I have great love and respect for the Founding Fathers and for the Constitution they wrote. It is the greatest man-made document ever, it created the finest government system ever devised, and it formed the greatest nation in history.
But it was not without a few kinks. Or in the case of the 3/5ths Compromise, one big, sad gap. We all wish, via our hindsight, that they had instead abolished slavery in America right then and there. But they didn’t. They were faced with trying to pull together thirteen very different colonies, all of whom had different ideas of how a united government should be formed. Many of the compromises the Founders made led to a better, higher ground than any of the disparate ideas presented on their own, but this one compromise was begrudgingly made to keep the nation from falling apart before it was even united.
There are some other things I wish they had done a little differently in the Constitution as well. Nothing so big as the 3/5th Compromise. But things that would have kept the nation from some of the troubles we are facing now.
So here are the Top Three Things I would have done differently in the Constitution:
1. Term Limits: The Founders didn’t see the need to enshrine into law limits on how long Legislators, the President, and Judges should serve. That was because they didn’t think anybody would want to be a politician for life. Plus, they underestimated the power of incumbency. Sure, they knew that such a long-sitting politician could cause great harm, but given the paltry pay they originally conceived of, the arduous travel from home state to the Capitol, and the stresses such a life would have, they figured nobody would do it. But such foresight would have saved us from four terms of FDR, the Ted Kennedy decades, and such clingers as Chuck Schumer and John McCain.
2. Citizenship: The Constitution was not meant to be a dictionary, so the Founders did little to define specific words and terms. They knew the definition of the words they were using and sadly did not figure on powerful special interest groups trying to redefine them (they were all students of Vattel’s Law of Nations and were using the terms as defined therein).
Thus, they used the words “citizen,” “naturalized,” and “natural born citizen” but did not codify their meaning. By citizen, they meant a person born in or naturalized by the United States. By Natural Born Citizen, they meant a person born in the United States to two parents who were already citizens of the United States. They used “Natural Born Citizen” as the requirement to be President because they wanted to ensure that our highest leader held no potential loyalty to any other nation. By defining this term, they could have saved us from Barack Obama.
3. Guns: Fancy sentence structure may have been the fashion of the day, but a more plain language 2nd Amendment would have saved us all a lot of trouble. “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed” would have sufficed. But because they were actually trying to make something clear in this case – the right of the people to form local militias to fight back against foreign invaders and tyrannical government – they gave word-perverters an opening to cause confusion.
Now, yes, these three things only deal with the original Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And even then, one could say they wish the 1st Amendment had been more clear. I don’t – I think it’s perfectly clear. The government cannot establish one single national religion, and it cannot keep any individual or group of individuals from following the dictates of their religion (yes – up to a point; that point being infringing on the rights of other people).
Are there things I would change about the amendments that came after the original Constitution was signed? Yes. But I’ll save those for another time.
Suffice it to say that the Founding Fathers did a fantastic job writing a clear Constitution. It took greedy people, spineless whiners, special interest groups, and lazy politicians to screw it up.
Maybe it’s time for some new amendments. An “all laws also affect the the lawmakers” one seems needed these days. I suppose we need to spell out that people do not have a right to not be offended by somebody else idea in law as well. And a “Yes, marriage is between one man and one women” amendment would keep the Gay Mafia at bay, at least for a time. Plus, I suppose we have need of a “life begins at conception, you idiots, so don’t kill unborn children” amendment because the pro-abortion lobby still clings to the teat of both government and Satan.
But nothing can protect the country better than this: a citizenry that strives to stay informed of the issues, who value truth over politics, who go to the polls on every occasion, and who vote not only for themselves but for their posterity as well.
In other words, turn off MSNBC, get off of your lazy butt, and do something for the good of the country.
Image: Courtesy of: http://blog.karenfayeth.com/?p=8523