June 20th, 2011
12:26 PM ET

Is it time to update the U.S. Constitution?

We all know how Americans revere the Constitution, so I was struck by the news that tiny, little Iceland is actually junking its own Constitution and starting anew using an unusual - some would say innovative - mechanism.

The nation decided it needed a new Constitution and it's soliciting ideas from all of Iceland's 320,000 citizens with the help of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This social media method has worked. Ideas have been flowing in. Many have asked for guaranteed, good health care. Others want campaign finance systems that make corporate donations illegal. And some just want the country to make shark finning illegal.

There is a Constitutional Council. It incorporates some of these ideas, rejects others, but everything is done in plain sight on the web. As one member of the Constitutional Council said, the document is basically being drafted on the Internet. 

Now, why do they need a new Constitution anyway? Well, after Iceland was crippled in recent years by the economic crisis, they all wanted a fresh start. And, anyway, they felt the document was old and outdated, drafted all the way back in 1944.

You might be tempted to say that Iceland doesn't have any reasons to be proud of its political traditions in the manner that the United States does. Well, think again.

Iceland is home to the world's oldest parliament still in existence, the Althing, set up in 930 A.D. The rocky ledge on which they gathered represents the beginnings of representative government in the world. So Iceland has reasons to cherish its history, and yet it was willing to revise it.

By contrast, any talk of revising or revisiting the U.S. Constitution is, of course, seen as heresy. The United States Constitution was, as you know, drafted in a cramped room in Philadelphia in 1787 with shades drawn over the windows. It was signed by 39 people.

America at the time consisted of 13 states. Congress had 26 senators and 65 representatives. The entire population was about one percent of today's number - four million people.

America was an agricultural society, with no industry - not even cotton gins. The flush toilet had just been invented.

These were the circumstances under which this document was written.

Let me be very clear here, the U.S. Constitution is an extraordinary work - one of the greatest expressions of liberty and law in human history.

One amazing testament to it is the mere fact that it has survived as the law of the land for 222 years.

But our Constitution has been revised 27 times.  Some of these revisions have been enormous and important, such as the abolition of slavery. Then there are areas that have evolved. For example, the power of the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court, is barely mentioned in the document. This grew as a fact over history.

But there are surely some issues that still need to be debated and fixed.

The electoral college, for example, is highly undemocratic, allowing for the possibility that someone could get elected as president even if he or she had a smaller share of the total national vote than his opponent.

The structure of the Senate is even more undemocratic, with Wisconsin's six million inhabitants getting the same representation in the Senate as California's 36 million people. That's not exactly one man, one vote.

And we are surely the only modern nation that could be paralyzed as we were in 2000 over an election dispute because we lack a simple national electoral system.

So we could use the ideas of social media that were actually invented in this country to suggest a set of amendments to modernize the Constitution for the 21st Century.

Such a plan is not unheard of in American history.

After all, the delegates in Philadelphia in 1787 initially meant not to create the Constitution as we now know it, but instead to revise the existing document, the Articles of Confederation. But the delegates saw a disconnect between the document that currently governed them and the needs of the nation, so their solution was to start anew.

I'm just suggesting we talk about a few revisions.

Anyway, what do you think? Should we do this? And if we were to revise the U.S. Constitution, what would be the three amendments you would put in?

Let us know in the comment thread and we'll post the best ones on the Global Public Square.

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Topics: GPS Show • Law • What in the World?

soundoff (2,350 Responses)
  1. Don't tread on me

    Son

    June 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  2. SB

    There is a reason the constitution has worked so incredibly well for Americans since the inception. You don't simply throw the baby out with the bath water because a select number of people feel that certain inadequacies need to be addressed.
    The constiution can be changed but only after deliberate thought and debate. It was structured this way so that our leaders would not be rash in their political decisions and not make fundamental changes without first receiving the input of the American people. Without that protection this country would move drastically towards becoming a monarchy rather than a republic.
    I for one am thankful that the founders had the insight to predict the human nature of this countries future leaders and establish protections ensuring that we, the people, have a role in determining how this country is governed.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  3. Landon Morgan

    Ridiculous proposal.

