[article] The Perils of Constitution Worship

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by synrgy, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. synrgy

    synrgy Ya ya ya I am Lorde

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    Lexington: The perils of constitution-worship | The Economist

    One of my favorite quotes from the piece:

    The entire article is a very interesting, well written read. Please do not post here until or unless you have read the entire article. I'm not looking for or interested in visceral reactions to the small quote I posted above.

    As per usual, I'm posting this in hopes of sparking some discussion. Not trying to ruffle any feathers. I'll wait to see if any replies come in before I share my own related opinions. :yesway:
     
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  2. Customisbetter

    Customisbetter WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot Contributor

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    Do I feel the Constitution is insanely important? Yes.

    Would I go about spouting religious references in the same context of the constitution? No.
     
  3. Konfyouzd

    Konfyouzd Dread-I Master Contributor

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    This.

    And the phrase "All men are created equal" coming from a man who owned slaves and had a bunch of illegitimate children w/ them doesn't hold much water w/ me anyway.

    The tea partiers, to me, seem like they really just want to oppose Obama. They fly on the tip of the right wing and are generally threatened by change. Not a big surprise they want it to be 1776 again imo.

    Furthermore, as times changes so do the views of "the ppl" and new issues will arise. Sometimes new issues parallel old ones and thus can be solved with an older solution (or a modified version) but sometimes new problems require new solutions.

    I think Slug said it best... "Future's made of PlayDoh... Past is made of stone."

    Just my $0.02...
     
  4. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Interesting. I had no idea the Tea Partiers felt that the original Constitution was so important, and that, in their view, it was an unchanging document.

    I thought the framers of the Constitution had in mind the goal of a living, breathing document, one which could be changed over time. The fact that the framers also used that ability to change the Constitution, adding the first Amendments to that Constitution (the Bill of Rights), tends to support that alternate view, and to show as complete and total bullshit the Tea Party's assertion that the Constitution, and the United States under it, should be unchanging from those times.

    Women voting? Blacks being free of slavery? Bullshit!, says the Tea Party, if that original Constitution is really their sole point of reference. And, if they want to argue that some change is okay (women and blacks holding office would be a huge no-no under the original Constitution, as they couldn't even vote!), but not others, by allowing for some changes they paint themselves into a corner.

    Although it's obvious to all but the weak-minded, those core beliefs are lacking a bit of intellectual rigor, something which the framers were not.

    Interesting reading, especially as it puts a finger right on the Tea Party's problem. Thanks for the link!
     
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  5. Konfyouzd

    Konfyouzd Dread-I Master Contributor

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    My friend told me that if "I really want to be free" the Tea Party is how I should vote in the next election...

    He also wanted to take me to a Glen Beck rally and then remarked that he was surprised to see as many "ppl of color" there as he did... In case you don't know I'm black/cuban... :nuts:
     
  6. orb451

    orb451 Banned

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    Just got through reading it. To be honest, it wreaks of bias and condescension. No, not just your quote above, but laced throughout. This is just a one page article right? I mean, I looked at the bottom and elsewhere on the page and couldn't find any more to it.

    What it sounds like to me, is fear. People, rather, Liberals and Democrats are *scared* of the Tea Party movement. And so they're attacking them whenever possible. I should add that Republicans are *also* scared of them. Not because the Tea Party is necessarily right, but that they have a small degree of flexibility amongst their numbers. Which is to say that they are dynamic. You could call someone a Tea Partier or Teahadist or what have you and for *that* person you might be correct, but the movement as a whole and it's values vary a bit from one area to another.

    Think of Tea Partiers like you think of outlaw bikers. Seriously. They're a club. They have some general themes in common and they have a general direction that they all seem to head in. But there are subtle differences of opinion, style and so on. They're also decentralized which is another advantage of theirs. There is no *one* leader, one spokesman (or woman) or one location that they call home. They're everywhere and anywhere.

    That's where their power lies and their popularity is what has both sides of the aisle a bit nervous. They're playing their own game, doing it their way and in some instances, actually winning.

    What do I personally think of them? I think personally that *some* of what I've heard from them makes sense. And some of it makes no sense. I think that's about on par with other political parties. Some of my personal feelings and beliefs are conservative, and others are liberal. I'd imagine that to varying degrees, most people are probably similar.

    What's wearing me down is the condescension from the Left AND Right. I want to be free to make up my own mind, right, wrong or otherwise. I don't want, need or like others making up my mind for me. So when Republicans get high and mighty with their morals regarding personal life choices like marriage, abortion, etc, I say fuck off. And when Democrats start getting intellectually snotty as if they know more because they spend their lives in the warm cocoon of Ivy league liberal universities, far removed from the "real" world, I say fuck off. And when Libertarians get pissy because I *do* want some level of government intervention (in small doses) where it's needed, I say fuck off. And when the Green party does whatever it does, I say fuck off because I don't even know what they do, other than exhalt Ralph Nader.

