Here are some quotes from the article below:
"“America is in danger, I think, of becoming something of a legal backwater,” Justice Michael Kirby of the High Court of Australia said in a 2001 interview. He said that he looked instead to India, South Africa and New Zealand."
"In a television interview during a visit to Egypt last week, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court seemed to agree. “I would not look to the United States Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012,” she said. She recommended, instead, the South African Constitution, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the European Convention on Human Rights."
"There are lots of possible reasons. The United States Constitution is terse and old, and it guarantees relatively few rights. The commitment of some members of the Supreme Court to interpreting the Constitution according to its original meaning in the 18th century may send the signal that it is of little current use to, say, a new African nation. And the Constitution’s waning influence may be part of a general decline in American power and prestige."
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/us/we … world.html
I believe the point is missed entirely here. The Constitution as originally intended provided a framework by which a government could be established and function and a basis for perservation of rights which were basic to mankind at the outset of life from a moral and religious perspective. There was not intent to write something so specific that it covered a given subject such as gay rights or women's rights. At the same time, it does not prohibit the establishment of such rights if they are deemed necessary and do not violate the framework of the Constitution in some other way. The Constitution is the representative document by which "the people" consent to be governed and it defines the framework and backdrop by which that can happen. The document is timeless in its intent and purpose unless you are walking around wanting to know what the Constitution says about "animal rights" or "environmental protection". If that is the case, you are looking in the wrong place. The Constitution provides the platform on which those items may be considered for establishment and a litmus test to see that they are measured in the same fashion as all previous considerations. No one can write a book of rules or laws for every possible situation and that certainly was not the intent of the founding fathers at the time nor would it be today if they were here. The beauty of the document is the fact that it transcends all ages and situations in its approach while keeping the fact that the control and fate of the nation lies with its people...not its government. WB
Not so. Maybe 300,000 Americans believes it does. But the rest of the world believes it no longer provides that framework. They use the constitutions of other countries to provide that framework.
The point is not missed. If it was, they wouldn't use constitutions of other countries for a framework.
The rest of the world? Does any American really care what the rest of the world thinks about our Constitution? The U.S. Constitution has been touted by scholars to be one of the most well written documents ever conceived. The fact that it is not politically correct by today's standards is exactly why it works as 'a litmus' as Wayne put it.
Wayne...Not only well-said....it's perfect. As for the little back and forth over the 2nd amendment? Right...there was a time when police and military did not exist to serve, protect and defend. Now, it is a time where there is rampant crime, street gangs, drugs, muggings, rapes, home invasions.....need I go on? I thought I saw the words, "common sense," mentioned here. Why is it missing when discussing the 2nd amendment? Amusing.
I was going to write a post, but you articulate so perfectly what I think on the matter that I don't need to.
Obviously, the Bill of Rights was insisted on by the people who wanted to be protected from the government. The new generation expects the government to care for them rather than each person being responsible for his or her own needs.
The Constitutions of every government reflect how much the government wants to dictate to the people. The desire of the elitists to rule the people.
That is exactly why those whor are poor, wek, ill, and can't support themselves are exterminarted. You should read a little history.
Don, which history is it exactly I should read?
Eolithic, Neolithic, or Paleolithic.
Babylonian, Hittites, Early Greek, Roman?
Middle Ages, Dark Ages, Reformation of Europe, Russian, Greek, African, American, Renaissance, Industrial Revolution, French Revolution, Russian Revolution, WWI, WWII, Middle 20th Century, Late 20th Century?
I thought I had pretty much studied it. But obviously I'm missing something.
I've also repeatedly read how in the feudal ages, the rich (working, strong, etc) kept the majority of people poor because that way they could grab themselves. Many would say that super capitalism (as Robert Reich calls it) is nothing more than neo-feudalism.
I could go on... But which section of history, exactly, do you think I should reread???
All of them. Look what took place in the lands where the government was god. Hey, the rules were worshipped. Look at the villages in Africa. Only the ideas at the top of the tribes have meanings. Others do not have any meaning.
Only the US Constitution gives liberty to the individual. It has been argued that the soviet constitution grans more freedom. It doesn't. It helps only the party while the others suffer in poverty. Government is the provider. And the liberals believe that the government should provide everything. Yes, tax the rich so that we cancontinue overspending and acting irresponsible.
Provide for the poor until we are all in poverty.
OTOH, we can maintain a free market system that the Constitution have given this country and let the individuals become as wealthy as they choose to become. We can create our own wealth in this country. Cannot be done in other countries with Constitutions that enslave. IMHO
Don, you didn't read the article, did you?
I wondered why you brought history into it.
According to the article, the US constitution is extremely limited in the number of freedoms it gives to Americans. Other countries provide far more freedoms.
You're very, very wrong when you say that only the US Constitution gives freedom of the individual. In fact, when you say that, you indicate just exactly how little you know about the constitutions of other countries. The constitutions of many other countries are far superior to that of America in giving people freedom.
If you'd read the article attached, you would have realized that.
Yes, I read your article. And I continue by pointiong out that government workers and politicians are for government control. Hey, they've always said that Capitalism hut=rts the poor. But the poor have the opportunity to work their way up. Sam Walton, Bill Gates, SAteve Jobs, and the list goes on.People can lift themselves from proverty, but the government keeps them down.
Look at Greece. They will messup the world economy. We are on the same road. Know why? We are being ruled by men rather than law.
You quote Robert Reich who is a government elitist6. what would you expect him to say about Capitalism and the poor. The poor can never become rich. Of course they can when the government lets them
Don, have you actually read Super Capitalism by Robert Reich??? And it's not 'my' article! It's an article that was published in the New York Times by Adam Liptak who is the Supreme Court correspondent of The New York Times.
To quote: "Mr. Liptak, a lawyer, joined The Times’s news staff in 2002 and began covering the Supreme Court in the fall of 2008. He has written a column, “Sidebar,” on developments in the law, since 2007.
I have absolutely no idea how your statement that government workers and politicians are about government control.