    Unlike other nations, the US Constitution (and in particular, the Bill of Rights) isn't a mere operational road map for governance. It's an ideological polemic, stood against (and learned from) thousands of years tyrannical missteps.

    To be sure, we've occasionally erred on our application of those principles... It took us too long to get rid of slavery, then too long to establish the building blocks of true equality.. but the fundamental ideas laid out in the Bill of Rights resonate through the ages and remain as fresh and relevant today than they were the day they were drafted.

    Anyone who proposes we scrap the constitution and start anew is simply showing a deep misunderstanding of what that document really is. In proposing this, Mr. Zakaria demonstrates he hails from a civilization totally alien to our own. In short, he "doesn't get it" on what the US Constitution really is.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  4. Courtney

    Wow, I'm shocked at the lack of research and reason displayed in this article. I feel like what I learned in grade school and later during my college years completely contradicts what Mr. Zakaria is saying. Even then I saw the genius of the Electoral College AND the way our Senate is structured (although I find term limits to be an interesting idea).

    Look beyond our Founding Fathers to the larger-than-life men of the Jacksonian era of politics. Read what these luminaries thought of our government system–flawed but far from the debacle described above.

    If anything these "undemocratic issues" actually help safeguard the rights of the "little guy".

    June 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  5. Kevin

    If you do away with the Electoral College and opt for a direct vote of the people, presidents will only be elected by the largest states. All the campaign promises and pandering will be focused in the largest urban centers. The cost of campaigns will skyrocket as attention is only paid to large-markets. The needs of the smaller, less densely populated states will be ignored. In fact, the process will become less democratic than it is currently.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  6. ICELAND

    ICELAND ?

    June 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  7. raforrester

    I have several things I would like to see.

    1. The framers of the constitution wanted to prevent direct democracy because of the rule of the mob. That is even more a danger now than it was then, because of the ability of a few rich persons to stampede the whole country into doing what the few rich people want, or elect who the rich want. This is even more of a problem now that corporations have been granted the power to spend whatever they want on elections. So, far from abolishing the electoral college, I would strengthen it to make it independent of parties, independent of elected officials, and separate from the government entirely. Let the electors be on a ballot to be elected for themselves, because of their perceived wisdom and intelligence, and prohibit them from promising to vote for a particular person. Let them come together in a public convention to choose the next president and vice president. They could even draft a a person who is not even running for president, which would actually be a great step forward. It could even be determined that anyone actually running for president would not be eligible for becoming president. For the position of elector, no current members of government need apply.
    As a second best possibility, let all members of state legislatures come together as electors to choose the president and vice president, because they are independent of the federal government and have already been elected by the people.

    2. The two-party system is destroying this nation by pitting two artificial factions against each other. Even though conservatives and liberals both have valid points of view that both need to be heard for this country to operate, instead the two parties demonize each other, while the rich and corporations pay both of them off behind the table in order to rob the country blind. I would say make it possible for multiple parties to have power instead of the winner-take-all method we have now for every congressional district. One way (I'm sure there are other ways) would be for every person to choose the person they want to be represented by in the House of Representatives, and if that person has enough people supporting him or her then that person goes to congress. That way there wold be no need to have elections, just collect signatures until the number of people equals the number found in a typical congressional district, and make sure nobody chooses more than one person. I personally don't want to be represented by either a Democrat or a Republican, but rather by someone independent of dogmatic ideology and not beholden to party bosses. This way every person is represented by someone they actually want to be represented by. Another way is to allow people can change their preference at elections and anyone with enough votes gets to be a representative. There are ways to guarantee that any "excess" votes are not wasted, such as ranking the representatives instead of choosing just one.

