ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

U.S. Constitution: Let's Not Convene

Updated on June 7, 2020
William F. Torpey profile image

Graduated NYU 1963. Worked in NYC in public relations 2 years then as reporter/news editor 32 years at The Hour newspapers. Retired in 2000.

....Wisdom of the Founding Fathers

What did the founding fathers say?
What did the founding fathers say?

Preamble to the U.S. Constitution

The Preamble of the United States Constitution: "We the people . . ."
The Preamble of the United States Constitution: "We the people . . ."

Chief Supreme Court Justice

Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, 1969-1986
Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, 1969-1986 | Source

Americans often can be heard singing the praises of the United States Constitution.

Most of us were told at one time or another, probably in a civics class at high school, that the document that became the law of the land 200 years ago may not be perfect, but there is no other country with a constitution that has succeeded as well as ours.

As Americans, we're proud of the freedom-loving men who took such care to write a document that would allow a free people to govern themselves, not only for the immediate future but for years and, indeed, for centuries.

Wisdom of the Founders

It was no easy task. It took great wisdom to insure the personal freedom of individuals with a Bill of Rights and to include the kind of language throughout its pages that permits future generations to cover areas the founding fathers could not have fathomed (such as computer crime, space travel.)

In this bicentennial year (1987) of the Constitution, Americans are looking for ways to celebrate. There's a Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution headed by Warren E. Burger and, in Philadelphia, dozens of members of Congress met Thursday to celebrate the Great Compromise of 1787. A variety of demonstrators and protesters were at Congress Hall and Independence Hall to have their say.

Constitutional Convention?

The bicentennial, of course, has touched off a debate over the merits of a new Constitutional Convention that might address the great issues of the day. Some would limit the agenda to one issue, such as abortion, or, perhaps, widen the discourse to just a few especially important items. Others favor going through the document from cover-to-cover to bring it into the 20th century.

The framers of the Constitution had great faith in the American people. They put together that document in the belief that the people of this country could make it work. But this trust in the citizenry didn't extend so far that they sought the help of the average citizen in drafting the legal document.

Conventional Wisdom

Conventional wisdom has it that the American people if asked to vote on the Bill of Rights in a referendum would vote it down. It is my fear that this is true . . . primarily because its legal implications may not be fully understood by the average citizen.

Americans are good people, and so may be tempted to say that a Nazi should not be allowed to speak his mind freely, not realizing that, by restricting the freedom of one citizen he is losing his own freedom of speech as well.

Power Too Easily Abused

Good Americans may very well feel that it is a good thing to stop motor vehicles indiscriminately in the hope of nabbing drunks, drug addicts or other criminals, not realizing that the power of search and seizure can too easily be abused by government.

The framers of the U.S. Constitution, as we've mentioned, have built in the means to change anything. While it may not be easy, it wasn't designed to be a pushover. And that is as it should be. More often than not the easy solution is no solution at all -- or worse, it aggravates the problem you started with in the first place.

Pandora's Box

I plead with my fellow Americans: Don't open Pandora's Box. Don't try to fix something that isn't broken. Don't create a Frankenstein.

Let's keep the greatest gift of our forefathers intact. Say "no" to any suggestion of a new Constitutional Convention.

I wrote this column as an "Editor's Notebook" for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on July 18, 1987. While there's no Constitutional convention expected in the foreseeable future, my position in opposition to another convention has not changed.

Would You Favor a Constitutional Convention?

See results

Background: Articles of Confederation

The U.S. Constitution and Federalism

Compromise: The Small States


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      9 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      It's certainly true, LiamBean, that too often people have little or no understanding of the changes they seek in the law. People often rally behind proposals for seeemingly simple changes in law that in truth aggravate the problem they think the law will solve. It's the same thoughtlessness that allows charlatans and dictators to gain power.

    • LiamBean profile image


      9 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

      More often than not those who insist that laws be changed do not realize that the changes they seek would impact them negatively.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)