Are you a Constitutional Originalist? Do you hold that the US
Constitution must be followed EXACTLY as the framers intended
when they wrote it? Some in our country hold that the provisions in the US Constitution are perfect and complete guidelines for
how our government should operate. These people clearly
“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and Constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”Thomas Jefferson
The reason our constitution has endured has more to do with how it was structured than what it actually says. Madison’s genius in writing the draft was to make the Articles very general and subject to interpretation. He knew that interpretation would change as the politics of the country changed but the overall structure would be preserved. Another genius was Article V which allowed Congress to make amendments and we have
done this twenty-seven times.
So why do I say Originalist can’t read? Well look at the amendments. Eight of these are corrections! (11,12, 13,14, 15
19, 21, and 22). Mistakes and compromises made during the convention just to get the Constitution ratified. Now these aren’t changes that had to be made because society changed (as Jefferson argues above). NO, these are compromises made during the debates that allowed Promoted States Rights over
federal power (11), chose our Vice President in a poor manner (12), enslaved large portions of our populace (13, 14, 15, and 9), and allowed for tyrannical leaders (22 — Greek definition of tyrant). A whopping 30% of the changes to our constitutions were corrections. If you take James Mason’s view and add the Bill of Rights (1-10) its 62%. That’s a lot of corrections versus a very small amount of societal change.
I know the beer in your hand isn’t perfect. That’s why I call it the
3/5ths Compromise. BUT, its pretty good. I wouldn’t throw it out.
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