Why The US Constitution Needs To Recognize The Evolution Of Society
Now, before you start at me with the tired, patriotic banter of “our founding fathers” and “America the great,” let’s all take a deep, rational breath and try to see things from a more linear perspective.
The reason the Constitution of the United States is regarded so highly is because the people who wrote it are dead, and they’ve been dead for a very long time.
There’s this interesting pattern I’ve noticed about our society: We have a fond, deep appreciation for anything post-mortem.
We instantly wipe the slate clean for anything and anyone the moment they leave this Earth, and any mention of their past wrongdoings is considered blasphemous and will surely guarantee you a seat in Hell.
Joan Rivers? Legend. Leaving her out of the Oscars recognition was a sin! But, what about while she was alive?
There was a significant and consistent amount of backlash about her work on "Fashion Police" and whether or not it constituted bullying. In fact, just months before her passing, she publicly made fun of another woman’s miscarriage.
To put it mildly, Rivers' final job was talk show host, where she openly referred to women (some of which were teenagers) as fat, slutty and ugly. But, then, she died; so, whatever, now she’s a legend.
The very same can be said about our founding fathers. For the last 250 years, we have been hailing a document they put together as the end-all, be-all of Americanism, the very fiber of our nation's existence. But, let’s just take a second to recap.
Our Constitution, the supreme law of land, came into force in 1789. Its incredible authors (our founding fathers) sought to protect our individual liberty and justice, and to place meaningful restrictions on the government so as not to abuse the people it was put in place to protect.
Do you follow me?
Well, as it turned out, “people” happened to be a subjective term because they included a provision that gave them the ability to import slaves. Wait, what? Let’s try to put that in proper context.
You’re telling me Americans launched a revolutionary war against the cruel Great Britain because they thought it was within their power to impose taxes on teas, but importing human beings and using them as cattle fell within moral confines?
These are our founding fathers we are talking about — our dead founding fathers — so we should tread lightly when pointing fingers, right?
The Constitution was written by slave owners. This fact, in and of itself, is enough to reasonably conclude it was not written by morally sound individuals.
To give you a little present-day perspective, would you accept it if President Barack Obama introduced a new constitution that had been written by, say, Ariel Castro?
To jog your memory, he was the Ohio man who kidnapped and kept three women as slaves in his basement and subjected them to rape, torture and abuse. And, that's just a small excerpt from the long list of horrors American slaves had to endure.
But, let’s take a step away from examining ethics. Let’s just talk practicality for a second.
Did we ever just consider the inescapable truth that absolutely nothing that was valid in 1700s is valid now? Not money, not political issues, not social issues, not lifespan, not fashion, not culture — quite literally, not a single thing.
The founding fathers created a document, which was their very best stab at what the law of the land should look like in a new country.
They were aided by their recent experiences with Great Britain in helping shape the fundamentals, like experiences they perceived as injustices.
We have had so much history transpire since the passing of America's "founders." We now have so many of our own experiences (world wars, genocides, hate crimes), our own injustices and incredible feats.
We can now reasonably sit down and shape a document that embodies this maturity; a document that is relevant today.
The document I'm proposing should be one that supports ALL human beings -- black, white, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, gay, straight, transgender -- on our incredible planet and the ways in which we need to positively evolve and affect change.
And, so again, I say, let’s immortalize the Constitution where it belongs: in a museum. Let’s reflect upon it fondly as a beautiful piece of American history that helped shape a young country at time when it needed it most.
Who knows? Maybe at the next 200-year mark, we’ll be looked back upon as the Founding Generation.
Fondly of course, because we’ll all be dead.