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 And, anyway, they felt the document was old and outdated, drafted all the way back in 1944.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. nancy

    I would add the following amendments to the Constitution:
    1 Do away with the Electoral College and replace it with the popular vote of the people.
    2. MAndate that on both federal & state income tax returns each person be charged 1 dollar to be used for political campaigns– thus eliminating camp[aign funding by private corporations.
    3. Mandate single payer health insurance–either medicare, the VA ;plan or what our congressmen and senators now have

    June 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Reply
  2. kirk

    OK NOW MY BLOOD PRESSURE IS OUT THE ROOF

    GET RID OF ELECTORAL COLLEGE ARE YOU STUPID OR WHAT THAT WOULD DESTROY OUR NATION YOU MORON IT WOULD DISOLVE OVERNIGHT NO SMALL STATE WOULD STAY IN UNION

    DID HE EVEN GO TO SCHOOL

    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

    you need 2/3 of states to ratify AGAIN not GONNA HAPPEN

    all the smaller staes would leave union OUTRIGHT

    we are a republic FOR A REASON

    The electoral college exists to provide a standard 'weighting' of votes so no one populous state could overwhelm the concerns and interests of other states.

    By design it is possible to win the 'popular vote' and lose the election (the popular vote was never intended to be used for determining who won).

    He's probably aware of this, but is championing a leftist agenda popular in very populous states like California and New York but basically completely rejected in the rest of the country.

    The Senate again has absolutely nothing to do with "one man, one vote".

    The senate exists to represent the interests of the states (as soverign powers in and of themselves, they have rights under the constitution

    CONGRESS ADDRESSES ONE MAN ONE VOTE AS IT IS BASED ON PUPULATION

    THATS HOW ELECTORAL COLLEGE WORKS

    INDIANA 11 VOTES 2 SENATORS 9 CONGRESSMEN/WOMAN

    California 55 VOTES 2 SENATORS 53 CONGRESSMEN/WOMAN

    EACH IN SENATE STATES HAS EQUAL FOOTING AND ONE BIG STATES CANT RUN LITTLE ONES

    BUT IN CONGRESS CALIFORNIA HAS A BIGGER VOTE BECAUSE IT HAS MORE PEOPLE

    AND NOW AS THEN THE SMALLER STATES WOULD NOT HAVE JOIN OR BE IN THE UNION IF THEY DID NOT HAVE EQUAL SAY IN LAWS CONCERNING THEM

    THE FOUNDING FATHERS BRILLIANT IDEA WAS TO COVER BOTH AND A BILL HAS TO PASS BOTH

    i dont know if this guy even read the books when in school

    June 22, 2011 at 12:36 am | Reply
  3. kirk

    ok we can listen to this nut job or we can listen to Abraham Lincoln

    Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”

    We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
    Abraham Lincoln

    I DONT KNOW ABOUT THE IDIOTS ON THIS PAGE BUT IF I HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THEM AND
    ABRAHAM LINCOLM
    ILL STICK WITH ABE AND IF ANYONE TRIES TO CHANGE IT WITHOUT GOING THROUGH CONSTITUTIONAL PROCESS WELL I HAVE A SHOTGUN AND A SHOVEL AND ITS GOOD FOR VARMITS

    June 22, 2011 at 12:44 am | Reply
  4. kirk

    YOU WANT IT CHANGED ITS THIS WAY OR NO WAY

    There are essentially two ways spelled out in the Constitution for how to propose an amendment. One has never been used.

    The first method is for a bill to pass both houses of the legislature, by a two-thirds majority in each. Once the bill has passed both houses, it goes on to the states. This is the route taken by all current amendments. Because of some long outstanding amendments, such as the 27th, Congress will normally put a time limit (typically seven years) for the bill to be approved as an amendment (for example, see the 21st and 22nd).

    The second method prescribed is for a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the States, and for that Convention to propose one or more amendments. These amendments are then sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures or conventions. This route has never been taken, and there is discussion in political science circles about just how such a convention would be convened, and what kind of changes it would bring about.

