Monday, December 19, 2011

Hippie News & Stuff (12/19/11): Con Con-Con

Every year PoliSci classes all over the country dispatch students to "ManInTheStreet" interviews with 'average citizens' who are presented with the Bill of Rights in modern language, and are then polled as to whether they'd approve that right in a NEW Constitution. I did it myself, both in High School and in college.

Students are often UNPLEASANTLY surprised to learn the average person will DECLINE to approve the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth,--among the original 10-as well--when given the chance--the 14th Amendment, too.

So I paid attention when a sensible chap posted the following on the Book recently:
I believe that it is increasingly difficult to construct a theory of democratic constitutionalism, applying our own 21st-century norms, that vindicates the Constitution under which we are governed today. Our 18th-century ancestors had little trouble integrating slavery and the rank subordination of women into their conception of a "republican" political order.
He followed with a sensible plea to have a Constitutional do-over.

It's hard to argue against, hard not to agree.

But I do object: the conditions which seem to us to make the "old" Constitution possibly "obsolete" also dictate that there is frankly NO CHANCE of scrapping it and/or "rewriting it," substantially, without inevitably, and irreversibly reducing the numbers and kinds of freedoms we could enjoy.

I don't actually LIKE being a wet blanket on such ideas I gotta say: Imagine Walmart in charge of the process, or Goldman-Sachs.

If you think a "new" Constitution can be drafted which would NOT be INFINITELY MORE to the liking of the Banksters and fraudsters, and the crooks, shills, and grifters in the CorpoRat boardrooms than the one under which we now labor, well I'd have to conclude that you haven't thoroughly considered just how COMPLETELY the Citizens United decision truly altered the face of political financing, and the reach of the corpoRat purse-strings.

I'd estimate there is exactly ZERO chance that the free speech clause of the first amendment would survive, being supplanted by a clause protecting the right of the propagandist to lie. You'd never hear another WORD about the 4th Amendment, and probably the Fifth would be revoked. I mean why should you need to protect yourself if you're not doing anything wrong?
See the problem?

Plus, to enact one, A new Constitution would have to be voted on. Regardez vous Prop 8 in Cal for the consequences of putting rights to the vote. And that was BEFORE the gloves came off, with Citizens United. Hundreds of millions were spent to prevent a class of citizens from enjoying the full rights of citizenship, and the "people" were propagandized to accept it?

Sorry. You just don't VOTE on "rights," hippies...

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