The article is about the fact that the American Constitution doesn't guarantee the number of freedoms that people in the developed world have, i.e. there's no constant fight over abortion and pro-life and gay marriage is not a big issue.
The above article has nothing to do with Capitalism and the poor. It has to do with human rights. I'm sorry, you either didn't read it or didn't understand it.
IF YOU ARE SO INFATUATED WITH OTHER COUNTRIES AND THIER LAW GO, MOVE THERE, WE ARE AMERICA!!! WE, US, THE PEOPLE ARE AMERICA AND PEOPLE LIKE YOU WANT TO GIVE THAT AWAY TO THE POLITICIANS!! THE TRUE LIBERAL DECIEVES THE UNEDUCATED VOTER AND EXPLOITS THEM, JUST AS SKINHEADS SEE THE WEAKER CHILDREN AND EXPLOIT THEM!!! YOUR RHETORIC IS TRUELY UN-AMERICAN. WAYNE IS RIGHT OUR FOUNDING DOCUMENTS ARE FRAMEWORKS OF FREEDOM AND LIBERTY TO ALL!! THE BIG LIE IN ALL YOUR RHETORIC IS THOSE COUNTRIES YOU SO WANT TO SHAPE OUR COUNTRY AFTER DONT HAVE THE FRAMEWORKS OF FREEDOM AND LIBERTY TO ALL. WE ARE NOT COMMUNIST, WE ARE NOT SOCIALIST, WE ARE THE HOME OF THE BRAVE AND THE LAND OF THE FREE THATS WHAT WE ARE! TO EXPLOIT THE VOTE TO TAKE THAT AWAY FROM US IS THE OPITEME OF INJUSTCE!!
OMG ALL CAPS!!!
But seriously get a grip and look at the facts.
Most of the educated vote goes liberal, liberals are twice as likely to have a higher education (and get 80% of the economist vote).
As for these other countries several of them have more freedoms than we do and all of them have constitutions too, it is the right of every citizen to try to legally change his country in any way he or she sees fit, the epitome (yes that is how you should spell it) of injustice is you suggesting they should leave the country of their birth instead of exercising their right to change it.
Grow up and start conversing like an adult, getting rid of the all caps would be a good start.
Everyone should read the history of the Free Masons and how they founded this country. Most government workers are as clueless as everyone else when it comes to who really holds the power in the world. When this country was founded, the intention was to create a New World Order, here on this land. If you doubt it, look at your paper money. 'novus ordo seclorum' is Latin for new world order. The country was founded on the belief in a higher power, the all seeing eye (on the money).
Today, however, Free Masons are not confined to the U.S. and are in every city in the world, with high positions in the order being held by money and political moguls. Unless we, the people, can come up with some sort of underground way to get around these people, there's no way to infiltrate them.
Thanks but no thanks to your attempt to use a few misguided American citizens' words to sway other Americans to shred our own Constitution. When/if your profile ever states an exclusive claim to American citizenship, I might (and I said might) find it feasible to debate any lack in the U.S. Constitution (which, of course, there is little to none).
Ginsburg took an oath to uphold the Constitution and she says those kind of things. It's obvious that her goal is to 'correct' it, not uphold it. What a travesty that she was appointed at all.
Just because America made the mistake of letting a man in the White House and other people in our Government try to destroy our foundation doesn't mean that ALL Americans are gonna follow them in their agenda.
Yeah, people should be more like conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who said the USSR's bill of rights was superior to the USA's.
See for yourself.
Well, maybe he also needs to take a refresher course along with Ginsberg.
However, he did qualify his statements by saying "just words on a paper".
My point is that it isn't the Constitution that's flawed, it's the interpretation and usage of it by people who either don't exercise common sense or else refuse to uphold what the Constitution contains. That's what/who is flawed.
common sense being only that which agrees with your mindset, correct? Which foundation are they trying to destroy, the one the right has invented that states it is a religious foundation? I suppose we should just destroy or remove any opinions you disagree with and I have to ask when you took your refresher course in constitutional law and history? I assume that David Barton was your professor considering the way you like to repeat his claims and words.
"Well, maybe he also needs to take a refresher course.... "
Or, maybe this whole topic is a load of BS, distracting us from real issues.
Not comdemning or condoning her, but what I heard (or read into) her say was that our constitution doesn't work for other nations but it does work for this one.
couturepopcafe. Thank you. You're close. What I was saying is that ever since I've come here, all I've heard is how superior the American constitution is to everything else on earth, and I've never thought because I've lived under several constitutions. I posted the article, because it seems that people in high places, including some members of the American judiciary, feel the same way.
I just find it fascinating that, rather than consider that it might actually be true, the first thing is to defend the American constitution. When people present me with things that counter what I believe, if I haven't looked at it before, I will look at it quite thoroughly (provided I have the time and it's important to me).
To quote Mr. Spock. "Your statement is illogical" The American Constitution good or bad is what it is, for better or for worse.
It should adapt to the changing times because societal changes are not static it is dynamic. Societal changes are brought about by cultural, economic and technology dynamics - interactions. Some are bystanders, many are opposed and some welcome the changes.
The constitution is only terse in the original writing by the founders, but over the last two hundred and thirty years there are building holding hundreds of millions of words that have been interpreted and reinterpreted by the courts.
But these interpretation which were intended to make the constitution dynamic and move with the times and the culture have dealt us the death blow, and made the constitution the mechanism to change the basic constructs of the founders.
So basically the constitution can be changed to suit anyone that has a reason to change it for their own use.
Are you even a citizen of this country? Why should we change our constitution to suit you or anyone for that matter?
Because the constitution is supposed to serve the people not the other way around which is why #1 it had methods in place to change it and #2 It's writer said it should be completely rewritten every 20 years.
Are you a citizen? If not I'm not interested in what you have to say about our constitution. Certainly don't care if you liked what I said or not.
Yes I am a citizen you however did not refute that the constitution was written with the express intention of being altered and it should be if it no longer represents the views of Americans, personally I don't see anything that needs to be changed but the principle stands, the constitution should be open to change.
