A national Correspondent
for The Week Magazine
wrote in a Jan. 26 article that the U.S. Constitution is “an outdated, malfunctioning piece of junk — and it’s only getting worse.”
Correspondent Ryan Cooper says the U.S. should instead become a “parliamentary democracy, by far the most successful and road-tested form of government.”
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What is his problem with the Constitution?
Part of Cooper’s rant about the Constitution says the document’s main problem is that it makes “changing anything nearly impossible.”
“One of the biggest problems with the Constitution as written is it makes changing anything nearly impossible,” he wrote. “Other countries regularly ditch or overhaul their constitutions to deal with new problems — and even America has done so in the distant past. When the first stab at a U.S. Constitution proved totally unworkable, Americans of the day didn’t fuss around with stipulations that “the Union shall be perpetual.” Instead they threw the whole thing out and started from scratch.”
Any abrupt, dramatic change in how the U.S. is governed could cause society to fall into utter chaos, Cooper admitted. But don’t worry, Cooper said he has the cure for a document that has been in place for more than two centuries.
“Make no mistake, a constitutional collapse would be a tremendously destabilizing and dangerous event, and raise a significant chance of insurrection, civil war, or a military dictatorship,” Cooper wrote. “But if and when it comes, it won’t be by choice — it will be because the ancient, janky mechanisms of the American Constitution simply failed.”
Some of his suggestions setting up provisions to elect a president from the House, “neuter” the Senate, radically change how House members are elected, and eliminate the Senate filibuster.
What rights would be eliminated?
Here are some of the Constitution’s “janky mechanisms” that Cooper wants to throw in the trash:
- First Amendment: Freedom of press, speech and assembly.
- Second Amendment: The right to keep and bear arms.
- Third Amendment: The Right to refuse quartering soldiers on private property.
- Fourth Amendment: Freedom from illegal search and seizures.
- Fifth Amendment: Rights for people accused of crimes.
- Sixth Amendment: The right to a speedy trial by jury in a district where a crime occurred.
- Seventh Amendment: The right to a jury trial for civil cases.
- Eighth Amendment: Protection from cruel and unusual punishments and excessive bail.
- Ninth Amendment: The idea that “certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
- Tenth Amendment: Limiting the power of the federal government.