    Regardless of which of the two proposal routes is taken, the amendment must be ratified, or approved, by three-fourths of states. There are two ways to do this, too. The text of the amendment may specify whether the bill must be passed by the state legislatures or by a state convention. See the Ratification Convention Page for a discussion of the make up of a convention. Amendments are sent to the legislatures of the states by default. Only one amendment, the 21st, specified a convention. In any case, passage by the legislature or convention is by simple majority.

    The Constitution, then, spells out four paths for an amendment:

    •Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state conventions (never used)
    •Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state legislatures (never used)
    •Proposal by Congress, ratification by state conventions (used once)
    •Proposal by Congress, ratification by state legislatures (used all other times)
    It is interesting to note that at no point does the President have a role in the formal amendment process (though he would be free to make his opinion known). He cannot veto an amendment proposal, nor a ratification. This point is clear in Article 5, and was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in Hollingsworth v Virginia (3 US 378 [1798
    NO OTHER WAY PERIOD
    YOU WANT TO CHANGE CONSTITUTION YOU MUST USE THIS AND NO OTHER WAY

    June 22, 2011 at 1:01 am | Reply
  5. kirk

    I AM FURIOUS AT SOME PEOPLE ON HERE
    but having said that it is our beloved constitution that gives them the right to speak freely
    AND IT AND ONLY IT PROTECTS THAT RIGHT and i would never go against it

    BUT SPEAKING FOR ME I WILL DEFEND IT UNTILL MY LAST BREATH

    June 22, 2011 at 1:09 am | Reply
  6. kirk

    two forms of government: Democracy and Republic, are not only dissimilar but antithetical, reflecting the sharp contrast between (a) The Majority Unlimited, in a Democracy, lacking any legal safeguard of the rights of The Individual and The Minority, and (b) The Majority Limited, in a Republic under a written Constitution safeguarding the rights of The Individual and The Minority; as we shall now see.

    A Democracy

    The chief characteristic and distinguishing feature of a Democracy is: Rule by Omnipotent Majority. In a Democracy, The Individual, and any group of Individuals composing any Minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of The Majority. It is a case of Majority-over-Man.

    This is true whether it be a Direct Democracy, or a Representative Democracy. In the direct type, applicable only to a small number of people as in the little city-states of ancient Greece, or in a New England town-meeting, all of the electorate assemble to debate and decide all government questions, and all decisions are reached by a majority vote (of at least half-plus-one). Decisions of The Majority in a New England town-meeting are, of course, subject to the Constitutions of the State and of the United States which protect The Individual’s rights; so, in this case, The Majority is not omnipotent and such a town-meeting is, therefore, not an example of a true Direct Democracy. Under a Representative Democracy like Britain’s parliamentary form of government, the people elect representatives to the national legislature–the elective body there being the House of Commons–and it functions by a similar vote of at least half-plus-one in making all legislative decisions.

    In both the Direct type and the Representative type of Democracy, The Majority’s power is absolute and unlimited; its decisions are unappealable under the legal system established to give effect to this form of government. This opens the door to unlimited Tyranny-by-Majority. This was what The Framers of the United States Constitution meant in 1787, in debates in the Federal (framing) Convention, when they condemned the "excesses of democracy" and abuses under any Democracy of the unalienable rights of The Individual by The Majority. Examples were provided in the immediate post-1776 years by the legislatures of some of the States. In reaction against earlier royal tyranny, which had been exercised through oppressions by royal governors and judges of the new State governments, while the legislatures acted as if they were virtually omnipotent. There were no effective State Constitutions to limit the legislatures because most State governments were operating under mere Acts of their respective legislatures which were mislabelled "Constitutions." Neither the governors not the courts of the offending States were able to exercise any substantial and effective restraining influence upon the legislatures in defense of The Individual’s unalienable rights, when violated by legislative infringements. (Connecticut and Rhode Island continued under their old Charters for many years.) It was not until 1780 that the first genuine Republic through constitutionally limited government, was adopted by Massachusetts–next New Hampshire in 1784, other States later.

