The Liberal Politics & Current Events Book Club discussion

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message 2: by Dan (new)

Dan Riker | 178 comments Another constitutional convention would be the worst thing to happen to the United States in its history. Extremists would dominate and we would wind up with a monstrosity as a constitution.


message 3: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Orenstein | 4 comments I agree and say similar words in my book. American political culture is pervasive and any constitutional changes need to be incremental and move toward a more democratic political system. Also, a constitution is far more than a written document-it is an amalgam of widely-held norms, court decisions, accepted practices and interpretations.

Real change comes from all of those. If we start with outlawing gerrymandering, removing the influence of big money in political campaigns through public financing and making the Senate less mal-apportioned, we would have a great start.


message 4: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy I also agree that it would be a disaster. We should focus on a few critical items as Jeff suggested.


message 5: by James (new)

James Bianco (jamesbiancoesq1981) | 2 comments A Constitutional Convention couldn't allow extremists to dominate any more than our current election system. It involves the exact same process we used to write the first Constitution and correct the Articles of Confederation. It is not an amalgam (at the time there were no precedence based laws, it flew in the face of almost all currently held norms (divine right, feudalism, suppression of ideas, even the Writ of Habeas Corpus was unheard of), and the ability of the court to interpret the law was a power it gave to itself and was never included in (nor according to John Jay in the Federalist Papers intended to be a part of) the Constitution. A Constitution is nothing more than a Social Contract in which we give up some things in exchange for others we can not provide ourselves. It is our right and duty (according to our Declaration of Independence) when the government becomes oppressive to the point of tyranny and when all available means have or will fail (for instance, the belief that with the current balance of money and power, those who have that money and power will willingly reduce their access to either is bound to fail as it has for the decades that the issue has come up) we have a right to alter or abolish the government and make a new one. Laws and their inevitable lawsuits that follow take a long time to create and hone to being actually useful. Congressional amendments take 2/3 of both houses and 3/4s of the state legislatures. Current precedent law is so contradictory as to become useless. A Constitutional Convention can be called by 2/3 of the State Legislatures, and represented by citizens elected to represent each state. While I wouldn't endorse either way (we are a little beyond trying to "fix" this train wreck as it is), a Constitutional Convention (unless you are wealthy or powerful enough to influence the law yourself) is far more likely than trying to get our "noble" Government to do anything that would effect any real and needed change. I respectful argue only that it would be no more of a disaster than attempting to use the system to fix the broken system, wasting time dealing with critical issues only (whatever critical is ultimately decided to be). A Constitutional Convention was given to us twice (Declaration of Independence and Article V of Constitution) by the founding fathers because though the Constitution is just the written form of the Social Contract, it is not a static document. Even Jefferson stated it should be evaluated every so often to keep up with the times. We must be bold enough to bring out a document most people are unable to tell one how old someone must be to run for President, and at least let the people decide if they still want it as it is or if things need to change. Even if it could be a "disaster", it is still a legitimate process and would allow people their say. Regardless of how we feel about it, ultimately the only right way is to allow the people at least the opportunity to evaluate and debate this contract. Again, I take a little more radical approach on the state of our union, but I don't think we should shut a door on conjecture and misinformation. All due respect and no personal attacks are meant, just a friendly discussion.


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