Yes indeed there is a way to change it. If it needs to be and the elements are met to allow it to be changed then fine. If not then it won't be. I don't see any reason for it to be.
Josak- isn't this why the Constitution instituted the Amendment process.
Josak- I am interested to know your source for this statement.
I would have to agree.. I see all these so-called pro Constitution people as suppressing women, gays, minority and immigrants rights!
And on the other hand, when it doesn't suit them, they can twist it all they want.
2012...time for something new.
Yup, it's an article that should be read by everyone!
Well, how about all the genius's that think it's so bad come up with a better solution. Not just pie in the sky, come up with specific details. Something that encompasses all people, not just your left wing agenda.
The fact is many countries would still be enslaved to dictators and monarchies if our Constitution had not been the shining example of what freedom can be. No document will ever be perfect, no matter how you try. The one we have though, I have put my life on the line to protect in the past and if it is called for I would gladly do so again.
"Our liberties we prize and our rights we must maintain."
logic.commonsense. You need only look at the constitutions of South Africa, India, and Canada to see what a modern constitution looks like. They do have it in detail. They are specific, and they're not just pie in the sky.
"The fact is many countries would still be enslaved to dictators and monarchies if our Constitution had not been the shining example of what freedom can be."
That is true for a very few countries. But the world is a big place, and America's part in it is becoming smaller. Come to think of it, America wouldn't have had NASA if it wasn't for the German scientists that America took after WWII. Rocket science was a German program.
And nobody in the world would know how to write if it wasn't for the Greek alphabet and the Chinese alphabet, and a few other alphabets.
Come to think of it, nobody would have known how to do math if it wasn't for the Arabs who were responsible for numerals or something like that.
I think it's rather silly to live off the glory of past events...
The point is that the world has moved on.
Let's see, India is still a 3rd world country that still has the caste system.
South Africa is still run by white businessmen.
Canda is still part of a monarchy.
This is a totally different country, what specifically should our Constitution look like that would be the best as a whole for all the citizens?
Let's see, if we would not have stepped in, how much of the world would be speaking German, Japanese, or even Russian? How many countries have modeled their constitution on the basic principles outlined in our Constitution?
I have not heard or seen any concrete examples of any constitution that would be more lasting, more effective, or more liberating than the one we have. The basics are there, we just don't have the leadership or the will to enforce the basic intent of the founding fathers.
Wow! I'm just curious. How much traveling have you actually done outside the USA? It's just too much work to dispute all these perspectives. I'm sorry. You're still living in the world that was in the 50s and 60s.
@LMC - That's exactly right - all men are created equal. The problem is some of these justices use what has informed their own lives (and prejudices) to interpret the Constitution.
Also the 2nd ammendment belongs in the days of the Wild West pre-police and pre organised military. It is totally outdated right for the 21st century and poses a huge financial and personal cost on Americans...
So, you'd have no problem taking guns away from hunters? If so, you'd be starving a lot of families.
are you just stupid or simply a myopic disciple of the same school of insanity from which Sophia Angelique hails? the preponderance (and overgrowth) of police force and organized (this is America schmuck, we use 'z') military that the 2nd Amendment is now more relevant than ever. the purpose of the amendment is to afford citizens the necessary means to defend against despots who would use that very organization you cite as reason to render the 2nd moot. in other words, you're an idiot.
I think even some idea's can be gleaned from the United Nations trouble with some Constitions is the lack of laws to support or nullify areas
Universal Bill of Rights....the native Americans had to go to the UN seeking justice that was denied them here...in their native land.
they were never any more 'native' than the Europeans who followed. what kind of clueless argument is this garbage, if it weren't for slippery slopes, liberals would have no footing at all.
Their right's don't depend on having evolved there, just getting there first and establishing customary ownership.
thanks for illustrating my point so eloquently; need a hand or would you prefer to slip right off on your own?
and, for sake of clarification, what, precisely, does their "right" own? Is a "don't" a noun now?
Barry, that is a really, really interesting comment. Do you want to expand on it? I'm not sure I understand.
Well the 2nd ammendment which gives rise to the so called 'right to bear arms' was surely written at the time of the revolution where people feared governments and the populous feared colonialism. As well there was no police as we know it and there was no centalised trained army as we know it. Today guns are qan unnecessarily and costly mark on American Society
Interesting. Yes, I think the American Constitution was very much written for the times. I also think there's a misunderstanding that the American success during the mid-20th century was due to the Constitution when it might have been due to some other factors. It is something that has never been examined.
lovemychris, yes. I think that, culturally, the way of life here limits a more modern approach to many things.
Modern is not always right. Our constitution was intended to govern a moral and religious people (John Adams). I don't know you from Adam, but if you aren't at least moral in a traditional sense or religious, you probably will have major problems with it.
Excellent point. They could in no way have forseen the sociological chaos that exists today.
Why is this about me, and not about what people in the rest of the world think? Educated and informed people don't shoot the messenger. They look at the message. This is not about me. I am nobody. I don't matter. My opinion is worthless.
If you read the article, this is about how the rest of the world perceives of the American constitution? Why don't you consider what the rest of the world thinks? Why does this get to be a personal attack on me?
I'm not sure if you were responding to my post or the one below, but I wasn't commenting on your original post, but on your reply to lovemychris.
I was merely commenting that you probably will have some problems with our Constitution if you don't fit that description, and in your various posts, you mention that you don't think that the Constitution is adequate.
That was not a personal attack on you.
Tim 511. I have no problems with your constitution. The American constitution has never held any interest for me. I never heard, until I came to this country, that it was anything special. I tend to live within the laws of any country I am in because that is the wise thing to do. It is also the respectful thing to do.
I have never mentioned that the constitution is inadequate. I posted a link to an article, and I quoted from that article, that internationally, people no longer have a high regard for the constitution.
Tell me, I don't mean to be rude, but do people have a problem with English comprehension in this country?
Why doesn't anybody respond to what is being said in the article?
