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As we see diametric changes in American society and governance; of what value is the Constitution and should it be discarded, and why?

As America becomes more and more globalized and the economic philosophy of socialism begins to overtake our thinking and structure, what role will the Constitution play in our future? The tenants of the Constitution, one might argue, are individual freedom and free enterprise capitalism, a political philosophy that redefined human existence. For the first time in the history of the human race Man was recognized, as an individual being, with individual dreams, ambitions and talents that were separate and independent of kingly rule and definition. From this beginning Americans built the greatest economic and military power the world has ever seen within an astonishing 200 years.
America lead the world in invention, innovation, medicine, agriculture, industry and education, raising, to new heights, standards of living and dreams of a better world.
Perfection, most certainly, is not yet within human grasp and as humans administered the power of this dynamo missteps and glaring mistakes were made.
Today we look to tomorrow however, as yesterday and it's dreams fade to a new order, a brighter future for humanity. We look to a future of compliance and a collective definition of humanity and too, the role and purpose of the individual, as simply one of many.
Defining myself is important. The Constitution of the United States is the greatest document ever written. America, with all it's faults, provides the greatest promise humanity has ever known and an experiment worth building upon. What we face, I fear, are the elements of "1984" fear, guilt and intimidation.

“Freedom Is Slavery” because, according to the Party, the man who is independent is doomed to fail. By the same token, “Slavery Is Freedom,” because the man subjected to the collective will is free from danger and want. “Ignorance Is Strength” because the inability of the people to recognize these contradictions cements the power of the authoritarian regime."

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    Mar 10 2014: Charles, Orwell was a heck of a writer .. we had to read both Orwell and Huxley in school.

    As to your question. I believe in the Constitution and that it should be perserved. The Presidentail Oath of Office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” The statement I do, so help me God has been used but is not required under Article Two, Section One, Clause Eight.

    There are multiple reasons for deviating from the Constitution. 1) Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the sitting president and "stacking the court" is possible for favorable party opinions 2) Executive Orders: This has been defined and redefined. Its original intention was to be able to act in a emergency when the assembly of Congress is not possible in time to meet the event / national emergency. 3) the emergence of a government that is to big to control allowing for policy and directives to "bend" the law to a favorable position. 4) Selective enforcement of the Constitution and the laws of the land.

    Questions as to the real power arise often as to Shadow Governments, Builderberg Group, George Siros, and othe super backers, etc ... Much is suspect as the Builderberg Group met in 2008 (5–8 June) at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Virginia, USA Hillary Clinton and Barrock Obama attended and days later Hillary announced that the little known and inexperienced Obama would represent the party. This has also occured in other countries and the Group has been dubed as "King Makers".

    The greater problem in the United States is the apathy displayed by the voters. They do not know, understand, and cannot discuss issues that are central to the health and welfare of the country. This is compounded by the fact that we as a nation do not heed the warnings provided by history and the fall of nations.

    • Mar 10 2014: Robert

      Your articulation of the problem serves you well and too, gives specific definition to your position. New to TED I am somewhat taken back by so many that fail to take a position, but rest on innuendo, ambiguities and vacuous charges.
      I am not an absolute subscriber to the Bilderberg scenario, certainly there is cause here for more then concern.
      In reading of your Westfields Marriott, my thoughts ran to the 1910 "duck hunting" excursion at Jekyll Island.
      In any case; I would only add to your last paragraph by saying that it is not just apathy, it is an educational process of our children for the past 30 years. I think, it was back in the early 70's that the hyphenated American came into vogue.which resulted in the battle cry to dilute and divide Americans and the heritage and culture that came with it. It was more important to identify, not as an American, but as something else first. This quote from Teddy Roosevelt sums it up.
      "There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.”
      I think it becomes a matter of principle, of character and of integrity; a standing, if you will, for the concepts of freedom declared within the Constitution.
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        Mar 11 2014: You wrote: "New to TED I am somewhat taken back by so many that fail to take a position, but rest on innuendo, ambiguities and vacuous charges."

        New to TED or not you have been able to cut to the chase. I am an independent and a Jeffersonian which is posion to the liberal scoialists that dominate the TED membership roles.

        To directly answer your question would be to admit that they are on the wrong side. Something that their ego and indoctrination will not allow.

        Yeah I do enjoy twisting the tails of the socialists (like now) and receive many comments that are not directed to the issue but to me as a person. You and I share a simular background ... I was raised in a orphanage ... retired from the military .. etc ... not the most pleasent childhood.

        So welcome. There are many great people here in TED and you will also meet some not so great who have drank the koolade and are party sheeple.

        I look forward to further exchanges. I wish you well. Bob.
        • Mar 11 2014: Bob

          Thanks Bob. I appreciate the welcome. I learned a long time ago living in the housing projects of Detroit that being frank was not being some one else, it was being truthful, thus eliminating unnecessary words and people. Perhaps, in the vernacular of political correctness or politically controlled speech (newspeak), we, who are Constitutionalists "will make a difference."

