A distinct change has taken over America in the last few years (I’ll round it to 4½ years, just as a “random” estimation). This change affects how we interact with each other and what we believe is permissible. What really fascinates me, though, is that it affects how we enforce what is permissible. Gone are the days when we called our local sheriff to complain about a neighbor participating in “impropriety”. Today, we call the FBI or our Congressman. This solution might not be as quick as the sheriff, or even appropriate for the determined offense, but it is much more helpful to society as a whole because it’ll impact more than just our own neighborhood. We can save our brother in Cedar Rapids the effort of dealing with his local version of the incorrigible town malcontent. Our best friend’s mother-in-law won’t have to worry about undesirable behavior next to her duplex in New York City. The positive benefits are endless. We all know America is better for this. We are realizing the Utopia of National
Since I want to continue our progress, I have an idea. This idea, while appearing quite strange and radical at first glance, will revolutionize the way government happens in America. Society will benefit. America will be stronger. Gridlock will vanish. Creativity will soar. America will drive the new Golden Age of civilization. It will be beautiful.
Before I reveal my idea, I must confess that I don’t think it took as much of an imaginative leap as it might at first seem. It feels more like an extension of our present path. All I’ve done is wipe away the extraneous. But it’s a good cleanse, I think. So, what’s my idea? Are you sitting down? If not, you should; this idea is so stunning and new and spectacular that you just might faint. Have you taken my advice? Are you ready? Good, I’m going to tell it to you now. Beginning in 2008, each presidential candidate must propose, alongside his or her platform, an updated United States Constitution with which he or she plans to govern for the next presidential term.
I know, you can’t believe what you’ve just read. Brilliant, isn’t it? Especially because it’s so simple. And obvious. It really modernizes government, doesn’t it? And humanity, really. I can think of no flaws. None. And I’ve thought about this for at least five minutes.
Even though I know you know it’s brilliant, I’m sure you have questions about how this will work. Since you’ve grasped that the “why” is self-evident, I’ll skip ahead to your question. Each candidate must lay out a framework of the basic principles for the next administration. It can be a modified version of the sitting president’s constitution, or it can be a new version intended to scrap and reverse the old. Either way, the country gets to live under revitalized governance with current thinking injected every four years to shake off the cobwebs of the quaint past.
In this Information Age, time is almost meaningless as a measure of change. Our old methods sustained us when society encountered evolutionary adaptations and growth. Now our growth is revolutionary, with an idea life-cycle so short as to be beyond meaningless. Under this plan, it’s much more practical than to change based on our current election cycle than to rely on a constitution as old as our existing document. Every four years is better than every two centuries (or more). Who could disagree?
I do suspect that proposed constitutions will not differ for the candidate from the sitting president’s party, but that’s just a guess. Regardless, there will still be a variety of ideas proposed every four years. This can’t be bad.
Again, no restrictions would be placed on the proposed constitution because we want the law of the land to be responsive to ever-changing needs. That’s a good thing. And the proposed constitutions could be debated throughout the election campaign. Glaring inconsistencies or omissions could be rectified. Each candidate can clarify why the most important aspects of the new constitution may not be what seemed obvious. This all leads to election day, when the president-elect’s constitution is ratified according to his or her popular vote. If it makes it easier, think of each presidential candidate’s proposed constitution as his or her second running-mate.
Think about it. It’s a perfect solution. You think marriage should be only between a man and a woman? Vote for that constitution. You think Congress shouldn’t be able to prohibit flag desecration? Vote for that constitution. You think only socialist health care should be available? Vote for that constitution. You think only 14″-wide books should be allowed for novels or that only Toshiba televisions should be allowed for watching cartoons? Vote for that constitution. You think the judiciary is too activist? That worry is gone, too, because you can vote for the constitution that says only Punxsutawney Phil determines whether new laws satisfy the new strictures of the new constitution. How much simpler, not to mention the impartiality, can you get?
Hell, think bigger. Just imagine a world in which an official at publicly-funded buildings is required to read a Curious George book at 4:13 p.m. every day. You don’t think that would win votes? You haven’t thought hard enough, let me assure you. Or think how much the economy could soar with the need to print new constitutions every four years. Timber companies would grow. Or what about the financial benefit from the requirement that all public-school teachers wear a different puffed-paint headband for every lesson. I’m already counting the trickle-down riches, and they’re not just monetary.
Our children and grandchildren will no longer curse or mock us. They can choose their own society when they turn eighteen, unburdened by our antiquated choices. Wow.
If we act today, the magic can begin. Election 2008 is three short years away.