Well, ma'am, maybe both of us need English comprehension lessons
You are correct that I wasn't replying correctly to your original post. However, as I stated above, I was responding directly to your post by lovemychris, not your first post.
You said in the above response to me that "I have never mentioned that the constitution is inadequate." I realize that you did not start this topic to say that, but to start a discussion of the story. However, here are some direct quotes from you that indicate that very thing
"That said, there are now a lot of better written and designed constitutions out there - doing exactly the same thing!"
"The US Constitution is completely outdated."
"Your constitution does not protect many different freedoms that are available in other countries - and have been for a while."
"The constitutions of many other countries are far superior to that of America in giving people freedom."
I believe that the general thrust of those quotes indicates that you don't think the U.S. Constitution is adequate. Now, that is certainly your opinion and you are welcome to it, but those comments are certainly going to be fiercely debated.
I will try to respond to the article in a little while.
The constitution should be the reflection of the wisdom of the country not of a country going astray. More and more acts defy its wisdom. If one has to change it, will be for the best or for the worse? The actual state of mind will favor the worst.
maxoxam41, not sure what you're saying. The US Constitution is completely outdated. It was made to apply to people living in a situation that not even remotely resembles the 20th century, never mind the 21st century.
To draw an analogy, it's rather like saying that rules and laws that applied to hunter gatherers, must apply to modern man. This wouldn't work because the situation is very different. No matter how wise it was to shoot any animal for meat in those days, it's not longer wise to shoot wild animals for meat because they'll go extinct.
I'm not sure there is a single aspect of this statement that even reflects an ounce of sense much less holds merit. Not only is the Constitution, completely with it's internal instructions on how to adapt it to its surroundings, not at all outdated; but how on earth are the laws of hunter/gatherers in any way not applicable to modern man . . . the manifestations in which we encounter these issues may hold a new face, but the essence of the problem/solution sets are precisely the same. I'm glad you posted this though, it makes it much easier to summarily dismiss your 'logic'.
The American Constitution, along with all the amendments modifying it and Supreme Court opinions interpreting it in light of contemporary circumstances, is just fine. All Justice Ginzburg was apparently suggesting was that it might be simpler and easier for the recent democracies to adopt a more recently written constitution than to try to use ours. Works for me.
Ralph, not the way I read it. Your constitution does not protect many different freedoms that are available in other countries - and have been for a while.
Nobody claims that our Constitution is perfect, or even that it's the best. Matter of fact it's badly in need of amendment to set aside the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United. Which other constitutiomns, in your opinion, better protect what freedoms?
The U.S. constitution is out of date and out of step. But, to even amend it requires such a large majority of the people, house, and senate it will never happen. Real change in this country is a pipe dream, which is what the OCW movement is finding out. Follow the money and the fundementalists.
Don't you live in Texas and are originally from somewhere else? Ever thought you ought to go back?
It depends on what you mean by "outdated and irrelevant." The original US Constitution is no longer in force. It has been altered numerous times and its interpretation has changed significantly over time.
Hell, there are some parts of the 10 Commandments that are still relevant today.
It's not what I mean. It's what the article is talking about. These aren't idiots. They are people who know the constitution of the US intimately, and they work with constitutions throughout the world. It's their opinion that the US constitution is outdated. Did you read the article?
3. The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.
*1 No person may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds in terms of subsection (3). National legislation must be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination.
Discrimination on one or more of the grounds listed in subsection (3) is unfair unless it is established that>>>>> the discrimination is fair.<<<<<<
http://www.info.gov.za/documents/consti … 6cons2.htm
With a glance at the South African Constitution it seems that discrimination is fine as long as it is fair? Who determines what is fair, the Government?
Reality Bytes... Is that a serious question? Who judges that in the US? Attorneys? The Supreme Court?
I hardly think that the consensus that South Africa has the best constitution in the world (which view is held by some American Judges as well) is to be disrespected... Also the Canadian Constitution and the European Charter of Human Rights...
Discrimination is unconstitutional in the U.S.! It does not matter if the discrimination is fair? A Judge, Court, Attornies do not argue the point that discrimination is alright as long as it is fair?
So why do they discriminate against gays marrying and why is there this perpetual argument about abortion and pro-life????
Separate laws can often countermand each other but the U.S. Supreme Court, if cases ever make it that far, is the final arbiter and must base their decision on the constitutionality of the issue. That's why there's alway so much dispute. The Constitution is often vague in it's intent and is written, with reason, with a broad stroke.
"Fair discrimination" strikes me as an oxymoron.
It doesn't strike you that the words mean that sometimes one has to discriminate. For instance, if two people are applying for a job, and the one has better qualifications than the other, then the one without the qualifications is being discriminated against.
The finest attorneys from all over the world came to work at Codesa to design the South African Constitution.
Why would you rip it to pieces when it is being lauded internationally as the best constitution in the world?
I don't get you.
It's terrible to have to constantly insist that one is the best at everything in the world.
With that said, I'm sorry I started this. I'm out of this conversation.
Oh my, Sophia, I'm sorry that you are having a bad day.
You say that you "don't get me." Please look back at my contribution to this thread. One post - and yet you indicate that I am ripping to shreds the Constitution of South Africa? I also don't get you - today.
As I said, I'm sorry you're having a bad day, but I will not add anything more to this thread. I hope your day gets better than it has been so far.
Afficionada......Breathe deep, smile and do something interesting.....LOL....I am in total shock. The person who opened this up to public comment, gets flustered and walks away from her own post!! Must be one of those "hormonal days" or lack of sleep....forgot meds? Who knows. This is the SECOND post I have encountered just today, where the poster could not tolerate opinions that differ from theirs.....Incredible! And of ALL things.....discussing the Constitution!!! LMAO... What's wrong with this picture?? This is why I keep reminding myself to stay away from the "forums." Perhaps this is where people come to release their frustrations......In that case, I don't need it. I can keep my stress level at bay, quite well. have a good week-end!
aficionada and fperj48, this poster has a habit of posting negative things about America. Just look at all her posts on the subject. The OP even post the same negative things about the wealthy, again just look at the posts on the subject at hand. If one disagrees with the OP, it can be quite vitriolic to say the least! Seems to have a strong animus against America, hmmmmmm! I might add NOTHING'S WRONG WITH THIS GLORIOUS CONSTITUTION!
aficioinada and fperj48: breath deeply, meditate, and take a long, hot jasmin or lavender scented bubble bath, have some champagne and sushi and listen to some New Age music! Have a Lovely and Blessed Night!
