wanted to change would be unpalatable for Conservatives anyway...but I'm not looking his his specific changes...I'm just looking at the prospect of change in general. I don't think he wants to take out a bottle of white-out (remember how indispensible that stuff used to be?) and do away with big parts of the Constitution, but rather making some amendments to it. You know, there are 27 amendments already....17 if you don't count the Bill of Rights. That means there have been 17 times when the country thought the Framers either did something wrong with the original document, or ommitted something that became important at a later date. It wasn't important for women to have the right to vote in 1787, but it was later. It wasn't necessary to address slavery 240 years ago.....less than 100 years later, it was. Changing the Consitution has been done to make it, and our country, better and stronger...not to weaken it.
Now, lest you think I'm of the opinion that the Constitution should be trampled on....no. Actually, I think the talk of adding amendments like making same-sex marriage illegal, is actually pretty frivolous and cheapens a great document. And now that I think about it, the same people that want to add such an amendment are the same ones who bristle when you call the Constitution a 'living, breathing' document, that should change with the times. It's been living and breathing and changing with the times since 1787.....why should it be any different today?
Return to: Dave's Blog Blog