    It was in this connection that Jefferson, in his "Notes On The State of Virginia" written in 1781-1782, protected against such excesses by the Virginia Legislature in the years following the Declaration of Independence, saying: "An elective despotism was not the government we fought for . . ." (Emphasis Jefferson’s.) He also denounced the despotic concentration of power in the Virginia Legislature, under the so-called "Constitution"–in reality a mere Act of that body:

    "All the powers of government, legislative, executive, judiciary, result to the legislative body. The concentrating these in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one. 173 despots would surely be as oppressive as one. Let those who doubt it turn their eyes on the republic of Venice."

    This topic–the danger to the people’s liberties due to the turbulence of democracies and omnipotent, legislative majority–is discussed in The Federalist, for example in numbers 10 and 48 by Madison (in the latter noting Jefferson’s above-quoted comments).

    The Framing Convention’s records prove that by decrying the "excesses of democracy" The Framers were, of course, not opposing a popular type of government for the United States; their whole aim and effort was to create a sound system of this type. To contend to the contrary is to falsify history. Such a falsification not only maligns the high purpose and good character of The Framers but belittles the spirit of the truly Free Man in America–the people at large of that period–who happily accepted and lived with gratification under the Constitution as their own fundamental law and under the Republic which it created, especially because they felt confident for the first time of the security of their liberties thereby protected against abuse by all possible violators, including The Majority momentarily in control of government. The truth is that The Framers, by their protests against the "excesses of democracy," were merely making clear their sound reasons for preferring a Republic as the proper form of government. They well knew, in light of history, that nothing but a Republic can provide the best safeguards–in truth in the long run the only effective safeguards (if enforced in practice)–for the people’s liberties which are inescapably victimized by Democracy’s form and system of unlimited Government-over-Man featuring The Majority Omnipotent. They also knew that the American people would not consent to any form of government but that of a Republic. It is of special interest to note that Jefferson, who had been in Paris as the American Minister for several years, wrote Madison from there in March 1789 that:

    "The tyranny of the legislatures is the most formidable dread at present, and will be for long years. That of the executive will come it’s turn, but it will be at a remote period." (Text per original.)

    Somewhat earlier, Madison had written Jefferson about violation of the Bill of Rights by State legislatures, stating:

    "Repeated violations of those parchment barriers have been committed by overbearing majorities in every State. In Virginia I have seen the bill of rights violated in every instance where it has been opposed to a popular current."

    It is correct to say that in any Democracy–either a Direct or a Representative type–as a form of government, there can be no legal system which protects The Individual or The Minority (any or all minorities) against unlimited tyranny by The Majority. The undependable sense of self-restraint of the persons making up The Majority at any particular time offers, of course, no protection whatever. Such a form of government is characterized by The Majority Omnipotent and Unlimited. This is true, for example, of the Representative Democracy of Great Britain; because unlimited government power is possessed by the House of Lords, under an Act of Parliament of 1949–indeed, it has power to abolish anything and everything governmental in Great Britain.

    For a period of some centuries ago, some English judges did argue that their decisions could restrain Parliament; but this theory had to be abandoned because it was found to be untenable in the light of sound political theory and governmental realities in a Representative Democracy. Under this form of government, neither the courts not any other part of the government can effectively challenge, much less block, any action by The Majority in the legislative body, no matter how arbitrary, tyrannous, or totalitarian they might become in practice. The parliamentary system of Great Britain is a perfect example of Representative Democracy and of the potential tyranny inherent in its system of Unlimited Rule by Omnipotent Majority. This pertains only to the potential, to the theory, involved; governmental practices there are irrelevant to this discussion.

    Madison’s observations in The Federalist number 10 are noteworthy at this point because they highlight a grave error made through the centuries regarding Democracy as a form of government. He commented as follows:

    "Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed, that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions."

