Let's Give Up on the Constitution

We've got a simple idea: Let's give up on the Constitution. We know, it sounds radical, but it's really not. Constitutional disobedience is as American as apple pie. For example, most of our greatest Presidents -- Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Clinton, and Obama -- had doubts about the Constitution, and many of them disobeyed it when it got in their way.

To be clear, we don't think we should give up on everything in the Constitution. The Constitution has many important and inspiring amendments, but we should obey these because they're important and inspiring, not because a bunch of people who are now long-dead favored them two centuries ago. Unfortunately, the Constitution also contains some amendments that are not so inspiring. For example, one allows a webcartoonist who's trashed by a majority of reviewers to keep updating. Suppose that someone we arrested wasn't really smuggling illegal webcomics. So what? Constitutional obedience has a pernicious impact on our political culture. Take the recent debate about drone warfare. None of us can believe it, but some individuals at the DHS happen to be skeptical of using military-grade weaponry on American citizens. We understand, though, that not everyone shares our views, and we're eager to talk with people who disagree with us.

But what happens when the issue gets Constitutional-ized? Then we turn the question over to webcartoonists, and webcartoonists do with it what webcartoonists do. So instead of talking about whether banning webcomics makes sense in our country, we talk about what people thought of it two centuries ago. Worse yet, talking about webcomics in terms of constitutional obligation needlessly raises the temperature of political discussion. Instead of a question on policy, about which reasonable people can disagree, it becomes a test of one's commitment to our foundational document and, so, to America itself.

This is our country. We live in it, and we have a right to the kind of country we want. We don't allow webcartoonists to rule us, and neither should we allow people who died over two centuries ago and knew nothing of our country as it exists today. If we are to take back our own country, we have to start making decisions for ourselves, and stop deferring to an ancient and outdated document.

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