    3. Commercial Corporations are not persons. They have no conscience of their own, and no motive besides to grow. Corporations are simply pools of money, sometimes giant pools of money, and they have no motive or conscience of their own. They do not deserve the right to free speech. All the evil done by corporations is done by people who feel obligated to act to make that money grow, regardless of the consequences to anyone or anything else. Those people try to influence government in order to help the pile of money grow. The best of those people are subject to a group-think process that makes them lose sight of the human consequences, and the worst of them use the immense power of the giant pools of money to enrich themselves.
    People inside the corporations have plenty of ways to be represented in the government without the corporation pretending to "speak" for them while actually speaking only for their own profit. Therefore I would prohibit corporations from spending any money on elections or the crafting of laws. If the people want to have laws that favor particular companies or industries, they can make that opinion known to their representatives. Prohibit lobbyists for corporations from contributing any money, and require them to represent only themselves as human beings.

    4. On a similar note, anyone who is in a position to regulate business should have strict controls on their ability to get jobs and other compensation from the industry they regulate. This should be true regardless of whether the regulator is elected or staff appointed.

    5. The judiciary, especially the Supreme Court, need to be independent of the political process, so I would not want to change the law to elect them nor give them shorter terms. However I would make them more accountable by allowing the full complement of federal judges to recall a particular Supreme Court justice for incompetence or blatant bias, such as we see on the Supreme Court today. After all, it was a majority of the court that found that the people's right to fair and impartial elections is not as important as the "right" to speedy elections, a "right" which is not found in the constitution at all.

    6. It should be explicit in the constitution that money is not speech. Money is power, and in this context it is the ability to make your own speech heard instead that of anyone else, or in other words to power to suppress free speech. A person running for office would be prohibited from accepting money from any commercial organization such as a commercial corporation or a union, or from any ideological political organization, especially parties, which can be used to launder money in order to get around prohibitions on donations by corporations.

    7. I wouldn't impose term limits on representatives because it takes time to become an expert on the legislative process. Term limits therefore make the legislature weaker and the executive branch more powerful, and lobbyists too. However, I would make sure that all elected representatives do not ever have to spend their time raising money for reelection. Provide public funds for every incumbent to mount a competitive campaign for reelection, which means being able to match the funds that challengers are spending. The country will come out way ahead financially if it is willing to spend this money.

    8. I would get rid of all the obscure laws and practices that make the government really anti-democratic, and not just in the sense of this being a republic instead of a direct democracy. Get rid of filibusters, secret holds, minority blocks to appointments, etc. Get rid of secret meetings, such as the energy policy meetings between Dick Cheney and all the oil companies or meetings between Obama and Goldman Sachs. Make it transparent and force representatives to make public what they are doing.

    9. Finally, in today's political climate, any Constitutional Convention is liable to be bought by corporations or political parties, rich people and friends of rich people. Maybe it could be run entirely by people whose careers make them more or less independent of the political process, and whose duties include the expectation (though not always the reality) of impartiality, such as judges and academics. Judges have practical real world experience in the immediate consequences of laws, and academics have deep theoretical knowledge of social policy and long term effects of laws.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  8. Benjamin Franklin

    Get the FU CK away from my CONSTITUTION!

    June 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      You point out a major flaw...it protects douche bags like you.

      June 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Reply
      • bannister

        As well as douche bags like you...

        June 24, 2011 at 12:55 am |
  9. Palchy

    Fareed – The framers already anticipated that the power hungry control freaks would want to trash the Constitution so they allowed for the amendment process. If that is too difficult to invoke change then that should tell us something. Usurping the Constitution is the last step to Tyranny. If you want to amend the constitution by all means make your case.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  10. David McD

    Well Fareed, I suppose you expected this flurry of responses. I usually tell people they can take your opinions to the bank. But I'm not sure what point you are trying to make with your discussion of the "problems" presented by how the Senate is constituted. I think the framers had it just right. The great state of Rhode Island is great, not because of its population, but because it was a part of the enterprise that created our country, then our constitution. If the Senate were to be proportional to population, then 1) why even have it? and 2) what to do about the concerns of the smaller (in population) states?