    Democracy, as a form of government, is utterly repugnant to–is the very antithesis of–the traditional American system: that of a Republic, and its underlying philosophy, as expressed in essence in the Declaration of Independence with primary emphasis upon the people’s forming their government so as to permit them to possess only "just powers" (limited powers) in order to make and keep secure the God-given, unalienable rights of each and every Individual and therefore of all groups of Individuals.

    A Republic

    A Republic, on the other hand, has a very different purpose and an entirely different form, or system, of government. Its purpose is to control The Majority strictly, as well as all others among the people, primarily to protect The Individual’s God-given, unalienable rights and therefore for the protection of the rights of The Minority, of all minorities, and the liberties of people in general. The definition of a Republic is: a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution–adopted by the people and changeable (from its original meaning) by them only by its amendment–with its powers divided between three separate Branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Here the term "the people" means, of course, the electorate.

    The people adopt the Constitution as their fundamental law by utilizing a Constitutional Convention–especially chosen by them for this express and sole purpose–to frame it for consideration and approval by them either directly or by their representatives in a Ratifying Convention, similarly chosen. Such a Constitutional Convention, for either framing or ratification, is one of America’s greatest contributions, if not her greatest contribution, to the mechanics of government–of self-government through constitutionally limited government, comparable in importance to America’s greatest contribution to the science of government: the formation and adoption by the sovereign people of a written Constitution as the basis for self-government. One of the earliest, if not the first, specific discussions of this new American development (a Constitutional Convention) in the historical records is an entry in June 1775 in John Adams’ "Autobiography" commenting on the framing by a convention and ratification by the people as follows:

    "By conventions of representatives, freely, fairly, and proportionately chosen . . . the convention may send out their project of a constitution, to the people in their several towns, counties, or districts, and the people may make the acceptance of it their own act."

    Yet the first proposal in 1778 of a Constitution for Massachusetts was rejected for the reason, in part, as stated in the "Essex Result" (the result, or report, of the Convention of towns of Essex County), that it had been framed and proposed not by a specially chosen convention but by members of the legislature who were involved in general legislative duties, including those pertaining to the conduct of the war.

    The first genuine and soundly founded Republic in all history was the one created by the first genuine Constitution, which was adopted by the people of Massachusetts in 1780 after being framed for their consideration by a specially chosen Constitutional Convention. (As previously noted, the so-called "Constitutions" adopted by some States in 1776 were mere Acts of Legislatures, not genuine Constitutions.) That Constitutional Convention of Massachusetts was the first successful one ever held in the world; although New Hampshire had earlier held one unsuccessfully – it took several years and several successive conventions to produce the New Hampshire Constitution of 1784. Next, in 1787-1788, the United States Constitution was framed by the Federal Convention for the people’s consideration and then ratified by the people of the several States through a Ratifying Convention in each State specially chosen by them for this sole purpose. Thereafter the other States gradually followed in general the Massachusetts pattern of Constitution-making in adoption of genuine Constitutions; but there was a delay of a number of years in this regard as to some of them, several decades as to a few.

    This system of Constitution-making, for the purpose of establishing constitutionally limited government, is designed to put into practice the principle of the Declaration of Independence: that the people form their governments and grant to them only "just powers," limited powers, in order primarily to secure (to make and keep secure) their God-given, unalienable rights. The American philosophy and system of government thus bar equally the "snob-rule" of a governing Elite and the "mob-rule" of an Omnipotent Majority. This is designed, above all else, to preclude the existence in America of any governmental power capable of being misused so as to violate The Individual’s rights–to endanger the people’s liberties.

    With regard to the republican form of government (that of a republic), Madison made an observation in The Federalist (no. 55) which merits quoting here–as follows:

    "As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust: So there are other qualities in human nature, which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican government (that of a Republic) presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form. Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us, faithful likenesses of the human character, the inference would be that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another." (Emphasis added.)

