CDZ A New and Improved Constitution for the USA

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by Foxfyre, Dec 8, 2014.

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  1. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Probably most USMB members have some familiarity with at least some of the U.S. Constitution and most have strong opinions about what the Constitution does and does not protect/provide/accomplish.

    It might be an interesting discussion to have our own little Constitutional convention here and discuss what we would want to retain and what we would change of the original Constitution if the people decided to write a new one.

    For instance, the Preamble of the Original Constitution is this:

    We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


    The problem with the wording, however descriptive and elegant, is that we might have trouble in agreeing on what a 'more perfect union' is, what components of justice the federal government should be involved in, or what constitutes 'domestic tranquility'. Certainly there are broad disputes as to what is included in the 'general welfare' and strong opposing views on what 'blessings of liberty' actually are.

    My proposal for a preamble for a new constitution would be something more like this:

    We the people, in order to ensure peaceful cooperation and commerce between the various states, provide for the common defense, promote justice and the general welfare without prejudice or favoritism, and secure the unalienable rights and blessings of liberty for every citizen, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.

    What would you want a new Constitution for the United State of America to accomplish that the old one does not seem to do?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  2. rdean
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    When right wingers talk about changing the constitution, it's always about restricting rights of people they don't like. Minorities, gays, atheists and so on. Some how, the right wing thinks they are "better". They have this fantasy they built everything good in the United States. They freed the slaves and won WWI and WWII. They even know science better than scientists.
     
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  3. JakeStarkey
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    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    We the people, in order to ensure a peaceful status of an indivisible union, provide for the common defense, establish and promote justice and the general welfare without prejudice or favoritism, and secure the unalienable rights and blessings of liberty for every citizen, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.

    I agree with most of your suggestion, Foxfyre, but do place emphasis on "an indivisible union".
     
  4. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The first order of business for any new Constitution would be whether want it to be federal (the central government for a federation of states, with the bulk of power left to those states or the people of those states) - or - national; i.e. essentially do away with state governments and invest the bulk of the power in a central government.

    And that discussion could include whether states would or would not have the right of secession. Also whether the federal government's job would be to keep the peace in Duluth or whether that responsibility would fall to local laws and law enforcement.
     
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  5. JakeStarkey
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    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    Federalism can work with the bulk of power being either national or state. If the later, how much power should be given to the states?
     
  6. PratchettFan
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    PratchettFan Gold Member

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    I prefer the original language. I think it covers it nicely. BTW, there is no such thing as an unalienable right.
     
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  7. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    So what problems did I outline as misunderstandings of or issues with the original language do you disagree with? I hasten to add that my suggested Preamble is in no way offered as something engraved in granite. I hope a lot of folks will challenge it or support it or require me to support it or come up with something better. :)

    I contend there ARE unalienable rights and these are defined as whatever we think, speak, believe, or do that requires no contribution or participation by any other. We might have to have a definitions section in a new Constitution to clarify things like that.
     
  8. PratchettFan
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    PratchettFan Gold Member

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    I don't think your wording improves anything and leaves a lot in question. For example, what do you have in mind when we provide for the general welfare without prejudice or favoritism?

    What right would you consider unalienable?
     
  9. JakeStarkey
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    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    unalienable rights will provoke the atheists, though I happen to agree with the wording myself
     
  10. Derideo_Te
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    Derideo_Te Je Suis Charlie

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    My number one priority for a new constitution will be to place a blanket ban on all private funding of election campaigns.

    If you want to run for office you need to collect a certain number of signatures on a petition (depending upon the office) and then you will be awarded a fixed amount of taxpayer funds for your campaign. You will be held accountable for the funds and if you spend over the amount provided you will automatically forfeit the office should you win or be held liable to repay the funds should you lose. No outside entity can campaign on your behalf. Doing so will be a crime punishable by imprisonment.

    My next priority would be holding elected officials and lobbyists accountable to the people. All meetings must be done in public with video and audio recordings. If any violation of this rule is discovered all of the parties involved will serve jail time. That includes the son/daughter-in-law who was given a job.

    In summary all forms of bribery and corruption are to be treated as crimes punishable by prison terms of at least 10 years without parole.
     
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