T Nation

Everything Must Go


#1

So, I've been thinking about this general topic for a while now. I think that the way this country is run, organized, divided up into states and all that shit needs to be completely redone. Everything right up to and including tearing up the Constitution and writing a new one. There is very, very little that we do today that we have done the same basic way for 250 years and is as integral to the way our lives unfold as the system of gov't with which we live.

For instance, what the hell is with the way states are organized and divided up? Why should they be along some 18th century, geographical boundary anymore? How about belonging to the same state of MIND instead of the same geographical area? How about more states in general, like 150 instead of just 50? California alone should be broken into several states, as should NY and Texas.

I understand the whole concept behind checking the power of the majority with the Senate and the House. But I think things are way too far out of balance in that respect now. It is totally out of whack when some shithole, outback state like Alaska has the same amount of Senators as a state like Texas or California. I'm not saying that we should have 100 Senators and Alaska gets one, but perhaps Alaska gets one and states that are huge like Texas and California get a dozen. It would still maintain the basic system where the Senate can "check" the potential tyranny of the majority in the House.

I also think there is absolutely no reason why we can't rewrite the Constitution in more modern terms. It's an outdated document, period. The values that the Constitution promotes and the idea of protecting basic, inalienable human rights is NEVER outdated, but the method of protecting such things CAN become outdated and I think our current Constitution is one such thing. I don't think it is a perfect document by any means, and it never was. At best, it represents the culmination of a series of compromises between two basic factions within our Founding Fathers, and I don't think that any of them were 100% satisfied with the result in and of itself. I think it was the best that they could come up with given the times and the circumstances, but I don't think that any of the Founding Fathers would agree that it was a perfect document in an absolute sense. That will never be achieved, but I certainly think that the best and brightest minds in this country today are more capable of coming up with a more appropriate document for current society than the Founding Fathers were. They did an incredible job under circumstances far more difficult and with much more uncertainty than anything we would face today if we were to rewrite the Constitution, but the fact is that the country is a much different place now than it was then. If a piece of paper is going to be what ultimately lays out how my inalienable rights are going to be protected, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that document to be written by people living in the times that I live in or by people who lived in times much more comparable to the ones I live in.

The Constitution originally didn't even contain a Bill of Rights, since enumerating rights back then were seen as something necessary only within a gov't like a monarchy where the monarch's rights and the people's rights were inherently different. Enumerating the rights were basically a way of laying out for a monarch too ignorant of or totally unable to comprehend the idea of the people having rights in the first place. The thinking was that in a republic the people all would have such virtue that a Bill of Rights was unnecessary or redundant. It was added to our own Constitution as the result of a compromise between Madison and the anti-Federalists who worried that a strong central gov't would eventually need to be "reminded" of the rights that the people and the individual states had. That's a pretty big change/addition to the Constitution. I don't see why we can't continue to make wholesale changes, including tearing it up and starting over. Obviously, many of the same, integral parts of the original Constitution would find their way into the new one, but some of the bullshit, fluff and/or ambiguity could be removed.

What do you guys think? Should we tear it up and start over? Should our system of representation change? What other fundamental changes to the way this country runs should we make?


#2

No, No, and No.....outdated my ass, sure things change, but I'm more for the tweaking like it's been done in the past,
but you're talking about a fucking OVERHAUL...That's something you do your Car, not the Country.


#3

To the contrary, tweaking a dying vehicle to get a few more clicks out of it is one thing, but doing the same with a nation eventually makes it's structure schizophrenic. Let's not forget, Thomas Jefferson believed the Constitution should be rewritten every 19 years.

If all you do is tweak the system and call it a day, you eventually end up with a government composed of a plethora of half-finished visions. The US is no longer a nation-state. There's no unifying factor to this country. Think about it, there's no unifying blood, no unifying religion, not even a fucking unifying language. So, surprise surprise, there's no unifying ideology. Everyone agrees that the constitution is great, expect none of us agree on what any of it means!

Obamacare passed on a split decision (5-4). It was a complete partisan vote, save for one guy. This was the supreme court, and they don't even have a unifying vision of what is and is not constitutional. What hope is there for anyone else?

Personally, I say break it up. We're beyond a patch-job, and no group is willing to knuckle under the vision of any other group for the sake of a unified state at this point. Everyone is at each other's throats, and no-one is getting what they want.

More compromising won't cut it. We need an overhaul. It's going to happen one way or another, the only difference is if we plan for it and make as smooth a transition as possible, or if we wait for this rollercoaster to de-rail into the pavement and pull out what's left from the wreckage.


#4

I believe there is actually a legal process to do this - it's called a constitutional convention (I think)

If I remember correctly you need enough states to call for it, and then it starts. .. but once they call for it, they can't revoke it.

I think it's kind of close if I remember this right, but feel like I'm typing fiction.

Anyways I don't think we're ready yet. This might actually be the way to go eventually, but I don't think yet. People are still more interested in arguing about BS than actually coming together - which this would require.

For example I disagree with much if not most of what you said, but there's not much point in arguing it if I agree with the basic idea. I do agree, not because the constitution is old or needs updating, but I think it's just necessary for society to rethink it and re-accept it basically. The ideas embedded in this country's founding are pretty extreme and people have forgotten or just never understood

I could imagine this being successful in as short as 5 to 15 years if enough bullshit can piss us off soon enough, but that's probably way to optomistic. But yea, SOME sort of 'reset'


#5

This may be one of the most insightful series of words ever transcribed in PWI. The petty bickering and general lack of respect for anyone else's opinion that is obvious here is exactly why we could not achieve this without force. We are a nation of useful idiots, somehow distracting ourselves from the big picture.