Lets wait 200 years and see how South Africa is doing before we decide it has the best constitution. I don't get you, It's terrible to have to constantly insist that the U.S. is the worst at everything in the world.
Repairguy. You made me smile.
South Africa will go exactly the same way as Zimbabwe and various other African states have gone. That's because, regardless of how good the constitution is, when you have uneducated people voting in a democracy, the democracy doesn't work. If a democracy has useless, corrupt leaders, look only to the people of that country. They voted those people into power. It has nothing to do with the constitution. You need to compare apples with apples.
The only reason I'm constantly pointing out that this country is not the best country in the world is because one has it thrown in one's face 24/7. When I was living in South Africa, the Afrikaaners honestly thought that God had given them South Africa, and that South Africa would survive when the rest of the world was destroyed, and that South Africa would never fail. They truly, truly believed that. I used to look at them with amazement.
I just don't get people who constantly have to be the best at everything and anything. I don't understand oneupmanship. I don't understand why so many want to be number one. I don't understand why some want power and money - at the expense of others.
I could go on.
That said. Just as I find the constant insistence that Jesus saves irritating because it's a myth and I'm an atheist, I find it difficult to constantly hear that America is superior in everything - for no other reason that it's not true. If it was true, I wouldn't have a problem in the world. I just find inaccuracy difficult.
Sophia - Maybe you haven't been here long enough to undertstand the subtleties of American jurisprudence. (tongue in cheek)
"For instance, if two people are applying for a job, and the one has better qualifications than the other, then the one without the qualifications is being discriminated against."
In this country, it's the one without the qualifications who gets the job so he doesn't go home and cry because he was treated unfairly as a child and now has to be coddled by the rest. It's called Political Correctness and it's the new standard of American liberalism - ah, I mean liberty.
Many people emigrated to the U.S. mainly for the Freedoms guaranteed to them by Law. I would think that if another bastion of Freedom appeared then many people would emigrate to that country.
How many Americans are leaving the U.S. for the sole purpose of acquiring more Freedom or Rights?
Reality bites, how many Americans were ostracized for criticizing the US? Michael Ruppert, Greg Palast...
I knew it would have something to do with healthcare. My goodness. This is a very odd way of justifying the welfare state. 'Nobody is using the American Constitution as a framework anymore'. That doesn't tell us anything more than what we judge to constitute a good constitution. For all we know, all of those countries could be idiots for it. And they are if they demand education and healthcare from a constitution - nobody has a right to these if they have to steal from someone else to give it out.
I think a really stripped down constitution would be best, consisting of 'The Golden Rule', the Principle of Non-Agression, and absolute freedom of speech. The common law does this just fine.
It is not that the US constitution is outdated, but that is must be interpreted with our time in mind. A constitution is a broad outline of objectives and principles. To have meaning and relevance, it must be rightly interpreted. If the interpretations are based on the relevancy of the time in which it was written, without regard for the many changes that have transpired since that time, we will have a problem, albeit, not with the constitution, but with its interpretation.
What is really wrong with arguments around the constitution is the malicious intent of those who have particular interests and purposes in the way they choose to interpret and apply its principles. Again, the broad principles of the constitution, spand across the years and remain solid principles. Those who interpret the constitution as though the US still consists of the thirteen colonies and the landscape as it was then, are the cause of the problem. Additionally, simplistic applications of the constitution tenets does not help to truly understand its intentions.
I've noticed that Ron Paul, for example, likes to talk about the constitution and its support of liberty, while he tries to "push" (want of a better word) his understanding of liberty on others. Ron Paul's application of liberty would engender chaos. He needs to understand that his definition of liberty is scued by his simplistic notions of government.
The US constitution if a good document that requires honest and thoughtful interpretation
Liberty is a very clear definition. What exactly do you disagree with Ron Paul about?
Your argument about Ron Paul is nonsense. His vision of Liberty is VERY clear, and his arguments are VERY liberty-minded.
The Constitution is easy to understand, sit down and read it some time.
Greatest country on earth, and you guys believe something is wrong with our constitution? You think we use this great document that has protected morons like yourselves to hold down gays and pervs? We use the law of VOTE to allow a majority to make the rules for all. As in the gay marriage case currently being smashed by a judge in CA. The majority voted NO, a single gay judge said yes and overturned it! So your argument doesn't hold water! We the majority have lost our voting privelige and rights to a minority few!
No, something is wrong with the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United. Just about everybody agrees that it was the worst decision since the Plessey v Ferguson separate but equal ruling. Many say that fixing Citizens United will require an amendment to the Constitution.
Yes you have. Just like the slave owners lost their rights to own slaves, and the southern school, housing, hotel, restaurant, movie theater and bus segregationists lost their constitutional rights. The courts in this country have the last word, not the voters, on civil rights issues. This country is gradually beginning to live up to its founding principle of equality, that is, all men and women, black and white, gay and straight are equal before the law and equal in ultimate value.
Yeah, we're all equal alright. Equal to each other but not equal to them. The Justices hold far to much power and I agree with AmerRomc that our votes have no power.
I also believe this was the original intent of the founders. They could never have forseen the 'intelligence' that would even the future's playing field for the common man. In their eyes, the untrustworthy public has no business running governments and empires.
This government and the running of the world is the domain of a network so imbedded and with tentacles so long, we'll never get to its root.
To Amer Romance, what a cowboy you are. Yee Haw!
