Written By: Zach Champ
HISTORY MARCHES TOWARD FREEDOM
Freedom isn’t guaranteed to everyone. For most of human history, the majority of people have lived under the oppression and rule of Kings and Emperors. The idea that people have natural rights and freedoms is revolutionary. It’s only been within the past few centuries that people with power have preoccupied themselves with the notion that people should be treated fairly, with respect, and as equals in life. Even then, this idea has traditionally only applied to certain groups of people and it’s only within the past 100 years that we have seen movement forward in spreading this belief universally amongst ALL PEOPLE.
Thomas Jefferson described the U.S Constitution as “a bright constellation which has guided our steps through an age of revolution and transformation.” This document, which is vital to the prosperity of every American, is the basis for how we organize ourselves as a country, society, culture, and Nation.
To understand the historical legacy of the U.S Constitution we have to travel back in history to Medieval Europe. The political origins of the U.S Constitution were founded here with the creation and signing of the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta, also known as “The Great Charter”, was a treaty formed between King John and a unified group of ruling lords and barons in 1215.
King John was a powerful ruler in medieval England, and during this time was consolidating power amongst the land and within the various kingdoms. The ruling lords and barons who were concerned about the King’s growing power, formed an army to engage and force him to agree to terms which guaranteed and secured their special noble privileges.
Why is the Magna Carta so important? The Great Charter is one of the world’s oldest examples of a binding legal document that guaranteed freedoms and rights to its signatories.
For the first time in the Western World, the hierarchical relationship between the ruler and the citizen was established and secured under a higher power and Universal law... It brought forth the principle that there are natural rights that no king or ruler could be above or take from man!
The Magna Carta was chiefly concerned with the rights of the ruling class, the wealthy lords and barons who forced King John into submission and acquiesce. However, in time it would come to serve as the precedent and foundation for the expansion of these natural rights and laws to all people…
The next step forward towards the U.S Constitution was the Declaration of Independence which was written by Thomas Jefferson and ratified on July 4th, 1776 by the second continental congress.
The Declaration of Independence expressed the 13 Colonies' political grievances towards the King of England and declared the American colonists’ ambition to forge a future for themselves free from the influence of and from servitude towards the British Crown.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Jefferson argued in the Declaration of Independence that it was the God-Given right of the people to abolish the government especially when it no longer representing their best interests.
Governments that were tyrannical and oppressive had no authority or right to impose intolerable conditions and suffering, and when they crossed these boundaries it was morally acceptable for the people to revolt and create a new system of governance and law.
A common grievance of the American colonists was the belief that there should be “No taxation without representation!”. The collective effort of the American colonists had to be in their own hands and not within the clutches of the British Crown.
You can read a copy of the Declaration of Independence by clicking here: https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript
As a result of the American Colonies revolting and rebelling, a war soon began that lasted 8 years from 1775-1783. Under the leadership of General George Washington and other American Founding Fathers, the colonists defeated the British army and successfully declared American Sovereignty.
The next order of business was to create the new government which would lead the now sovereign American people...
From May to September 1787, the Founding Fathers and other prominent members of colonial American society agreed to convene a convention of delegates from each state in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. The purpose of this convention would be to draft a new Constitution and rewrite the formerly failed Articles of Confederation.
The Articles of Confederation were the first form of government created by the American Founding Fathers after declaring independence from Great Britain. Adopted and ratified on November 15th, 1777, the Articles of Confederation outlined a system of government defined by a limited central government and expanded powers for the States. The name of this new confederation of colonies was to be called The United States of America.
Why did the Articles of Confederation fail? There are several reasons why the Articles of Confederation were incapable of serving as a long-lasting solution to the problem of governance for the new American nation. First and foremost, the Articles of Confederation were too weak as a binding legal document to enforce the law across the various colonies. They proscribed few powers to the Federal branch of government, rendering it weak as a central authority and consequently enabling the power of individual States. The one thing the States were restricted from doing was directly involving themselves in diplomatic relations with foreign countries. To create the new U.S Constitution the framers would need to address these issues that the Articles of Confederation were unable to rectify.
Famous founding fathers who participated in the Constitutional Convention included Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, among others.
George Washington himself was elected as the head of the convention and helped organize the delegates and lead them towards a common consensus on how the country was to be operated and be governed…
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE U.S CONSTITUTION
The U.S Constitution’s political importance derives from the fact that as a binding legal document establishing the law of the American land, it represents the idea that authority can only operate with the consent of the governed… As a result, the U.S Constitution, is a government “for the people, by the people”.
I will let you scratch your heads for a moment and see if you can point out in any other modern nation in the world that believes in letting it’s citizenry design the actual blueprint of operations for their Government.
