The Constitution needs to be amended. Since Congress is too polarized to make certain necessary constitutional reforms, the only alternative is an Article Five Convention; called by Congress upon the application of two-thirds of state legislatures.
So, why does the Constitution need to be amended? For starters, the right to representative democracy has been so demeaned and diluted that it is unrecognizable. In particular, I refer to the flood of private money into public elections, the Electoral College, the presidential veto, Senate filibuster, motion for cloture, and voter suppression laws; all major obstructions to meaningful representative democracy.
There are other reasons for amending the Constitution. Of the eight or nine rights (depending on whether a certain right is interpreted as one or two rights) mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, only one of them, in a watered-down version, is included in the Constitution. Why is that important? Remember, the Declaration of Independence is the equivalent of a declaration of “Why We Fight.” Our revolutionary leaders, in unanimity, gave the reasons why they fought and died for their new country. They fought to secure their inalienable rights; stating that governments were “instituted” to “secure” the inalienable rights of the people and “that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends,”(securing the people’s rights) “it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.”
The watered down version of the right to alter or abolish government is actually Article Five of the Constitution. The right is diluted because it takes two-thirds of all state legislatures (34) to apply for a “Convention for proposing amendments,….” Hardly an enforceable right to alter the Constitution. The right is further modified in that there is no statement that government must be destructive of the people’s rights before altering or abolishing the form of government. I expect that whatever reason is given for amending the Constitution, will invariably be argued as a violation of a human right
It is the position of article5 alive.org that diminishing or reducing the right to democracy is destructive of a significant human right; the unwritten right to social power. Ironically, the right to democracy is not enshrined in the Constitution; it is one of those rights of the Declaration our founders fought and died for.
The Ninth Amendment states that the people have rights outside of the Constitution which are not to be demeaned or denied simply because they are not found in the Constitution. What rights were retained, if not the rights of the Declaration of Independence. It is articlefivealive.org’s position that the rights to equality, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, safety, happiness, democracy, and a government based on human rights, should be incorporated into the Constitution by way of constitutional amendments.
I believe the Declaration of Independence contains those rights necessary for a government to secure a more balanced allocation of its resources along the line of four major categories of human rights. In particular, I refer to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and safety. In the next blog, I will explain my reasons for this belief.
Next Boaz’s Blog, 002, Why Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness are the foundation of a good government.