Is Our Constitution Still Relevant?

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The United States Constitution is arguably the most influential and important document in the history of our country. These six pages have not only guided America, but nations across the world. Yet The Constitution is more what it is today as a result of its amendments, not the original document ratified in 1788. Although it is likely not my place to decide, I believe the United States Constitution itself is no longer relevant, although the 27 amendments certainly assist in making The Constitution applicable to modern American society.

 

When reading The Constitution, one can rarely go half a page without finding a phrase or entire section that is now invalid because of an amendment. Processes as big as voting for The President of The United States, in Article II, Section 1, have been changed as the result of an amendment, Amendments 12, 15, and 19. With such large parts of The Constitution now declared impertinent, it is hard to see it as a document with enough power to govern the greatest country on earth. In today’s America, it is just the very basic laws that are being laid out by The Constitution, obscurely at that.

 

Many people claim that only 27 amendments to the Constitution goes to show how well our founding fathers wrote it. That one change every eight years is proof that the Constitution completely impenetrable. I do admit that this is not a lot of changes, but when we are talking about our Constitution, don’t you think that the original should have been written as to not leave anything to be added?

 

A constitution should not be something open to interpretation. A constitution is a document to establish and govern a nation. When asked about the U.S. Constitution, most people would describe it as the supreme law of The United States. But frankly, it isn’t. The people interpreting the constitution really control our lives. But there should be no teams of people to discern the meaning of the supreme law so that life may continue smoothly. There should be no need to interpret in the first place. One would think that a constitution would be airtight, obviously airtight, with no need to put words in the mouths of the document’s framers.

 

I believe that The Constitution is no longer relevant. Any document with as many changes as The Constitution cannot seriously be considered to be of any actual use; it would normally warrant a complete rewrite, and I suggest we do just that. I understand that there will always be evangelists of the Constitution, but people need to realize that the only real value of The Constitution is as a historical document, a piece of American history, the 5,000 words that established The United States of America, but it should not, and can not, be what carried us through to our end.

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Margo's picture

I like this, I really do. It's so true that the constitution as we know it is subject to the whims of our governing officials, they choosing to represent the bits and pieces that suit them. Though, a total rewrite would be something truly fantastic to witness, who would write it? Our government is so divided on partisan lines with so many "controversial" issues hanging in the balance of the next 20-ish years elections, that until we have truly reached a stable point where the country is in agreement, we should hold off. I hope I'm around when the inevitable re-write occurs. Wouldn't it be something to see this country go through a revolution in the next 200 years? A whole new government that has actually learned from our mistakes... Ah, but I'm just speculating now.

Great piece! 

- Ciel  (YWP Uber-User/Mentor: ask me anything!)

“As long as we don't die, this is gonna be one hell of a story.” 

You're contradicting yourself a little.

You argue "Any document with as many changes as [t]he Constitution cannot seriously be considered to be of any actual use", but I believe that the humility of the Framers in explicitly providing a process through which to change their Constitution is its saving grace. Any document which allows its "subjects" to rewrite it collectively can never opress them tyranically. And you seem to agree with me: you "believe the United States Constitution itself is no longer relevant" and "warrants a complete rewrite". And the Constitution itself doesn't argue with you, but rather hands you a form for you to fill in with what you want changed and the signatures of the 38 states that agree with you. Why do you need to destroy the rules rather than following their instructions on how to change them?

I fully agree with you on many points: that the slaveowning white men who drew up the Constitution never represented all of society, that the Constitution doesn't secure essential rights (Equal Opportunities, anyone?) and is too servile to others (I don't think Exxon Mobil needs a right to give millions to politicians), even, shockingly, that it fails to clarify all government-related issues. But all of these problems can be solved without tearing down the superstructure of the government. I urge you to focus on a few issues and work on them within the system, and maybe check out some constitutional-law books.