“Rights do not impose obligations on other citizens. My right to free speech doesn’t obligate you to provide me with a venue. My right to bear arms doesn’t obligate you to buy my ammunition. A “right” to health care or housing, however, would obligate someone else to pay for it if I couldn’t do so. A “right” to a job would obligate someone to hire me. These things, desirable though they may be, cannot be rights.”
- Judith Weizner of Bronxville, New York
I have to disagree with the idea of the Constitution being outdated. I think we would be better off if we had more people with the intellect, ideas, common sense and articulation that our founding fathers had.
In my mind, the founding fathers who wrote the Consitution of the United States were not writing something just for their time, something that would remain stuck in a certain time period. They were writing something dynamic that would allow for the growth of a nation and a people.
These were not short sighted people, or people ignorant of the changes that would have to happen as the world modernized. They had seen just as much change happen in their world as we have seen in ours, and knew we were on the cusp of something new and unknown. That's why they called it a great experiment. They were basing their ideas on history- what had happened in Greece, Rome and England and other lands throughout history. The distribution of power, oppresive governments, monarchies and religions.
The men that wrote the constitution had a deep and profound understanding of the history of governments, religion and humanity. They understood the underpinnings of the quest for power within government and guarded against it. Just because we are a modern world does not mean history will stop repeating itself. That is what they knew. Mankind has not transcended his nature in the past 200 years. I don't believe we are in any position at this point and time as a people to question the viability of the Consitution of the United States.
That being said, what is it in the Constitution that you deem outdated and antiquated?
I think Justice Ginsburg is suffering from what I like to call the self-delusion of power, which from her view, is her right.
What you've noted about the Constitution is on target but I would disagree with one thing. Though the founders did base this document and the experiment it represented on historical foundations, and though many of them were religious men, they were still leaders of men who believed in the sanctity of their roles as leaders.
I think they inherently believed the common man to be incapable of governing himself, even though they came from an oppressive government. They thought they could govern with a broader hand, a benevolent hand.
Today, although we have this document which stands for liberty and is meant to stand the test of time, the world has been taken over by greed in high places and those people have forgotten the beginnings of this experiment. They govern with an iron fist from economic and political strongholds. The naive public try to make it through the day while the puppet masters pull the strings like some mythical gods playing chess.
grinnin1. Ah, someone who has finally written an intelligent reply!
I'm absolutely sure that you're right. However, as with many religious books, there are profound words of wisdom within it, but some of the ideas are outdated or don't work anymore because times have changed.
For instance, it's just not a good thing anymore to stone a women to death because she committed adultery. Different times call for different laws.
What is being said is that the US constitution is bulky and difficult to work with, and that it doesn't give a lot of freedoms that modern constitutions work with.
People who are writing new constitutions no longer look at the US constitution as a fine example of how a constitution is written; they look at more modern constitutions that have taken into consideration circumstances and times that did not pertain to 200 years ago. Times have moved on.
" They were basing their ideas on history- what had happened in Greece, Rome and England and other lands throughout history. The distribution of power, oppresive governments, monarchies and religions."
That is exactly right. That is exactly what the did. And for its time, it's an amazing document that did stand up for a very long time and be a shinning light to many. That said, there are now a lot of better written and designed constitutions out there - doing exactly the same thing!
I'm not clear on this. The American Constitution is probably the shortest constitution in the world - "bulky" shouldn't really be a word to describe it. It was intended to be hard to change, if that is what you meant by "difficult to work with." A governing document that can be easily modified is completely useless. It sets no standard - no Supreme Law of the land, because it can be modified to meaninglessness by those in power at their pleasure.
Remember, the U.S. Constitution was written to define and restrict government - that is all. It was intended that the rights of the people and the state be understood to cover all that which was not directly granted to the federal government. The 9th and 10th Amendments just put that intention in words. So no, individual rights won't be written out, because only a fool would try to write every single potential "right" that could be claimed and some claimed have nothing to do with true rights.
I haven't really read the other constitutions mentioned, so I can't comment on those in that sense. I do know that none of them have the right to keep and bear arms stated, so in my definition, they lack one of the most important rights of all. On that alone, I would never agree.
'So no, individual rights won't be written out, because only a fool would try to write every single potential "right" that could be claimed'
This bit is very true, and the reason for the 9th amendment. "We obviously couldn't write down everything, so unless we said you can't, you can."
"...and some claimed have nothing to do with true rights."
Well, I refer you back to the 9th Amendment.
Separating the Constitution from decisions by the Supreme Court doesn't work. They must be considered together. Currently, thanks to a horrible 5-4 decision of the Supreme Court in Citizens United, the First Amendment (free speech) is widely believed to be in need of repair. Citizens United unleashed a torrent of mostly anonymous contributions from corporations and super rich individuals which many if not most people feel is jeopardizing our democratic, free enterprise economy and government. Moreover, a strong case can be made for a Constitutional amendment assuring gays and lesbians equal protection before the law.
If the SCOTUS had came to a different conclusion that would have pulled back the curtain and revealed the Corporate truth. Every human being has a corporate strawman. It is YOUR NAME in capital letters. Had the Court dismissed the Rights of Corporations to their Constitutional freedoms it would have been detrimental to the corporate fictions which exist in the arena of Commerce.
They would have had to admit the truth regarding each individuals existence?
If you think the Constitution is outdated, then you're a slave.
Maybe not a slave but ...I agree with you sentiment ---- Wow !!!
I'm glad you agree with my sentiment, but I'm afraid that something must be amiss. For, in other forums, you willingly think that the Constitution can be "interpreted", and that the words in the document don't really mean what they clearly mean.
Loosen up everybody.
You shouldn't be arguing about whether it's the best or the worst constitution in the world.
The point is that some American judges and mostly people in the rest of the world don't consider it a fine example of a constitution anymore.
Your opinion or my opinion of whether it is a good example of a constituion or not is irrelevant. According to the writer of the article, the fact that the American constitution is no longer seen as a leader in its field, is probably part of the reason for the waning light of American influence internationally.