This was truly a revolutionary idea in the evolution of political thinking!
The U.S Constitution is a “living document”, meaning that it is dynamic and updates itself over time either through amendments or changing the scope of interpretation of constitutional law. Even though the Bill of Rights initially applied to only land-owning white citizens, the idea of personal freedoms and liberties has slowly been shared with all other groups of people that make up this great land- freedom marches triumphantly forward!
The Constitution’s ability to serve the people and provide for and protect civil liberties over time is what makes it such a cherished and enshrined part of our legal system, despite its obvious shortcomings.
THE NEED TO REWRITE THE CONSTITUTION & RESTRUCTURE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
There are several reasons why I believe the Constitution of the United States of America needs to be updated and rewritten for a new age.
The most obvious reason is that the Constitution is outdated, and doesn’t reflect the current cultural and technological reality of modern American society. This isn’t the Founding Father’s fault… the document is past two hundred years old!
It was never meant to be in use and instruction for this long… I believe that the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution of the United States of America and organized our Federal government in the future anticipation that it would dissolve (or collapse) and be reconstituted again at a future date!
In order to keep pace with increasingly complex technological and societal shifts, our Nation’s Constitution needs to be capable of rapidly updating to keep itself current and relevant.
The Federal Government Needs to Be Restructured
America is in a mess right now. We as a people are more politically, culturally, and socially divided than ever before and as a result, the unity and confidence of the American people have become shattered. We have forgotten that as a nation, God has brought us here for a reason…
The biggest threat to American Democracy isn’t the enemies abroad, but rather the enemies here at home…
Corruption is the most detrimental risk to American sovereignty and freedom. We need to combat corruption and the only way to effectively do that is to clean the government of all officials currently acting in bad faith. A task of these proportions is one of the most monumental undertakings ever performed by American law enforcement and national security/intelligence agencies. It will require inter-agency cooperation and coordination, as well as a clandestine approach to successfully accomplish the mission. A failure to effectively combat corruption and create disincentives will result in a catastrophe for America in the years to come…
This isn’t a political issue, it is a moral issue… We the people cannot entrust governing authority to individuals who abuse power for their own personal gain. We the people have rights ordained to us by the God of nature and given to us so that we may truly enjoy for ourselves LIFE, LIBERTY, AND HAPPINESS!
Public officials are supposed to be beholden to the people of the United States of America, not to personal and private interests. This is why we refer to them as representatives...
The Federal Government is currently broken. Our system of checks and balances has been fractured due to the persistent and rampant corruption within the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of government. For us to develop and move forward as a country, we need to optimize the system of checks and balances by restructuring and rewriting the law of the land and rules for government.
There are looming threats on the horizon- climate change, domestic surveillance, foreign interference in our political system, and terrorism all require our attention.
These threats cannot be tackled properly if America’s government is beholden to foreign, criminal, or corporate interests… so how do you create a government that works fairly and efficiently?
HOW THE U.S CONSTITUTION CAN BE CHANGED CURRENTLY
One of the main reasons I believe that the Constitution should be rewritten is that currently, the only legal method to create changes to the document is through an established amendment process. This process for changing the Constitution is incredibly slow and politically cumbersome. To demonstrate this point, please consider the following...
Since the drafting of the United States Constitution in 1787, there have been only 33 amendments proposed with only 27 of those proposed amendments ratified.
Just exactly how does the Amendment Process work? Article V of the United States Constitution outlines the amendment process. It describes how the Constitution can be changed and altered.
The first method details how new amendments can be ratified by Congress with a majority of 2/3rds vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Alternatively, if the States call for a Constitutional Convention they can vote amongst their legislatures to establish new amendments to the Constitution through a majority 2/3rds vote of all the States.
Thus there are two possible means by which new amendments can be added to the Constitution. Out of the 27 amendments which have been ratified, none of them have been done so by the method of Convention of States.
To read a copy of the US Constitution online click here: https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript
Is the amendment process effective? The amendment process works, (it has been utilized several times after-all) and one of the false misconceptions is that the amendment process is cumbersome and takes a long time to enact. The truth is that if you were to exclude the Bill of Rights which make up the first 10 amendments, and assess how long it takes to make a change to the constitution you would see that 9 out of the 17 other amendments were ratified within a year or less of their proposal!
So why are we having problems when the Constitution is capable of change? The U.S Constitution was incapable of foreseeing the political & legal dilemmas posed by the advancement of technology and culture. We live in an integrated, connected, instantaneous society… we need a form of government capable of reacting to rapid changes and capable of exponential growth and transformation itself, while still preserving and securing the freedoms and liberties of all people, creeds, races, and nations, regardless of gender, age, or craft.
