Trump for Change?

Here’s a thing. This link is a list of amendments made to the Constitution of the United States of America since it came into being.

In summary, the first ten and the twenty-seventh amendment were proposed on 25th September, 1789 and, with the exception of the 27th, passed on 15th December, 1791 (the twenty-seventh amendment was to do with congressional salaries, and took 202 years to pass). Two more amendments were passed in 1795 and 1804. There was then a break in constitutional fiddling until the Civil War, which resulted in the emancipation amendments (13th, 14th and 15th amendments), and thereafter a steady trickle of amendments until the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Then: nothing. In half a century, nothing.

No amendment to limit congressional terms (the most senior eight senators came to office before the median-aged American was born).

No amendment to revoke the second amendment – which is responsible for far more deaths than terrorists – or at least reword the second to limit ownership of weapons. A private citizen has the constitutional right to own a nuke, for goodness’ sake.

No amendment to reform political financing. After the shameful Citizens United, money politics has gone into overdrive.

No amendment to create a right to a decent minimum standard of existence.

No amendment to require legislative clarity of purpose rather than the opaque appropriations bills that carry most of the legislative burden, yet bury important lawlets, most with no legislative history – a lobbyists dream. Which brings me to…

No amendment to limit or regulate access by lobbyists.

It’s as if the Constitution is now regarded as perfect and thus as inviolable as the stone tablets of Mount Sinai. But, unlike the Mosaic law, the Constitution is a human creation and its creators explicitly crafted it to be changed. In the past half century, it’s ossified.

So, Trump, Clinton, Warren, whoever: up to it?


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