You might want to comment on how you think this will affect America in the future. Regardless of whether you think the people out there are right or wrong in their opinion, it is the reality. Internationally, people who are looking at writing constitutions are looking to Canada, South Africa, and India. Your opinion of those countries is irrelevant. You're a hubber, as am I! Neither you nor I are in positions to write constitutions. The point is that people who are writing new constitutions no longer regard the American constitution as a good example. They find it too 'bulky.' They find that it has 'too few freedoms.' Again, it's irrelevant whether you agree with that or not. The point is that people who are writing new constitutions think that, and that the American constitution is no longer highly regarded.
So say what you will. This is not about you or me. This is about how the American constitution is currently regarded - not how it was regarded twenty or thirty or a hundred years ago. Times have changed.
The reason for the "waning light of America's influence internationally" is the propoganda that's been spouted from the mouths of Obama and the likes of Pelosi and Van Jones and all those who've declared openly that they want to change the foundation of America. Secondarily, it's the fault of those who voted for such people and those who refuse to call for their dismissal.
"Times have changed" only in that Americans are being told it's criminal to be prepared to defend our Constitution with their lives or even their words. And often the ones who are telling Americans that aren't even Americans.
Brenda, I am absolutely stunned. Have you actually set foot outside America? I have lived most of my life outside America and you are completely misinformed if you think America is highly regarded. I lost a lot of friends because I stood up for this country and came to live here. Do you read international newspapers at all? Tony Blair lost his premiership in England because he agreed with Bush to go to war with Iraq. The people in the UK were completely against allying with the US to go to war. I know that because I was living there and the newspapers reflected the mood of the people.
Obama is actually telling you the truth. Unhappily, many people here have never traveled internationally so they don't know what the view of the US is.
This was written in 2008 - before Obama - by the British Broadcasting Corporation.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/n … 746193.stm
This was written last year by the Independent in London.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world … 51568.html
This is a translated French article. Taken from 2005 through 2009. Nothing to do with Obama.
http://translate.google.co.uk/translate … e_id%3D554
I understand your reluctance to believe otherwise, but sometimes, you need to look beyond the American press and start reading what newspapers in other countries are saying. They've been saying it a lot longer than Obama has been around.
In any event, once more, you don't accept what the article says. Until you do, you cannot discuss the real issues.
"Tell enough people something enough times, something about which they have no foundation to disbelieve, something which to them may in fact be entirely true because there is no way to disprove it, continually repeat it, and they will eventually take it as fact.
Marketing 101. Plant a Seed. Make a Presentation. Repeat Presentation to a Wider Circle. Repeat. Repeat. Product is Taken at Presented Value.
It's really quite easy, with proper resources, to make the public believe just about anything within reason. (You can't make them believe that a newborn sprouted wings, flew to the moon and started a housing development).
I dunno.... I think SOME people might actually believe a baby did that if it were spread around long enough! LOL.
Your post is correct. The U.S. is being hoodwinked by people who spread propoganda.
Apparently morality and love for our fellow humans is outdated too.
Truth is, we are invaders here. Truth is, the founding fathers sought to secure rights previously held only by royalty, but, in deferrence to their high minded ideals, they did not extend those rights to any beyond white males. It took a lot of blood to make things right, but that is the beauty of the document, and the Bill of Rights. They were made to evolve...made to change, and that is still up to the will of the people. The only danger is in attacking this living document. Quibble not over language, look to the intent. The only conclusion would be to dissolve the union, because we would soon see polarization beyond that which occurred during the civil war. This is just my veiw.
Having read the article, frankly there does not seem to be much gray area - you either agree with the gist of the article or you don't. There seem to be two primary points made by those quoted, as follows:
Other constitutions are better because
1. The U.S. Constitution is too difficult to amend or modify.
2. It does not directly name any number of "rights" that some claim to have.
I don't doubt that many people would agree with those in the article, but they miss the mark entirely in my opinion. In reply:
1. The U.S. Constitution is too difficult to amend or modify.
I mentioned it in my other post, but that should be a major point in its favor, instead of a liability. If a constitution is the Supreme Law of the land, then there needs to be assurance that the essence of the law is stable and unchanging. There is no such thing as liberty if the document protecting it can be changed at will by those in power. Changes may need to be made at times, but only with careful consideration given that the change is essential and best. An amendment process such as the United States has allows change to be made, but prevents the federal government from being able to modify the form of government to suit themselves. Those constitutions that are easily modified are not reliable protectors of the public trust.
2. It does not directly name any number of "rights" that some claim to have.
Rights are both very limited and innumerable. A true right should be constant throughout all times and pertain to the individual. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, the right to keep and bear arms, basically the "rights" needed to run your own life are paramount. These rights are guaranteed in the Bill of Rights with the 9th and 10th Amendments preventing the federal government from overstepping its bounds on un-named rights. However, some "rights" mentioned in other constitutions such as the "right" to education, healthcare, and food are not rights in the American tradition, but the responsibility of the individual. Liberty allows people to be free to run their own lives as they see fit and that they use this freedom to provide for themselves and their families as they choose. The idea that these are "rights" to many people indicates a rejection of American-style free markets in favor of at least incipient socialism. If socialism is what these nations desire, let them have it, but the concept is in direct antagonism with liberty. I can see where other nations may choose to give their governments much more power over their lives in exchange for some money, but that is hardly a fault of the United States Constitution. I would look with great skepticism on the government who offered me everything, because they will get something out of it, and that will probably be liberty that I am reluctant to surrender.
I remember reading the constitution of, the now dead, Soviet Union. It guaranteed so many rights for individuals and religious groups and of course it meant nothing.
The important thing is shared values in the culture and respect for the rights (and sensitivities) of others.
The UK has gotten along perfectly well without a written constitution- common law and an entrenched political culture have been enough to sustain it.
And of course, in many countries constitutions are rewritten as soon as a new group grabs power.
It is a lot more difficult to rewrite the insides of peoples heads.
Wow, I agree with you again.
Who are you, and what have you done with Will?
Vote for Ron Paul: he wants the original Constitution (the one with amendments, that is), put back into power.
Now you're thinking. Totally. Absolutely. Completely.