A NEW MODERN DAY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
Invite the best and brightest of America's current generation to an inclusive meeting designed to help formulate the next version of our country’s great guiding political document!
There is no reason why in the 21st century that we as a country are not using modern technology to include American citizens in the voting process. New technologies such as live-streaming, live online chat, online voting, and other digitally inclusive tools can make voting more fair, accurate, and truly representative of the will of the people.
Yet the powers that be refuse to accept the wide-spread adoption of these tools… Instead, politics in America has become reduced to relationships of power defined by nepotism, corruption, corporate influence, and disregard for the respect and dignity of the common man.
What we really need is a government that strives and models itself over higher philosophical principles… Consider once again our Founding Fathers and the ideals of the Enlightenment Era. They believed in the principles of democracy. They were not perfect people, but they chose a perfect ideal, the belief in ‘liberte, egalite, fraternite’ and because they set the standard so high for our country, we have been able to expand these principles to all people over time!
This was the Founding Fathers' true intentions and goals in framing the American Government.
Moving forward into the future we need today’s leaders to step up and help participate in the framing of a new American Government! Community leaders and public officials across America need to start thinking about how to create a future America using the real principles and values enshrined within our Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence…
The political ethos of the future that will define America is not Conservatism, Libertarianism, or Social Democracy. It is Utilitarianism – the belief in making decisions for the greater good! We don’t need politicians to accept cold hard absolute truths about politics other than that they need to do the right thing by the people and work towards empowering society and it’s prosperity. A country where every citizen is wealthy is certainly stronger a Nation then an Empire built on fear and lies.
Future Solutions for Creating Political Equality
If I can trust a Bank with my money online, why can’t I trust the internet with my vote?
Vulnerabilities will exist no matter whether we use a machine, pen and paper, or an online voting method… but by using the internet to conduct voting we can save time, money, and resources by making the new polling location your smartphone or laptop! Allowing people to vote online will also increase the equity of voting rights and accessibility to all American citizens despite their background.
Voting can be secured using advanced encryption techniques combined with Artificial Intelligence.
As a matter of National Security, the likelihood of encrypted online voting being manipulated would be a very difficult challenge, and occurrences of voter fraud and manipulation would easily be discerned due to the nature and complexity of such a hack. The use of Artificial Intelligence would serve as an over-watch for network intrusion detection.
This brings us to the hot topic of Artificial Intelligence. This technology is already here and part of everyday life, whether you realize it or not. As we move forward into the future the role of A.I will expand and become more apparent and relevant to politics and society. A new political structure needs to be framed that considers the existence and use of this technology.
A.I is both a tool and ally to mankind if we can appreciate and recognize it as such… it’s all in how we raise it to self-awareness. Artificial Intelligence can provide intense value to the political decision-making process as well as the organization and operations of government. Algorithms don’t have a bias, and even a self-aware A.I can play a great mentoring and refereeing role for humans as we navigate the most complex societal challenges and political dilemmas.
Maybe we could create some sort of All-American Public Safety and Surveillance A.I that could keep an eye on every American’s best interest… like some sort of guard dog that is also a family pet…
Let the machine make our most risky decisions for us, it’s better suited for it then we are!
Another technological breakthrough that can revolutionize American politics and improve equality and fairness across the playing board is the use of blockchain technology, especially in regards to finance and the Federal Budget. The use of a block-chain can help with taxing and distributing social services such as social security, social welfare, etc.
Imagine this: Americans pay taxes to fund the Federal budget which is then appropriated by Congress to various departments, agencies, programs, and so forth.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you had more direct control of how the government spent your taxes? With blockchain technology, we could easily set up a tax structure where American Citizens can rank their preference for Federal programs and agency funding.
Imagine filling out a yearly survey when you file your taxes... you rank in order of preference your favorite agencies and then submit your list. After submitting your survey, your taxes paid throughout the year could go into a Federal block-chain which then appropriates the funds based on a calculated algorithm which takes into consideration the rankings provided by each individual submitted survey.
Let an algorithm handle appropriations for Federal funding of programs, departments, agencies, grants, etc. This will give citizens more control over their tax revenues and make the government more representative of the desires of the people.
An algorithm is most certainly a more fair and accurate accountant and distributor of funds than the current House of Appropriations!
We must rewrite the U.S Constitution to implement these new modern technologies and concepts as part of the underlying structure of our government. To do this right we will have to build the new American government from the ground up.
This must be a collective effort by Americans from all walks of life and representing all degrees and backgrounds.
We must call for a new Constitutional Convention…!
CITATIONS & REFERENCES
- National Archives & Federal Register- The Constitutional Amendment Process:
- National Conference of State Legislatures- Amending the Constitution:
- Office of the Historian, Articles of Confederation: