I have to say it is both. But for the sake of argument let’s just say it is just outdated; there is usually less offense taken from this perspective but there is offense taken none the less. I am constantly amazed and offended when so many people get so deeply offended at any criticism of this document. As if it were sacred scripture or something. That however does not floor me as bad as the offense people take at any hint of criticism of any of its writers.
Let’s just consider what should be undisputed facts and not my opinions, this document was written by politicians, it was written to or towards the English Crown; or at the very least with the King in mind. It was meant to define to the King what the new system of government these revolutionaries where setting up I would think as a show that they weren’t going off half cocked but that they had a plan. Regardless it was written by men who just won the freedom to govern themselves, men who were now free from English rule.
The Constitution was written for a government that would govern 13 independent colonies. Leaders of this revolution were awarded colonies to govern on their own, independent of each other without a Federal government in the respect that we have today, this aspect is the source of one of it’s biggest flaws I will get to shortly. But their were only 13 colonies not 50 states. It was written in 1787 before there was a president, two years before and it was written by the Continental Congress. At that time the colonies had governors who were appointed by the King. Continental, important term here because it refers to a body of government in the North American Continent i.e. a separate one from the one on the European Continent. It was written by a Congress who wanted to be able to have authority of the colonies that were governed by the Crown. These men did not want those appointed governors to have any authority over them. Remember this was all done in succession from the Kings rule. These were all men with a common goal of independence.
Those fact are key here, especially the fact that these were men with a common goal. They were working together; this is not the mindset of today’s Congress, but then again they are still of the mindset of not being ruled by anyone; remember their was no President at the time and wanted the king to have no authority over them. They didn’t want a future President to either, they still had a nasty taste in their mouth from the monarchy.
To my main point. Those men were working together, they had a common goal; why would the allow for a Congress of different goals and ideals, and one that had 4 times the number of members in it when writing this document? It is obvious to me that they never considered the possibility that there would ever be 50 states, resulting in a larger body of government of men who were not trying to reach a goal of independence? This document was a war-time set of rules, not a document defining a set of rules for a completely independant nation. (Here is a good place to point out that at the time only white Christian men who owned land had the right to vote, in other words all votes were cast by men of the same mindset, values and ideas). I sincerely doubt these men ever considered a nation of such diverse religious and political beliefs. These men allowed for men of different variations of the Christian faith, men with a belief in god. Yes they allowed for differences in the worship of god but they assumed everyone believed in god in the first place. They left no room for non believers. This fact is abundantly clear by the Declaration of Independence which yes does not mention religion or even suggest religiosity, it does specifically mention god and it does directly refer to god.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
These first words were specifically directed at the king; a king who believed he was appointed by god. The founding fathers were disputing the fact that the king was any better than they were.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
These words were also directed at the king; a king who believed he was given the authority to speak for god to them. They were telling this king that only god had that authority, that god never gave any man that authority. They were not just taking authority away from the king they were giving authority back to god.
But back to the political body of Congress itself. The Constitution was written with a common goal in mind. these men considered that there would someday be differences in political agendas, which is why the allowed for it in the Bill of Rights. they considered that men would worship god in their own way, and they may have even considered there would be men who wouldn’t worship at all but they did not allow for this in these documents; not believing in god was a crime punishable by death in this new America, these rights they were assuring were for god fearing (white) men only. In other words they never considered that citizens that weren’t white, god fearing and male would ever have the right to vote or would ever be voted for; that women or non white, non believing men or women would ever be part of this body of government. These differences in beliefs result in differences in politics. I am pretty sure they didn’t consider that Congress would be voting on abortion rights; gun control (remember they wanted citizens armed in a country that was occupied by the king’s army). They weren’t considering that someday Americans would seek to arm themselves against them, they were men who shared the desire to not be ruled by a foreign monarch, men who wanted to make sure that no one would ever have authority over them; remember there was no president at the time, they I believe assumed that the future president they were allowing for was, like them, a man with the same goals of being free from foreign rule, while not leaving room for error if this elected president was in fact an agent of the crown who could then take back the authority they had taken away; remember the governors of the colonies were all appointed by the king; they were forming this new government from the top down, not the bottom up. They fulling intended these governors would be replaced with elected ones with the same end goal of separation from the crown.