    It is noteworthy here that the above discussion, though brief, is sufficient to indicate the reasons why the label "Republic" has been misapplied in other countries to other and different forms of government throughout history. It has been greatly misunderstood and widely misused–for example as long ago as the time of Plato, when he wrote his celebrated volume, The Republic; in which he did not discuss anything governmental even remotely resembling–having essential characteristics of–a genuine Republic. Frequent reference is to be found, in the writings of the period of the framing of the Constitution for instance, to "the ancient republics," but in any such connection the term was used loosely–by way of contrast to a monarchy or to a Direct Democracy–often using the term in the sense merely of a system of Rule-by-Law featuring Representative government; as indicated, for example, by John Adams in his "Thoughts on Government" and by Madison in The Federalist numbers 10 and 39. But this is an incomplete definition because it can include a Representative Democracy, lacking a written Constitution limiting The Majority.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:15 am | Reply
  7. kirk

    Democracy, as a form of government, is utterly repugnant to–is the very antithesis of–the traditional American system: that of a Republic, and its underlying philosophy, as expressed in essence in the Declaration of Independence with primary emphasis upon the people’s forming their government so as to permit them to possess only "just powers" (limited powers) in order to make and keep secure the God-given, unalienable rights of each and every Individual and therefore of all groups of Individuals A REPUBLIC LIMITS MOB RULE AND PROTECTS MINORITY IDEALS THINK ABOUT THAT

    June 22, 2011 at 1:22 am | Reply
  8. kirk

    Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." Chief Justice John Marshall seconded Adams' motion: "Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos."

    "When the Constitution was framed," wrote historian Charles Beard, "no respectable person called himself or herself a democrat."

    Democracy-worship suggests a childlike belief in the wisdom and goodness of "the people." But the people supported the guillotine in the French Revolution and Napoleon. The people were wild with joy as the British, French, and German boys marched off in August 1914 to the Great War that inflicted the mortal wound on Western civilization. The people supported Hitler and the Nuremburg Laws.

    Our fathers no more trusted in the people always to do the right thing than they trusted in kings. In the republic they created, the House of Representatives, the people's house, was severely restricted in its powers by a Bill of Rights and checked by a Senate whose members were to be chosen by the states, by a president with veto power, and by a Supreme Court.

    "What kind of government do we have?" the lady asked Benjamin Franklin, as he emerged from the Constitutional Convention.

    Said Franklin, "A republic – if you can keep it."

    Let us restore that republic and, as Jefferson said, "Hear no more of trust in men, but rather bind them down from mischief with the chains of the Constitution."

    June 22, 2011 at 1:45 am | Reply
  9. kirk

    REMEMBER WE ARE A UNION OF 50 DIFFERENT REPUBLICS EACH WITH THEIR OWN LAWS HELD TOGATHER ONLY BY OUR CONSTITUTION DEFEND IT ALWAYS

    June 22, 2011 at 1:51 am | Reply
  10. Bob Tube

    The one amendment I would make to the US Constitution is to make all elections publicly funded (say, 80-100%). Legislators hate spending the great majority of their time begging for $$$, and the political donor class (e.g., corporations, unions, wealthy individuals) distorts national policy priorities horribly. One example suffices: why do we devote billions to protecting dirty 19th century energy sources (coal, oil) instead taxing them to fund more investment in 21st century energy technologies? Campaign contributions, that's why. The public should own its political representatives and free them from their never-ending indentured servitude to the donor class.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:54 am | Reply
    • kirk

      that would also stop companys owned by other govt from secretly trying to influence our elections not a bad idea for a amendment and it would limit pacs and corporate funding

      June 22, 2011 at 2:11 am | Reply
    • KIRK

      The sad thing, is that many people in this country, don’t even know what a republic is, much less that they live in one. Many people will tell you that the United States is a Democracy. While there are elements of Democracy woven into the fabric of our country, it is absolutely not a Democracy in the strictest sense. James Madison wrote in the Federalist Paper No. 10, “Hence it is that democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and in general have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. A republic, by which I mean a government in which a scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect and promises the cure for which we are seeking.”

