Now, Fareed Zakaria of CNN has given boost to a discussion that has been going on for a while on a smaller scale. Does our constitution not fulfill the demands and needs of contemporary world? Has U.S. conservatism gone outdated? Is constitution a hurdle in modernizing United States of America? Will we be able to handle our economic and
These and many other questions, need to be answered before we go ahead and take some practical steps to replace the current constitution with a new one. For that matter, we need to analyze our history and current major issues and try to find out, if, at least some of our problems in past in and present are constitutional in nature.
The thing that is of first and foremost significance and importance for me is that we are the flag bearers of Democracy, worldwide. It is really weird and shameful that we still have a constitution that is not really democratic. When the constitution was written, the most fundamental challenge was to unite the states and keep them united. That is why, in order to guarantee the proper representation to smaller states, certain democratic principles were by-passed. We all know that the most basic principles of democracy are one person one vote and the rule of majority. The electoral collegiate, which elects president, and the way small and large states have equal representation in senate, are not really democratic. These two major sets of elections in our country are not done on democratic principles of one person, one vote and the rule of majority. Electoral college votes are not assigned on the basis of one person, one vote and at the top of it, most states assign all their votes to winner of that state, instead of as per his or her proportion in the votes. This is the reason due to which presidents and senate, often do not represent the majority opinion and overrule the house of representatives. Even the election of house of representative is controversial from democratic point of view. This is because, all the constituencies in United States are not of equal size. That is why a voter in one constituency, for example, may worth 1/100,000 of a vote in house of representatives, but in other constituency a voter may worth only 1/200,000 of a vote in house. This means we have unequal representation in house of representatives, too.
Since the president is elected by direct vote, he is above and beyond the legislature and does not even sit in house. The cabinet appointed by president is not made up of elected representatives or senators. Instead, the members of cabinet are frequently political favorites. President is so powerful, he can overrule virtually anyone and anything, without significant consequences. If president is derailed, there is a very cumbersome procedure of impeaching him, instead of elected representatives and senators having the ability to vote him out. The only really powerful tool house has is the budget. But, since president, senate and house are elected through a very different process, they may hold totally conflicting views and ideologies, often causing serious troubles, and even deadlocks and government shut downs, in the process. This in some ways creates a balance of power. At the same time it may result into nullification of all powers, seriously needed to run the nation and country.
Executive branch also has powers like national security clause, which may allow them to block any piece of information from getting public, another very undemocratic principle. Question here is, if this is really government of the people, by the people and for the people, then, why should government have any powers to hide anything from the real owners of the government and country, that is, it’s citizens? This power of being able to keep secrets from citizens, has often resulted into corruption and conspiracies. Governments frequently use this power to shut down the views they do not like or the ones that contradict their agenda. Ideally, no democratically elected government should be able to keep anything secret from it’s citizen or ban the expression and publication of any news, information or opinion. Often wars and conflicts are used as an excuse to use and enforce these rules. This is just another reason, due to which governments like wars and conflicts. Because, they provide governments, unlimited powers over their subject or voters, the people who actually own the government and country and who elected the government to serve them and their country, not to become their masters and curb their freedoms and powers.
Another problem is that some of the clauses are so vague, they are often used as an excuse to involve religious principles in a society that is supposed to be totally secular and neutral in terms of religious affiliations. A constitution that is based on the golden principles of “pursuit of happiness” and ” all man are created equal”, it is unfortunate, that some of it’s own clauses are used to deny the equal rights for gays, abortion rights for women and for bans on drugs, prostitution and smoking. Unfortunately, the same constitution is used for justifying monopolies, unequal and unjust rights over airwaves and cable lines, overwhelmingly powerful corporate lobbies (thwarting the plain and equal field for all Americans and limiting the competition and opportunities for everyone), uncontrolled, big and extremely powerful banks, that now control almost everything in this country, banks owned Federal Reserve and extremely unconstitutional Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Corporations are trying to use the same constitution to hijack and take full control of Internet, the most powerful information, communication, commercial, entertaining and advertising tool ever invented.
We must close these loopholes, created and generated over time, in order to revive the original spirit of U.S. constitution, which is, “pursuit of happiness” and “all man are created equal’. We must restore the plain and equal field for all American, so that there is equal competition and opportunities for everyone, and make sure that every American has equal and just access to all available resources, including supply of money and capital, education, healthcare, food and shelter. Since we are very big and diverse, the process of drastically updating the constitution is not free of risks and can potentially cause some serious challenges, though.
Conquer the web with ExcitingAds!
Browse our Blog section