“Low information voters” may be the single greatest euphemism of all time.
We don’t even need to say what that phrase actually means, because you already know, but it’s critically important, as this group is something the U.S. Constitution wasn’t designed to handle; at all.
The Founding Fathers believed in this great experiment called America, in creating a democracy that hinged on the basic tenet of a well-informed citizenry.
Today, you can forget about having voters who are well versed and consistently updated on the issues being voted upon, but that is ultimately the ideal.
Currently, we have a lot of people going to the polls who don’t even know the basics of government, or even the name of the person who represents them. The men who drafted and signed the U.S. Constitution did so in an era before the telephone, let alone the internet.
Many of them were slave-owners and America’s original sin of slavery has its deplorable stain all over the 230 year old document.
Voting rights were granted to nobody except white male landowners, and women were legally deemed second class citizens.
Why should we apply their worldview, knowledge and experience to contemporary life?
The U.S. Constitution is an 18th century document, much like the bible is a Bronze Age book.
When you have a text that old, you can’t take everything literally, so let’s take a look at what needs revision and updating.
Congress can approve a change in the U.S. Constitution by a two-thirds vote, and three-quarters of the states can ratify it. That’s how amendments get done, and the elastic clause of the parchment grants our lawmakers the right to do so.
Here are three portions of the document that must be addressed and updated to modern times.
-The Electoral College
A lot of people went to the polls on November 8, 2016, well aware that they were about to vote for an egocentric reality television star with zero political experience and no interest in government beyond consistently peddling a racist conspiracy theory about the current U.S. president; and that interest stemmed from nothing more than a petty grudge.
Of course, on the other hand, you had a candidate who had a PRIVATE EMAIL SERVER in her HOUSE! Holy Hell! Imagine what apocalyptic scenarios could have transpired this past year, had she won!
All kidding aside, even Trump himself, who lost the popular vote by close to three million, has said a simple popular vote should decide the winner.
It is beyond absurd, this notion that someone with less votes somehow wins an election. Before Barack Obama won in 2008, comedian Chris Rock joked that the establishment would find a way somehow to deny a black man from assuming the oval office.
“Congrats Obama, you got the most votes, too bad you lost! Hey, we used to count votes, now we count bacon.”
It’s elite comedy, but it’s also disturbing tragedy if you know/look up why we have the e.c. in the first place.
Quoting PBS: “while there are many grievances about the Electoral College, one that’s rarely addressed is one dug up by an academic of the Constitution: that it was created to protect slavery, planting the roots of a system that’s still oppressive today.
“It’s embarrassing,” said Paul Finkelman, visiting law professor at University of Saskatchewan in Canada. “I think if most Americans knew what the origins of the Electoral College are, they would be disgusted.”
Yes, it’s long past due for this institution, which has led to five different presidential candidates winning the popular vote, but losing the election, to be eradicated.
-The Second Amendment
We didn’t even have the bicycle, let alone the automobile, airplane or space shuttle when this document was created, yet we’re supposed to rely on it when assessing the legality of a machine?
Machines that will continue to become more complex in the future? Moore’s law refers to an observation made by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965. He noticed that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since their invention. Moore’s law predicts that this trend will continue into the foreseeable future.
In contemporary layman’s terms, Moore’s Law states that the power of computing doubles approximately every 18 months. We’ve designed machines strictly for the purpose of killing other human beings, and those machines have become exponentially more efficient at that task.
Meanwhile our government clings to “regulation” created in 1787, and tweets out a “thoughts and prayers press release template.”
You wonder why we’re the only nation on Earth that has a gun violence epidemic? For more on this, and what you can do to try and stop it, read our interview with common sense gun laws activist Shannon Watts.
In the meantime, here are two hilarious and poignant quotes from the one of the greatest Simpsons episodes of all time: 1997’s “The Cartridge Family,” an episode just as relevant today as it was 20 years ago:
Homer Simpson: But I have to have a gun. It’s in the Constitution.
Lisa Simpson: Dad, the 2nd Amendment is just a remnant from revolutionary days. It has no meaning today.
Homer: You couldn’t be more wrong Lisa. If I didn’t have this gun, the King of England could just walk in here any time he wants and start shoving you around. Do you want that? (Pokes Lisa) Huh? (Shoves her) Do ya!?
Krusty the Clown: Hey yutz. Guns aren’t toys – – they’re for family protection, hunting dangerous and delicious animals, and keeping the king of England out of your face.
This clip from Family Guy, about the founding fathers granting us “the right to bear arms” is pretty sharp and hilarious as well:
-Executive Branch Powers
The founding fathers were worried that they might have been creating a new American king when they outlined the foundation for the head of the executive branch. Although Richard Nixon might be the most infamous, many presidents shared his belief that when the POTUS commits a given act of questionable legality, it is in fact not illegal because it is the President who is doing it.
His successor, Gerald Ford, is the most notorious example, but many men have egregiously abused the power of the presidential pardon. More checks and balances are needed against the President, and you can see that right now with the Mueller investigation.
Trump fired James Comey, because he was able to. He may have fired Mueller by the time you read this.
Daily Show host Trevor Noah has repeatedly joked about the implications of firing the person investigating you. The South African points out what an African dictator move this is, and also applied the concept to everyday life.
Noah joked about how basically this is your having the ability to fire a policeman who just pulled you over?
The U.S. Constitution doesn’t seem to account for this scenario very well.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune corporation blogging community Chicago Now.
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