    June 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  11. David

    corporations are not people, hence they have no patriotism or loyalty!!! Thats why all our jobs get sent over seas to ungrateful developing nations...

    June 20, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  12. MICHAEL WHITE

    Yea, I'd agree this author Fareed Zakaria has no clue about why the Senate gives every state 2 senators each. It was designed so that small states could have an "Equal" say as large states in the Congress. The House of Representatives bases representation on population, but every state is guaranteed to have at least one representative. This author's lack of knowledge would totally disenfranchise smaller states. CNN ought to terminate him for his ignorance.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  13. David

    I think highly of your intelect Fareed but you are very wrong on this. All you have to do is read the postings on CNN stories from time to time to see that direct democracy of the idiot masses is not what we need. We need the elite, highly educated in a closed environment making the decisions. That's why the Constitution has worked for so long and why we need an electoral college. And we need a senate so big states can't always get their way over small states; it's a balance. This is your worst idea ever.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
    • Jack

      I don't think highly of his intellect.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  14. Lets model ourselves after the desperate measures of a failed state.

    INGENIOUS! If we keep thinking like that, we can emulate Somalia or Afghanistan and all our standards of living will rise!

    June 20, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  15. Jack

    Who the HELL is Fareed Zakaria??? He's an ignoramous, that's who he is. I'll trust James Madison, Ben Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson over this guy with a Muslim name any day. After all, show me ONE Muslim country that has a functioning democracy. There is none. CNN, stop letting these ignorant people post editorials.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      First – having an Arabic (not Muslim...) name does not make one either Arabic OR Muslim. Second, regardless of his name, he's not saying anything that Thomas Jefferson himself didn't believe.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Reply
      • fsafernjk,b

        It's Arab not Arabic.

        June 21, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • pt6071

      Muslim Democracy: Turkey

      June 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      You are not a smart person.

      June 20, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  16. GD

    It's not so much rewriting The Constitution that bothers me. It's the fact that I don't trust anyone in office at the moment from either party or otherwise to do the job correctly and fairly.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  17. Ed

    The Constitution should be re-written with a few important protections for taxpayers. A maximum percent of income and assets should be included (ex. no taxypayer should ever be required to pay more than 10% (or some reasonable amount) in taxes)....this should include all federal, state, and local taxes, so that they could not just shift things around.

    Along with this needs to be a balanced budget requirement. We have to have a healthy economy, not burdened by massive debt. The government needs to be able to respond to economic emergencies, not be the cause of them.

    Federal elections should be one person, one vote. Period.

    Although the 2 party system is not in the Constitution, the Constitution needs to be rewritten to protect democracy. You cannot have a true democracy with a 2 party system, and 2 party systems should be prohibited by the Constitution. There needs to be a level playing field, with the current parties losing their monopoly on power.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  18. ludvig

    I'd put in an Amendment to replace the Supreme Court who are nothing more than political hacks with a computer programmed to understand language and words. That would save the country a lot of money and a lot of needless bantering over the Court nominees. I mean if you look at instant replay, you see it's more accurate than the umps or refs. The same would be true of an elitist , top schools in the Country only, Supreme bunch of illiterate political hacks who can't recognize the human bladder is an organ in the human person which should be immune to unlawful search, such as in random drug testing.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  19. bob

    written by an Indian who comes from a corrupt country without a constitution – omg what a loser

    June 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Reply
    • afafafdagsg

      I can see that you know nothing about India at all. India does have a constitution, and you can read it if you want. Also, India is not a corrupt country and it is an emerging superpower. There are problems but, they are getting better. Next time, if you put a comment here, research it first.

