Why can’t being this stupid be at least a little bit painful?
Joe Huffman finds a Los Angeles Times opinion columnist, Mark Kurlansky, who has just about had it with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and promotes the idea of just scraping them altogether and writing up something new.
Let’s stop fussing about what America’s founders thought, and let our minds run free.
Someone has to say it or we are never going to get out of this rut: I am sick and tired of the founding fathers and all their intents.
The real American question of our times is how our country in a little over 200 years sank from the great hope to the most backward democracy in the West. The U.S. offers the worst healthcare program, one of the worst public school systems and the worst benefits for workers. The margin between rich and poor has been growing precipitously while it has been decreasing in Europe. Among the great democracies, we use military might less cautiously, show less respect for international law and are the stumbling block in international environmental cooperation. Few informed people look to the United States anymore for progressive ideas.
We ought to do something. Instead, we keep worrying about the vision of a bunch of sexist, slave-owning 18th century white men in wigs and breeches. Even in the 18th century, the founding fathers were not the most enlightened thinkers available. They were the ones whose ideas prevailed.
Kurlansky goes on to use quotes from historical figures to say that they agree with his premise that “To be honest, the U.S. was never as good as it was supposed to be.”
In a strange twist in his line of thought, Kurlansky even quotes Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers whose opinions we’re not supposed to care about:
“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”
Silly me, I always thought that that was the purpose of being able to amend the Constitution. Apparently, Mr. Kurlansky believes that it means we are to toss out the whole of the Constitution every few decades.
I went and Googled the quote, because lately there have been some rather shifty types claiming Jefferson said a lot of things. Guess who is at the top of the Google search results for this quote?
No, not the US Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC, where Mr. Kurlansky is correct about the quote being carved on the wall.
No, not the National Park at Monticello either.
It is none other than The Peace Alliance. Also known as The Campaign to Establish a US Department of Peace