      In other words a democracy allows for mob rule where the majority always gets their way. If the majority votes to take away your land, you lose your land. If the majority votes to outlaw your business, you lose your business. It’s that simple and this is what Madison was referring to when he talked about a democracy being “incompatible with the rights of property.” The founders were well aware that a democracy will eventually implode as the majority votes themselves largess from the treasury and special privileges. This is why they set the country up as a representative republic

      June 22, 2011 at 4:54 am | Reply
    • Lee Anne

      I agree

      June 22, 2011 at 7:31 am | Reply
    • kirk

      We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
      Abraham Lincoln

      I DONT KNOW ABOUT THE IDIOTS ON THIS PAGE BUT IF I HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THEM AND
      ABRAHAM LINCOLM

      GET RID OF ELECTORAL COLLEGE ARE YOU STUPID OR WHAT THAT WOULD DESTROY OUR NATION YOU MORON IT WOULD DISOLVE OVERNIGHT NO SMALL STATE WOULD STAY IN UNION

      DID HE EVEN GO TO SCHOOL

      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

      you need 2/3 of states to ratify AGAIN not GONNA HAPPEN

      all the smaller staes would leave union OUTRIGHT

      we are a republic FOR A REASON
      to stop idiotic mob rule like what lead to hitler

      June 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • kirk

      Our fathers no more trusted in the people always to do the right thing than they trusted in kings. In the republic they created, the House of Representatives, the people's house, was severely restricted in its powers by a Bill of Rights and checked by a Senate whose members were to be chosen by the states, by a president with veto power, and by a Supreme Court.

      "What kind of government do we have?" the lady asked Benjamin Franklin, as he emerged from the Constitutional Convention.

      Said Franklin, "A republic – if you can

      June 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • kirk

      Our fathers no more trusted in the people always to do the right thing than they trusted in kings. In the republic they created, the House of Representatives, the people's house, was severely restricted in its powers by a Bill of Rights and checked by a Senate whose members were to be chosen by the states, by a president with veto power, and by a Supreme Court.

      "What kind of government do we have?" the lady asked Benjamin Franklin, as he emerged from the Constitutional Convention.

      Said Franklin, "A republic – if you can

      only an idiot would call for a popular vote look democracy or mob rule is like two wolves and a sheep voting on whats for dinner THINK ABOUT IT

      June 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • KIRK

      ok i can listen to idiots on here or the foundig fathers....UMMM YOU LOOSE AND GUESS WHAT DREAMERS ITS GOING TO STAY this way BECAUSE YOUR WORDS ARE WITHOUT VALUE COMPARED TO THE FOUNDING FATHERS thank god most of the country would laugh you out of the room or tar and feather you
      SO GO AHEAD RANT, WHINE, BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO GET 2/3RDS OF STATES TO AGREE WITH YOU...LOL LOL...GOD LUCK WITH THAT...LOL..LOL.LOL

      June 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Reply
    • KIRK

      there are three things that i will fight,kill and die for and the constitution is one of them ..you want to change it then you get congress and the senate and 2/3rd of the states to ratify the amendment....its was made that way on purpose to stop idiotic things like whats being said on here...stay within constitutional guidelines you got no problem
      but try and rip it out or do it without following guidelines..
      THEN YOU WOULD HAVE TO PUT ME AND MILLIONS OF OTHERS IN THE GROUND BECAUSE IF YOU DIDN'T WE WOULD BURY YOU RIGHT ALONG WITH OSAMA,HITLER,AND THE OTHER Enemies of the Republic not a threat just a fact........oh yes one thing you might want to remember the military swears to defend the constitution not any one man or party against all Enemies foreign and domestic...its al right to talk and come up with ideas but changes will only come within the guidelines of that document PERIOD

      June 23, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Reply
    • KIRK

      one person one vote stupid idea founding fathers rejected it for a reason IT WOULD DISOLVE OUR UNION
      WE ARE A REPUBLIC AND YOU HAVE TO GET 2/3 OF STATES TO GO ALONG WONT EVER HAPPEN
      so forget it stupid stupid stupid idea democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on whats for dinner
      we do not need or want mob rule NO DEMOCRACY HAS EVER SURVIVED THEY DEDTROY THEM SELVES GO TO FRIGGIN SCHOOL MORONS we are a republic for a reason AND ITS GOING TO STAY THAT WAY