#6

I don't know about this whole ready thing. It's kind of a like a drug addict saying he's not quite ready to stop shooting smack into his big toe. At some point you force yourself to take on whatever changes need to happen, even if you aren't ready. You just keep trying until you are ready. We declared our independence in 1776, won it in 1783, finally had a Constitution written and then ratified by 1789. It took 13 years to get from Point A to Point B but we made it. It might take that long or longer for us to redo things and it won't be easy, but if we wait until it IS easy we'll be waiting forever.


#7

They don't follow it now, so what assurances would we have that they'll follow it if it's rewritten?

GIven the current state of the union, can you IMAGINE how fucked up it would be? We'd all be getting tracking implants "for our own protection".

Leave it alone. The opportunity to rewrite it will come soon enough when the rotting husk of the current empire collapses upon itself.

The only changes I would make now would be to set term limits, like the presidency. For congress and the judicial branch. I think that would eliminate much of the problems.


#8

I'd say we should scrap about ninety percent of the United States Code before we start fucking with the Constitution.

The Constitution limits the power of the Federal Government, while the U.S.C. steadily increases it.


#9

In addition to campaign finance limits, and the length of time the campaigns actually last, and I am all for it...


#10

Empire?! Haven't you heard, AC? The United States of America is the only global superpower in the history of the world to attain a military presence on every continent, command of the seas and sky, and corporate colonies in almost every country on earth, WITHOUT actually becoming an empire. At least, that's what people on this forum keep telling me.

No, I agree. The Empire will eventually collapse from within, probably from the weight of its own bloated bureaucracy, or will tear itself apart in racial/cultural civil war, and then we'll just start over.


#11

I think a major change we could enact would be a return to some of Madison's feelings on the idea of a politician and who they should be. Madison and the other FFs were extremely wary of men who were not independently wealthy and did not have a "liberal education" but wanted to hold office. The thinking was that someone who did not have to work and was educated was in a better position to have the leisure time to think about these huge concepts contained within the Constitution. They feared that men who still needed money or who were greedy would use their positions to further their own causes. If men of leisure were the only politicians then there would be no ulterior motives at play.

I think what we could do is create some specific rules addressing this. We don't have to necessarily have some sort of wealth threshold, but perhaps there could be a rule stating that politicians must abandon all investments made prior to their running for office and bar them from future investments so that they cannot simply return upon leaving politics to an environment ripe for certain investments due strictly to their own meddling/preparations while they were in office. A forced retirement from money-making, so to speak.

This could be problematic and there may be other, better ways to accomplish the end goal, but the end goal is to ensure that men with the proper, selfless motivations needed to govern objectively are running for office. If there is no monetary motivation then the idea is that only "proper" motivations would be left.


#12

Also, if we really are a nation of idiots, then why even care what happens? Do idiots deserve what they get? Should we do anything to save idiots from themselves? I don't think so. We can save ourselves, though. To borrow from someone's car analogy, why bother making ANY repairs to your car if you can't even drive in the first place?


#13

So you're saying we should get rid of a constitutional republic and replace it with mob rule. Nah, I'll pass. CA sends enough morons like Pelosi to Congress as it is. Can't imagine the train wreck Congress would be with more Pelosi's and Weiner's in it. They should set term and campaign spending limits though.


#14

I stopped here. Sorry, that's just dumb. You're not going to get perfect government no matter how many times you 'start over'. Starting over means blood, means war, means chaos. Without a strong federal, that's what you will have. If you are seeking a do-over, you destroy the structure that is in place you will have chaos because without the rule of law, all kinds of nuts will come out of the woodwork.

There is no way to peacefully transform a government like that. Peaceful transitions only happen after a defeat in a war. Fuck that. Our government, despite all the idiots in it, actually runs really well for the most part.
I have been around the world and there is no place I would rather live than here, under the government that was founded by collection of geniuses the world will not soon see again in such concentration.


#15

It's less like a drug addict and more like carrying debt and/or diabetes. The stuff we do as a nation (spending money, building schools and hospitals, overthrowing dictators, jailing criminals) isn't usually inherently bad, it just has bad consequences that we don't foresee or actively ignore and the disordered and schizophrenic way we approach it. I would also posit that, there are parties, within the government who cling to the Constitution as it exists and seek to stop many government actions, cold turkey. They are often rebuffed with the notion that there is no means to stop cold turkey or that there is little payoff and lots of harm to stopping immediately.

Tearing up the Constitution won't do any good anyway. We'll have a legion of constitutional lawyers and lobbyists there to help us rewrite it and end up, at best, back where we started (see Egypt). Even if we ban or ignore the lawyers and lobbyists, we end up with a constitution written by the blogosphere. We'll give up our schizophrenia, bad credit, and gluttony for dementia, technophilia, and hypersocialism (the latter two of which will be obsolete or irrelevant 20 yrs. from now).

I'm with Varq, enforcement of USC should be reduced to largely personal decision and responsibility of the bureaucrat involved; or at least applied in a dramatically less or non-bureaucratic fashion. When the Constitution was written, life was valuable, time was abundant, and resources were scarce, I agree that it is an anachronism in an era where resources are valuable, time is scarce, and life is abundant. I don't believe the Constitution or the Bill of Rights (or their creators) to be at fault or holding the wrong priorities.


#16

Who would write this new constitution? Hopefully not the folks that wrote Obamacare...

I'd like to know what's in it before it's the law of the land.


#17

Hey Coop, did you see that a county up by you voted to secede from Cali, due to massive taxation, regulation, and lack of representation ?


#18

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#19

I think he forgot about the legendary shit-talking he gave when his boy won the election. Only now to have put his foot so far in his mouth, he can floss with his shoelaces.


#20

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