So let’s look at the holes these fact created in this sacred document.
- any member of Congress can filibuster. A filibuster is nothing more than a member of Congress running out the clock. It isn’t as painless as a quarterback running out the clock to prevent the opposing team from getting another chance to score; for starters the House play clock is several hours in comparison to the NFL’s 15 min quarters. Congress’ strategy to prevent the opposing side from scoring is to talk until the clock runs out and there is no time for a vote. Ted Cruz once read Green Eggs and Ham and talked about his kids for over 14 hours to run out the clock.
- Congress can also decide to vote against a bill without even reading it. This is equivalent to a judge passing sentence without a trial because he knows that a jury won’t convict. In other words the whole democratic majority rule thing doesn’t apply in Congress, defeating the whole reason the people elect politicians to represent them in the first place.
- A bill for background checks for someone buying a firearm for example can also have in it a section that states abortion would become illegal if the bill passes. Let’s walk past the fact that one law has absolutely nothing to do with the other; a Senator who was elected because of their policy on gun control would most like vote no on this bill because they also have a right to choose policy. These deliberate conflicts in policies are intended to do exactly what they end up doing; prevent the passing of legislation put up for a vote by the opposing party. And these conflicting parts of a bill can be tacked on to a bill that has already been submitted by the opposing party leaving no room for them to choose not to submit it. In other words legislation is voted on so no one can argue that a bill was not considered.
- The Presidential duty to appoint judges, emphasis on the word DUTY. By rules of this very Congress the President has an obligation to make sure our judicial system has enough judges to assure Americans their 5th Amendment right to due process, and the right to a fair trial. The idea of this system is that everyone is entitled to an unbiased judgement from the courts. A judge isn’t supposed to have personal views influence decisions; they are supposed to pass judgement based on the letter of the law. In the case of the Supreme Court of the United States however this is the highest authority of what the letter of the law is. The President has a duty to appoint these judges but according to democratic policy Congress is supposed to approve this appointment to assure that once again the majority will rule, to assure that one individual does not have absolute authority. Today’s Congress has simply decided they again won’t do what is the thing under job description for Senators and vote for the people who voted for them, are flat-out refusing to do their job. The majority doesn’t rule then does it? Any other employee in any position in any other establishment would and should be fired for refusing to do their job. Hell my 3-year-old twins grandson’s get sent to the wall when they refuse to do what they are supposed to. Imagine if a teacher refused to teach, a teacher that just sat at their desk in a classroom of students saying nothing. Imagine a fireman who refused to turn on the hose he was holding standing in front of a burning building full of people who were locked inside. Imagine a pilot of a commercial airline refusing to fly the plane full of passengers who had no way of getting off the plane. Imagine a mother refusing to parent a child, a parent who just sat there watching tv while their baby was lying in a crib unable to feed itself. Imagine a President who refused to get out of bed; who decided they didn’t want do anything all day while an enemy troops were landing on our shores. Imagine a bank manager who refused to unlock the doors; who decided they just wanted to sit in their office all day playing solitaire on their computer. All these people would lose their jobs. But; no one can fire a member of Congress. Even Presidents can be impeached for minor violations like lying about an affair, but a member of Congress? Nope, they can spend 14 hours reading a children’s book to the most powerful assembly of elected officials in the worlds most powerful nation.
I would be willing to bet that our founding fathers; while writing our founding documents; while founding our system of government considered that their successors would be such immature, irresponsible, apathetic and deceitful manipulators of their hard work; of their dreams and of their ideals.