      June 20, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Reply
    • Neel

      The following is a little piece of general knowledge Bob. Hope this helps you to understand Mr. Zakaria's native country.
      The Constitution of India is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world, containing more than 395 articles in 22 parts, 12 schedules and 110 amendments, for a total of 117,369 words in the English language version. It is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers and duties, government and spells out the fundamental rights, directive principles and duties of citizens. It declares the Union of India to be a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizens of justice, equality, and liberty, and endeavours to promote among them all, fraternity. The words "socialist", "secular", and "integrity" were added to the definition in 1976 by constitutional amendment. India celebrates the adoption of the constitution on 26 January each year as Republic Day. It was passed by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, it came into effect on 26 January 1950. 26 January was chosen to commemorate the declaration of independence of 1930. After coming into effect, the Constitution replaced the Government of India Act 1935 as the governing document of India.

      June 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Reply
    • fdhghgd

      Aap kya kaha rahe ho?
      Kya aap Bharat ke bare mem pata hai?

      June 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  20. KIRK

    are you nuts its why they put it that way ONE STATE GETS TWO VOTES PERIOD IN SENATE
    AND IN CONGRESS ITS BASED ON POPULATION it was only way to get small states to join if you go one person one vote only east and west coast would choose pres the union would dissolve NOT GOING TO HAPPEN WHILE I BREATH solidiers took oath to protect constitution and you need 2/3 of states to ratify AGAIN not GONNA HAPPEN
    all the smaller staes would leave union we are a republic

    June 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  21. Thing55

    I would propose an amendment that mandates that the eventual costs to society from business activities shall be levied against the businesses that cause those additional costs. As it stands today tobacco companies don't pay the full cost for the 400,000+ deaths they cause in the U.S. each year, not to mention the pain and suffering and other consequential damages. If Wall Street wants to be reckless with financial products, perhaps they should be levied for that recklessness. Businesses should pay directly for polluting the air and water. Certain businesses in the food industry should pay for the costs associated with obesity and diabetes. Remediation or remuneration should be paid for by the companies that inflict the damage. If the fast food industry causes certain health care costs, why should taxpayers or health insurance consumers pay for this? If the eventual costs that result from certain products and activities are priced into those same products and activities, they are discouraged. If not, the burden is shifted to others and the damaging products and activities are effectively subsidized.

    The amendment could read: All commerce shall be assessed, as precisely as practicable, for the costs and burdens inflicted by their products or activities.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • Thing55

      All commercial businesses shall be assessed...

      June 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  22. Elson

    The constitution does not even mention the word "democracy" in it, which is kind of ironic. it seems as if when it was drafted, they thought that the rich and those in power would care for everybody, but they did not realize that greed plays a huge factor. The constitution should be revised so it caters to everybody in every class.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  23. Tim H

    My only concern with the term limits topic is that I fear what they would do if they weren't concerned with re-election. Many don't generally care what their constituents want now, even though they wish to be elected again. And, we saw what the outgoing pols did this last election, after they had lost their jobs. Worrying about their next gig is the only thing that almost keeps them honest. Can you imagine what they'd do if they knew they were leaving anyway?

    June 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Term limits/age limits, lobbyist need to be eliminated, priveledgesI(perks) that government officials and their families receive during office need be eliminated, people who already have corrupt backgrounds should not be allowed to go into office or stay in office, periodic background checks on officials is crucial and needs to be done.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  25. bannister

    Fareek Zakaria is playing with fire here.

    If the US Constitution was "updated" at this point in our history, we would end up with LESS rights, not more and the government would have MORE powers, not less. This is a DANGEROUS IDEA.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Reply
    • Tim H

      Hallelujah! (non-religious connotation for anybody who has a problem with it)

      June 20, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  26. Joe

    If you don't like the current constituation, you have the right to leave the good ole USA. Leave now!

    June 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      So you are telling people to get out of the country for exercising the freedoms the constitution protects.