      June 24, 2011 at 2:29 am | Reply
    • KIRK

      we are a republic not a democracy
      Democracy-worship suggests a childlike belief in the wisdom and goodness of "the people." But the people supported the guillotine in the French Revolution and Napoleon. The people were wild with joy as the British, French, and German boys marched off in August 1914 to the Great War that inflicted the mortal wound on Western civilization. The people supported Hitler and the Nuremburg Laws.

      Our fathers no more trusted in the people always to do the right thing than they trusted in kings.

      In the republic they created, the House of Representatives, the people's house, was severely restricted in its powers by a Bill of Rights and checked by a Senate whose members were to be chosen by the states, by a president with veto power, and by a Supreme Court TO CHECK MOB RULE OF DEMOCRACY

      June 24, 2011 at 2:42 am | Reply
  11. kirk

    AS THE WORLD TEARS ITSELF APART WE HAVE TO STAND TOGATHER UNDER THE CONSTITUTION
    WATING FOR THE TIME WHEN YET AGAIN WE SHALL BE CALLED UPON TO SAVE THE WORLD FROM ITSELF AND THE TRYANNY OF MANS LUST FOR POWER AND WORLD DOMINATION
    may god always bess our union and the republic for which it stands one nation under god with liberty and justic for all

    June 22, 2011 at 1:59 am | Reply
  12. Maxine DeVries

    Start with the The Declaration of Independence and state that All People Are Created Equal, not just white men of property which they meant. No Constitution is perfect and should be amended as time marches on. That is what the amendments are for.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:26 am | Reply
  13. Trip Richert

    Amend the constitution to add a line item veto. This would shift legislative power to the executive, so there would need to be a Congressional check on this power. After a line item veto, Congress should be have an up/down vote to approve the executive changes before the bill becomes law.

    June 22, 2011 at 7:38 am | Reply
  14. Noah

    Many of these deal with the branches of government and the electoral process. These are important. Looking forward, however, there may be the need for an addition to our bill of rights. Without getting into a debate over abortion or how specific this provision would need to be – an amendment affirming a right to privacy and prohibiting prejudice (in hiring, college admissions, pay disparity, etc) based on genetic coding or potential for disease may deserve some serious thought as pre-natal science and our understanding of the human code progress.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:04 am | Reply
    • Sovereignty Soldier

      With the globalist scum politicians in our government today, you would trust them with the constitution? NO WAY! Nobody needs to mess with that document. No politicians today are as loyal to freedom as our founders with the possible exception of Ron Paul and I do NOT trust them with my rights or my daughters' future.

      June 22, 2011 at 11:03 am | Reply
  15. MichaelMelio

    At a time when corporations buy politcians who then in turn rewrite our laws to suit their benefactors, we need to amend the constitution to define once and for all time what a "person" is. Contrary to common sense, the Supreme 5 have ruled that corporationsions are persons with constitutional rights. Even though corporations are clearly PROPERTY that can be bought and sold, the Supremes have granted Free Speech rights, and just about every other right, to these properties.
    The last time the Constitution confounded the "person" with "property" we had slavery. The 13th Amendment should have taken care of that. But the power that money gives to the political system has found a way again to confuse the two. Moreover, the Supremes went further still and declared that MONEY is SPEECH, thus making the corporate coup detat complete. For now corporate execs cannot have any constraints on their political spending. It's time to Abolish Corporate Personhood, and re-establish a government of, by, and for the People.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:55 am | Reply
    • PandoraDoggl

      You decry the Supreme Court's decision classifying corporations as persons, but then you go on to speak of corporations and what they do as though they were, in fact, persons. Corporations are, as the name implies, a body of individuals who have chosen to come together in a particular way. When they do so, they establish among themselves a process for making decisions about what they do as a body corporate with the money that they earn. Why should corporations, in particular, be punished in regard to doing what they like with their own money? It's not so much about free speech as it is a right to dispose with your property as you see fit and not being singled out if you exercise your right to assembly in a way that someone else doesn't like. I don't see you making similar complaints about labor unions who seize dues from the paychecks of members who are compelled to belong to the union – and corporations aren't even as solid in their support of one particular party as are labor unions.

