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The problem with the Constitution


Oh boy, here we go. Prediction: I’m going to make some points, some of them, admittedly, based on opinion, and I’m going to be called anti-American, a commie, etc, hyperbole, etc.O

So hang tight. Don’t fall into the old “if you don’t fawn over the flag, you should just get out” trap. Full disclosure – I’m not American, I’m English. But America is my home, and I love it here. But that outsider perspective, coming to live in another country, allows for the whole thing to be looked at dispassionately.

The United States Constitution was created in 1787. That same year, the Marquis de Sade shouted from the Bastille that prisoners were being slaughtered, an English slaveship capsized between Africa and Cuba killing hundreds, and Mozart completed a couple of pieces. It was a very long time ago.

Now, I’m not saying that things written a long time ago can’t be valid. But if you learned that the NFL rules were written 230 years ago, you might think that they need a good looking at. And that’s kinda the point – amendments.

Those framers were not dumb. Far from it. They put together a document that was necessary for that time and it has carried the nation forward. But, like the Bible, it is flawed and blindly following it, every word of it, is as silly as the British still allowing an unelected leader to have any power. (Yep, my home nation has it’s own problems.)

But there’s a reason that the Constitution needs amendments. The Thirteenth Amendment, for example, gave equal rights to black citizens, 80 years after the Constitution was written. Prior to that, they were considered 3/5 of a human, according to Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3:

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

In other words, a slaveowner can have 3/5 of a vote more for very slave that they own. Can anyone truly say that this shouldn’t have been amended. The fact that we admit there have to be amendments at all is a straight admission that the original document is flawed.

Again, it comes back to the Old and New Testament debate. There are so many awful things written in the Old Testament that many Christians will tell you that, in fact, that was angry God. Jesus represented loving God and it is He we should listen to. But if the original word of God is so heavily flawed, why is the 2,000-year-old-word to be trusted?

Again, this isn’t an attack on the Constitution at all. The original intent was honest and good, for the most part. It was certainly of its time, and it still has its uses today. But to blindly follow it will surely lead us to bump into walls.


Brett Calwood
Brett Callwood is an English journalist, copy writer, editor and author, currently living and working in Los Angeles. He is the music editor with the LA Weekly. He was previously a reporter at the Longmont Times-Call and Daily Camera, the music editor at the Detroit Metro Times and editor-in-chief at Yellow Scene magazine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brett_Callwood

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