Antonin Scalia agrees with you: USSR Constitution much better than ours:
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/0 … ?mobile=nc
See, you claim you agree with me, but then you say things that directly contradict my arguments.
"'originalism' is a fiction"
A fiction which unfortunately is embraced by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and a couple of his pulltoys on the the Court.
just like with the issue of who or what is "God" the issue of the US Constitution is as poorly understood and interpreted into action.
It is not the document that is the problem, just as it is not God that is the problem...it is the people that are the problem. It is a timeless document when understood from the perspective with which it was intended. It correlates directly with universal laws of positive forward movement for humanity...not the perverse interpretations in which we are seeing it used.
Seriously folks, Ron Paul has the best understanding of any one up to this point...but still even he does not have a complete understanding...it truly is an esoteric text and lays out the best roadmap to equality and liberty between peoples and nations, even businesses, not just government.
The US constitution is the most unique piece of paper in the world , and the power of , the influence of America is proof of that ! Our constitution is unique to our own country only . Why would we care if another nation does or does not adopt a similar one to ours! As long as theirs is as protective of individual rights as ours . They will do well enough ! To suggest that we ...what ? abolish our constitution is idiotic and only sugests your love of the "new world order " , thats not my America ! Leave my constitution alone !
I would think the liberal OP would take into consideration that it is the US constitution that allows the very right that is so expressed in this fairly immature thread ! Try free speech in china , the former USSR , Pakistan or India! Liiberal idealists should get real and begin to appreciate the rights they have and almost always were attained by the very people who bread you into existance. Unfortunately , you never will !
It is also available in Socialist states like Iceland, New Zealand etc.
So I am not really sure what the point it. Many kinds of countries have free speech, many have constitutions, many change them. No real correlation that I know of between these facts.
Pretty much all the first world has free speech rights it's far far from unique. Indeed many of these countries (which you would label socialist) grant more freedoms to their citizens than the US.
I can't believe the amounts of mis-guided intellect used by the anti-constitutional discussion here , Liberal idealism is constantly on the attack using non- conformity of anything traditional. The US constitution is the foundation of perhaps the most succestfull nation in modorn history ! It is my belief that liberal America is on a mission to change the very structure of the meaning of these freedoms ! Socialism is the only definition I can assume they want to project onto the rest of us . Prosperity from the bottom up by entitlements ......Here's a question for the O.P. Do you believe that if the American economy alone is Almost thirty percent of the world economy , that our constitution is so outdated as to cause that alone , by accident ? The free market created by our constitution is responsible , almost entirely to America's success! AND much of the economic success of the free world , as well as the not - so free world ! The Free speech of fools without common sense is also so often mis- used , but thats another issue !
Agreed! I am a Liberal and support the Constitution. I believe that it is an excellent piece of work and not outdated in the least!
Well there's one thing that everyone can agree on. That poor old, supposedly outdated Constitution, a one of a kind, innovative, and brave declaration that thousands have died to preserve, has given everyone the right to speak up and voice their opinions. Those who think that there is nothing left to salvage in our history and our Constitution have no idea what it would have been like if they and their forefathers had grown up without it.
The constitution was written with a completely different mindset than what we see today. I disagree that the constitution is outdated, I believe (And I can say this because of my freedom to speak) that we should understand the constitution for what it is. When the constitution was written three groups of people were left out and one group is still in question. We are a grown society and if our forefathers could write a document so "glorious" that it has been able to stand here now, over two hundred years later, then why can't we do it again? Years of debates have gone on about our rights and our freedoms, two large scale civil movements had come in play just for African Americans to live equal and free. The future can prove more detrimental endeavors. Why can't we form a more equal document to create a society we can all live in, a government were we can say without a doubt that all are created equal. We can live with the knowledge that future generations won't be discriminated for their looks, beliefs, thoughts, etc. (to an amount of common sense). I'm not saying we should make a change now, or tomorrow or in the near future, but know that change has always come. My opinion is maybe the world isn't quite ready for a change.
Sorry this post is late. I'm writing an essay about our freedoms and this topic came to mind. Reading the entire article and all the posts made after gave me time to form my own opinion. And because of our "Supreme Law of the Land" we are able to voice our opinions. So that being said isn't it "Un-American/Un-Constitutional" to shut down an individual for their beliefs and/or opinions? I say this because I saw this repeatedly in this forum.
Thank you for your time.
The constitution was ahead of its time. It was actually designed to exist for "posterity." The basis of it is explained in the Federalist Papers. It is based on history and human nature. If we loose the Constitution of the US, then we deserve to.
Then where will you find the freedom we (now) have.
Thanks for Nothing
Why don't you go ahead and advocate anarchy through Godlessness, abuse of freedom of speech, and the tearing up of the "out of date" Constitution of the United States of America. Go ahead and advocate dependency on the government, expanding the power of state public schools, shutting down the US postal service and getting rid of cash in favor of electronic currency. Go ahead and make sure art is ugly, crass and dull, movies are meaningless, unrealistic, and boring. Go ahead and make sure to addict the population to legal drugs: Pharmaceutical drugs for children, teens and adults including "medical" marijuana. Make sure to overload the population with unnecessary and dangerous vaccines. And while you are at it, make sure all women have the right to as much sexual freedom as they so choose. And make sure they produce governmentally dependent babies...(and make sure the rich pay for them...until they have no money left. But who w i l l pay for all those government babies?) Turn all parks into athletic complexes, all natural areas into reserves where no one is allowed to set foot unless they pay the entrance fee.
What's next...burning books? Shutting down the NASA space program?
Why leave water in the swimming pools... what a waste of water!
Go ahead and get rid of everything our preceding generations revered.
Whatever is left over is what you, who revere n o t h i n g
Anyone that thinks another countrys' constitution is better is always free to go there. Don't let the door hit you in the ass!
The ONLY thing outdated and irrellevant about the united states constitution and anything else American , Is the appreciation for them by an oudated and irrellevant liberal populace ! The over entitled "intellectuals " !
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