      June 22, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  16. Sovereignty Soldier

    This is globalist crap! This globalist scum and all like him need to leave our country and stop trying to change it and us! We are US citizen and your global citizen crap is tired and really starting to piss off real Americans. Our constitution was set up to protect us from globalist scum who would sell out national sovereignty and individual liberty for profit and power. We will NEVER allow Luciferic, globalist scum to monkey with such a sacred document! BTW, your media influence is dying because Americans are not now, nor will we ever be, globalists/citizens of the world. Piss on the fallen, cheap immitation, you globalists call god! He loses, you lose!

    June 22, 2011 at 10:58 am | Reply
  17. joey-the-wise

    whoever wrote this article is an ignorant dolt. There are many portions of our government which are not 'democratic' because this country iS NOT a democracy! It is a Constitutional Republic. Any student of history or government should be able to tell you this. Obviously the author is an expert on neither and shouldnt even be commenting on the subject until he learns more about it.

    June 22, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  18. Sam

    The Constitution already has a mechanism to allow for updating and changing the Constitution. So far the Constitution has been amended 27 times. The current organization (House and Senate) and separation of powers identified in the Constitution were to ensure the rights of the minority were protected and that no single part of our government could consolidate sufficient power to overthrow the other parts. I can understand wanting to change the Constitution but throwing it out to start over is a VERY, VERY bad idea. I have listened to Mr. Zakaria's suggestion and ideas on CNN and in his book. His logic is faulty and often takes twists and turns to arrive at his conclusions. I'm not sure why CNN keeps him on the payroll but he definitely reduces my respect for CNN and its news crew.

    June 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  19. oldgulph

    The National Popular Vote bill is a state-based approach. All the electoral votes from all the states that have enacted the bill would be awarded, as a bloc, to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill would take effect only when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes — that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). It preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections. It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College. It assures that every vote is equal and that every voter will matter in every state in every presidential election, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    The normal way of changing the method of electing the President is not a federal constitutional amendment, but changes in state law. The U.S. Constitution gives "exclusive" and "plenary" control to the states over the appointment of presidential electors.

    The United States has a republican form of government regardless of whether popular votes for presidential electors are tallied at the state-level (as has been the case in 48 states) or at district-level (as has been the case in Maine and Nebraska) or at 50-state-level (as under the National Popular Vote bill).

    The concept of a national popular vote for President is far from being politically "radioactive" in small states, because the small states recognize they are the most disadvantaged group of states under the current system.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. Support is strong among Republican voters, Democratic voters, and independent voters, as well as every demographic group surveyed in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls. Support in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Alaska - 70%, DC - 76%, Delaware –75%, Idaho – 77%, Maine - 77%, Montana – 72%, Nebraska - 74%, New Hampshire –69%, Nevada - 72%, New Mexico - 76%, Oklahoma – 81%, Rhode Island - 74%, South Dakota – 71%, Utah – 70%, Vermont - 75%, and West Virginia – 81%, and Wyoming – 69%;

    In the 13 lowest population states, the National Popular Vote bill already has been approved by nine state legislative chambers, including one house in, Delaware, the District of Columbia, and Maine and both houses in Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It has been enacted by the District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Vermont.

    The 11 most populous states contain 56% of the population of the United States, but under the current system, a candidate could win the Presidency by winning a mere 51% of the vote in just these 11 biggest states - that is, a mere 26% of the nation's votes.

    June 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  20. John

    You will NOT have your NEW WORLD ORDER.

    You will fail and you will face the consequences.

    June 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  21. John

    You will NOT have your NEW WORLD ORDER.

    You will fail and you will face the consequences..

    June 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
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