Friday, July 1, 2016

The 28th Amendment

A number of months ago in an uncharacteristic fit of being angry about the political situation in Washington DC I generated this meme suggesting an amendment to the Constitution. Given the popularity of this meme and the fact that I was recently asked to give some background to it, and since I've wanted to write a more full explanation of it, I thought this was as good of a time to comply as any. It should also be noted that the latter part of Section Two concerning the hangings was somewhat humorous in intent.

There are a lot of people talking about an Article V Convention of the States to modify, amend or even rewrite the Constitution in its entirety. While I think an Article V is generally a pretty good idea most of the suggested amendment schemes are far too complex to come out as anything less than a total disaster at worst or total do nothing bust at the very best. I will explain that further as this post progresses.

The birth of the United States was pretty rough. In its early days, under the Articles of Confederation it almost collapsed. I don't want to dig too much further into this at this point and there are plenty of other resources to study as to what was happening in America at that time, prior to the adoption of the Constitution. For now it is sufficient to say that it wasn't very pretty.

After a couple of years of freedom from British rule the Founding Fathers got together and wrote the basic Constitution. By basic Constitution I mean the document itself without any amendments. They did this from the viewpoint that having a large, centralized and powerful federal government would be antithetical to the freedoms enjoyed by the States and the People. As a result they made it a very minimal document consisting of only five pages which outlined the total powers of the federal government.

You got that? FIVE pages. That's the total power of the federal government.