Absurdities #11

By Eilene Lyon

As we motored home after test-driving potential candidates for our new vehicle, we passed a political sign next to the highway. It is located on private property in a very red corner of New Mexico. It read: God, Family, Second Amendment, Constitution, Trump.

I pondered those in this country who believe the U.S. Constitution, written 230+ years ago, is perfect and unalterable. (Never mind those twenty-seven amendments, of which the Second is the most sacrosanct.)

To them I would say:

Imagine you have just purchased a brand new Ford F150 truck, and the dealer handed you an owner’s manual for a Model T.

We are not living in George Washington’s United States of America, so why are we still using his owner’s manual?

48 thoughts on “Absurdities #11

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  1. 100% agree! It’s like reading the bible literally. We’d still be stoning people for things that today are considered not only not immoral, but are protected by law. And we wouldn’t be able to wear fabrics that mix wool and linen.

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  2. And….the constitution is a “vision” for a free democracy. The central goal in the preamble is to “promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”. It’s unfortunate some Americans believe that all citizens must agree to their idea of “liberty” or we’re not following the constitution. When the whole point was to build a union of individuals to be free to choose, free to develop our own ideal of liberty.

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    1. I can see that 300+ million different ideas of liberty could be a bit unwieldy. But universal conformity is completely unrealistic, unless you want to live in North Korea, I guess.

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    1. Yeah, maybe not the best time to rewrite. But the problems you mention and gerrymandering are heading us to a permanent minority rule. Other countries evolve and change, while we stagnate, or even devolve.

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  3. Well stated! What has happened to Americans’ sense of the value of doing good for our fellow Americans? Also what has happened to our sense of compassion? My parents and their generation would be shocked and disappointed at the extreme focus on individual rights over societal rights.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You gave us cause to pause and ponder Eilene. I pondered this morning when I heard that an unnamed person purchased an original print of the Constitution for $43 million. I am not American, so perhaps that purchase sails over my head, but wow … just wow.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Because we are too cheap todo what Jefferson intended and rework the constitution every 20 years. But that being said, people break laws every day, so the pessimist in me says does it matter? Then the hypocrisy…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve created a monster in Washington. The wackos in Congress (left and right) will just keep making things as miserable as possible for everyone else. I favor a federalist approach to make laws more uniform around the country. But yeah, there will always be law breakers and hypocrites.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. People have taken sides. They won’t listen to anything the other side has to say. We’ve stopped being rational. You know I just lost a good friend? Upon hearing that this guy was in bad shape, another mutual friend said “well, one less Republican”. I’m sure things have been said about the opposition. This is why we won’t solve anything

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Notionally democratic nation-states need constitutions to anchor their social contracts so public policy and human rights don’t go careening from extreme to extreme with changes of government. They need to be changeable but the change can’t be easy enough to do it according to whim, fashion or transient shifts in political power.

    Fetishisation of the kind seen with the attitude of many Americans to the second amendment is obviously dysfunctional. It can’t possibly serve it’s drafters’ purpose in an age of battle tanks and drone strikes but plays to Hollywood driven fantasies of the rugged individualist hero who brings the world justice through firepower. Many people think they need a lethal penis substitute to overcome their own feelings of impotence and powerlessness and are able to set aside the fact the people your gun is most likely to kill is you or your loved ones.

    If you simply abolish your constitution your republic will quickly fragment as red and blue areas rewrite fundamental legislation and go their own ways. But in elevating it to something of immutable biblical sanctity you’ve made your social fabric brittle in the face of change and the cracks are starting to show.

    Maybe it’s time for a rewrite from the ground up, but I can’t see how you’re gonna heal your body politic enough to ensure the broad participation and good faith needed to achieve a consensus that works for everyone rather than end up with something imposed by the most powerful vested interests. So I guess you’re gonna have to keep patching your leaky vessel and hope it gets you somewhere you can properly rebuild it before it falls apart. I won’t be putting my money on a Hollywood ending – unless you’re a fan of ‘Titanic’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very thoughtful analysis. I certainly am not interested in burning the house down, but the rigidity currently ascribed to our original constitution begs for a major overhaul. The electoral college and the senate are as undemocratic as we can get.

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