    So point being, I found the article interesting, very biased, definitely gave me that snot-nosed academic feeling reading it. And on point, the beauty of the Constitution is not *just* what it says, it's what it embodies, it's a dynamic idea that says government should/could/would change in the future. I like that a lot. But look, the USA has been around for what? 200+ years? And suddenly *we*, or rather *they* the founding fathers figured out the *best* form of government ever?

    No. That's ridiculous. But they found a pretty damn good idea and made something of it. Is it perfect? Hell no. Will it ever be? Hell no. But I'm thankful that they took the initiative. I'm glad I live in a country where I can voice my opinions without fear of violent reprisal from the government. All the rah rah rah things that make America great.

    But that's just me, just my opinion of Tea Partiers and the constitution in general. Feel free to disagree. :yesway:
     
  7. synrgy

    synrgy Ya ya ya I am Lorde

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    :rofl:

    I'm amazed people still use that phrase.

    I don't (yet) have much to add that Explorer didn't already say. He quite succinctly summed up what I would have said; more eloquently than I probably would have managed, I might add. :yesway:
     
  8. orb451

    orb451 Banned

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    That's the thing, I don't personally *think* that the Tea Party is saying that constitution, it's amendments or the government of it's day, should be or remain unchanging.

    I *think* what they're saying is, generally: "Hey, we've got an enormous government right now, departments, committees and a shit ton of bureaucratic nonsense slowing things down. No one agrees, no one can get anything done, both parties have sold their souls to corporate masters, the new boss is as useless as the old boss, let's try to get some *real* change and shake things up. Our view of the founding father's is that they wanted small government, minimal interference, less intrusion and less bullshit."

    That to me anyway, makes a LOT of sense. Now are they wrong about their views on the founding father's or for that matter the constitution? Maybe. Maybe *some* of them are taking things too literally, as the religious right often do. But to just brush aside anyone that wants a smaller government as a fringe nut job is offensive. And I'm not easily offended.
     
  9. Varcolac

    Varcolac Frets? What frets?

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    Weren't some tea-partiers trying to repeal the 14th amendment a few weeks ago? Respect for the constitution my British behind.

    The best things in the constitution in my opinion aren't in the constitution: they're in the amendments to it. With the exception of the 18th because fuck if I don't love a good Scotch.

    It is a living and breathing document. The last amendment to it got ratified when I was six years old. Okay, so the coordination of lawmakers' salaries with sessions of congress isn't exactly universal suffrage, but the document is meant to be updated and revised so that it can be a government of the people by the people for the people. If the people change, the document has enough leeway in it to change with them.

    It's also hilarious to note that this document's penultimate section (in the actual constitution, not an amendment) includes the no religious test clause, making some Tea Partiers more than a little hypocritical with their bible-bashing (masturbation is adultery guys!).

    Edit: why are the founding fathers' wishes the most important thing, rather than the current citizens' needs? A government's first responsibility is to its current citizens, not the ghost of James Madison. Never understood that founding fathers argument.
     
  10. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    I understand that one shouldn't necessarily judge a group by a few of its members, but I've not run across anything which countervenes the claims of the article, that the Tea Party candidates are arguing for a return to the original principles of the Constitution (yes, that means embracing the US as a *Christian* nation, not a nation of diverse faiths or one in which atheists are included), or that the Heritage Foundation hasn't been arguing for other returns to "basic principles" which contradict the goal of basic freedoms from government.

    (Yes, I did do some research, so I'm very confident neither the Tea Party candidates nor the Heritage Foundation are misrepresented in the article, nor do I believe either the Heritage Foundation or the Tea Party candidates need some sort of interpreters. I believe they are capable of letting their own words speak for themselves, and any apologists should always be mindful of arguing against a person's or group's own actions and words.)

    It *could* be that the real message of the Tea Party isn't really in what they're saying... but isn't that saying that the Tea Party is being disingenuous at best, or dishonest and manipulative at worst? That would strike me as not a good defense of the Tea Party, but maybe that's just me.... *laugh*
     
  11. Adam Of Angels

    Adam Of Angels The GAS Man Contributor

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    Its my understanding that the Tea Party of late came into popularity in an effort to discredit any previous and future endeavors of the Obama Administration. That's not to say that all of its followers are strictly on a mission to see an end of Obama's Administration, but its a convenient way to put the White House under fire - the media is always a great political tool in that its easy to rile up the public by making them feel "American" and proud.. what better way than to revisit the spirit of 1776?
     
  12. Randy

    Randy Ooh, Degrasse Tyson-son Super Moderator

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    I think you're spot on. It's totally playing with fire, because you have an angry group of people who are disenfranchised by the duality of our current system; then you have a group of organizers feigning a desire for "change" but what they're seeking is more of the same old. When the people who put their faith in the Tea Party realize they've been 'took', it might not be pretty.
     

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