I Don’t Care What the Constitution Says

Today, in a truly absurd stunt, the new Congress wasted over an hour reading the whole of the constitution out loud on the house floor. The time-suck was part of a new proposal that all bills submitted have a separate page showing specifically where the constitution mandates that government has the power to do what the law proposes.

Aside from the fact that such authority is generally already stated within texts of bills, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t care what the constitution says, only what I want it to say.

Ironically, this is because I, unlike the constitution-wavers, actually believe in the reasons this nation was founded: that a society should not be ruled by people not living in it. In the same way the framers of the constitution didn’t want to be ruled by the English, I don’t want to be ruled by people who’ve been dead for centuries and laws that were written before we had electricity. They are not, and cannot be relevant to the modern world. Even the language is almost unrecognizable as modern english and therefore useless as a clear legal guide.

But to the conservatives, the constitution is portrayed not as a living document—which was the framer’s original intention—but as a secular bible, something that is and always has been and cannot under any circumstances be altered.

As far as I’m concerned the deification of our nations founders needs to end. The constitution was written on parchment, not stone tablets from Mt. Sinai. It should be rewritten every 25 years on principle. I don’t dispute that to do so would be opening up a giant can of worms on a regular basis. But the original authors managed to muddle through simliar cans of worms and so can we. They were just people. Smart people, yes, but people. And there are still smart people around interested in solving problems. They’re just apparently not in Congress.

2 thoughts on “I Don’t Care What the Constitution Says

  1. Interesting ideas. I had a similar thought a few months ago: What if the founding forefathers lived in current times? What would the Constitution look like? I believe it would be set up more like a wiki document — something that could be updated and altered democratically, at any time, by any citizen, provided the republic (anyone interested in editing the Constitution) collectively approved the changes. What a mess that would be! But a good mess.


    • Considering the mess Wikipedia is factually and its founders acknowledgements that it’s intended as a primer not an authority, it would be a hot mess indeed. However I find it unlikely things would go that route simply because laws cannot be enforced when they can be changed from a smart phone in the getaway car. Evolutionary doesn’t mean unstable.


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