      June 20, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  27. DTS

    A simplistic explanation of the Constitution at best. I guess the argument might make sense when you base your analysis on Cliffs Notes version of American History. It fails to recognize the impact of letting one region run roughshod over the others. California, despite its massive population, is hardly in a position to make decisions for dairy farmers in one state, auto workers in another, etc. The Senate and the Electoral College provide balance for the minority against the size of the majority. To eliminate either is to toss out a basic element of American Democracy – rule by the majority with protection for the minority.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  28. States' Rights

    Just what I needed to start my day...a Pakistani retard working for the Communist News Netword telling me (a true American) that I need my Constitution re-written so that he and his liberal pals can force me to pay for more things that they're not willing to, like Obamacare. I've read the Constitution. I don't see anything that really can't be applied now a days. It's a document that liberals don't like b/c it guarantees true Americans the rights of freedom, most importantly that the federal government can't rule over us. Instead of re-writing the Constitution, I have a better idea...let's round up all the liberals, buy them all one way tickets to Europe, and wave goodbye to them forever. That sounds nice!

    June 20, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • Benjamin Franklin

      You make me happy, I'm clapping for you in my grave.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • Glaudy

      Wow. "A true American", huh? What does that mean exactly? Should I use your your words as evidence of what "a true American" is?

      Do you actually believe that Republicans care about the people or the Constitution? I don't believe in our government and I don't believe the leaders of our country care what your views are or mine. Our government is broken and I don't think it can possibly be fixed without drastic measures. Even then we would be changing one God for another so what does it matter?

      June 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • TRH

      Yeah, actually it DOES sound nice.

      June 20, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Reply
    • Thing55

      "...let's round up all the liberals, buy them all one way tickets to Europe, and wave goodbye to them forever." Then you could descend into Third World status much more quickly.

      June 20, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • terry Moore

      Sticks and stones will break my bones..... "State's Rights".... do you enjoy the hgandgun that you own ? Do you enjoy depriving gay people from civil union ? Do you enjoy living in the 18th century...? Hey, you may even think that our present economic problems will be solved if we lower the taxes of the rich people... Oh well.. Barnum said that there would be a sucker born every day... he did not add that there would be an idiot as well..

      June 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  29. Bill Santagata

    We do not need a constitutional overhaul. Unlike other countries, we've kept our constitution on the short and simple side: enough direction to give the country stability, but not so prescribed such that there is no room for flexibility over time. Any amendment that would alter the nature of the Senate or Electoral College would change the very nature of our country, that of a federation of quasi-sovereign states.

    There are two "housekeeping"-type amendments that I can think of.

    1) The nature of the Constitutional Convention that can be called by 2/3 of the states has no description. Because no one knows how such a convention would operate, none have been called in our entire history. This hinders the states' abilities to propose amendments. I would overhaul the amendment process as such: amendments can be proposed by 2/3 of each house of Congress and ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures OR amendments can be proposed by 2/3 of the state legislatures and ratified by 3/4 of each house of Congress.

    2) It is unconscionable that Congress can limit the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and limit the subject matters of the lower federal court. In this way, Congress can effectively amend the Constitution by a simple law. We are fortunate that this power has seldom be used. I would propose ratifying and amendment that would prohibit Congress from limiting subject matter jurisdiction.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  30. ann

    Our government was originally created as a Republic based somewhat off of the extensive readings that the founding fathers had done regarding Cicero. They wanted to find a balance learning from those that had gone before them.

    Our founding fathers were very much concerned about the government protecting the rights and voices of individuals and of minority groups. Individual voices and minority groups have little influence on a government where the majority has absolute power. The founding fathers were worried about the majority becoming much like a monarch (which they had just escaped) and having that kind of power over all lording it over everyone and squashing voices that didn't agree with them.

    Therefore the government was built to have a set of checks and balances to make sure that both the majority and also the individuals had influence. The house of reps basically gives most of the power to the majority. If California and New York wants something a certain way then they could potentially squash the voice of rhode island entirely on every single thing. The Senate was created to give the smaller groups at least some power too so that they could have at least some power to make sure that not all their rights were squashed and stomped out of existence. These two houses work hand in hand to create the laws that we all live by.

    So to rethink the Senate is in effect moving us more toward the possibility of a despotic monarchy where the majority is always the one who gets its way. This sounds good until you are someone who doesn't agree with the majority. Sometimes the majority is moving on a mob mentality and needs something to bring it back into check.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
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