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      Mar 10 2014: Robert,
      I think you got it in the last paragraph. We seem to be dumbing down the populous through ineffectiveness in our education system. It would seem that school systems are now more concerned about funding issues then providing young adults with the basic information to become responsible adults..
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    Mar 11 2014: One who has worked for a small organization knows that one volume of operating manual is enough to run the day-to-day business of that organization. On the other hand, one who has worked for the Federal Government knows that every major department such as Department of the Air Force, Department of the Navy, Department of Defence, and so on has volumes and volumes of operating manuals to guide all the personnel of those departments.

    Considering how complicated human beings are, how could one even imagine the United States or any country for that matter not to have a Constitution to guide the affairs of its citizens?

    "Retired U.S. Supreme Court justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, helped initiate an online program called iCivics because not enough Americans know how government works.

    "It's very disturbing," said O'Connor, 81, the first woman to serve on the nation's highest court. "I want to educate several generations of young people so we won't have the lack of public knowledge we have today."

    Nationwide, her work has influenced a new civics education law in Florida and pending legislation in Kentucky and Tennessee.

    Civics education involves explaining the structure of U.S. government, including the meaning and influence of the Constitution and its evolution over time. Advocates also emphasize the importance of getting students to engage in the democratic process, said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Philadelphia-based Annenberg Public Policy Center.

    Limited knowledge about the three branches of government — executive, legislative and judicial — emerges starkly in Annenberg surveys, which also found that 15% of adults correctly named John Roberts as United States chief justice, but almost twice as many (27%) could identify Randy Jackson as a judge on the television show American Idol."
  • Mar 10 2014: The verbiage sounds like political prose meant to extract a bu-yah before the big impending battle. Sorry, I just saw Rise of An Empire and talking in euphemistic poetry on the glory that will be theirs was imperative to leading the hoard to their deaths. I think you are trying to focus on how the judiciary or those figures in black robes are destroying America so that it resembles a collective. Social federalism is bad for the country which castrates freedom and concentrates our rights into a non productive act. Very much like how all of a sudden we can make up a new class of rights, I'll call it "cloud rights" to anyone who wants to identify with that cloud. That cloud looks like... but it has rights now and if you pass your silly laws using parliamentary procedure to keep you from starring into the sun you are deemed a degenerate and condemned and forced by the judiciary to stare and be blinded by the sun.
  • Mar 20 2014: Constitution if not fully valid now is good to have as some framework where we can manage society and changes. Freedom is mixed. Constitution was writeen by reach strong man and excluded most of the people from real participation. Leaders if smart also were human and had some values for which we will put them in prison.

    Captalism was same way. Most people were workers and worked under exploitative hard labor practices, There was no paradise.

    Now wisom and love is less and power and dark intentions are frightening and are done in name of goodness. Even as they speak in the name of Lord but do the bidding of devil is a good way to summarise. The people with power in politics and market place is real and present danger not only to Americans but the world. We are daily dictating not only our citizens but the everyone in the world. Our fear has exploded and our ability to strike back is real and excercised by those who can do so with immunity rarely known in history, USA if it wants can destroy all the cities of the world within a day, perhaps few hours, if it decides to.
    • Mar 20 2014: Raj
      Obviously, you, I think, have no real value for the US Constitution and that is OK. The problem is that your premise, is somewhat askew. Nowhere in the Constitution does it promise or even indicate a paradise. Actually, the reverse is true, providing one takes the time to read the warnings of those who wrote the document.
      I would agree however, that the US Constitution has been invalidated over many decades, with a spike in that invalidation in the past 30 years. This is due to a mindset to a global governance road mapped by a document signed in 1948.
      I feel that it would be an exercise in academia to expound on the great benefits to the world that the US Constitution has brought. I would invite you to provide a political philosophy that is capable of replacing that document and its principles of freedom.
  • Mar 11 2014: The Constitution is people. To destroy it or to discard it is to destroy the People or to discard them,
    including their dreams, wishes, needs, freedoms and liberties, their privacy and so on.
    The Constitution was written and a country formed by People who were continuing the fight
    to get out from underneath oppressive slavery of whatever kind. If slavery is so great, why then
    have humans continued to fight against it, to break it and to end it and why do those who extoll its virtues,
    never partake in it for themselves? But please don't fool yourself into thinking or even calling what we
    have on earth, 'civilization" for it remains far from such an idea.
    The man who is free, the people who are free, are not and were not doomed to fail as they put
    together a country they named America, completely disproving that statement.
    America the country, is not it's "leaders" for they are anything but. THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE
    America the country is the people, it's us/US.
    We have for too long relied on Newtonian Laws and Darwinism to live by.
    If it were truly supposed to be "survival of the fittest" there would have been nothing left by now.
    It has always been and always will be, survival through cooperation.
    Freedom is necessary for that otherwise everything else is slavery or submission.
    A piece of paper can be destroyed but it doesn't destroy the people, though they can be
    destroyed as well by killing their spirit.
    How in hell was it that humans believed someone else could and should decide whether or not
    they could be free?
    Such insanity and even discussing it in such terms today, indicates (to me), extreme mental illness or
    instability on the part of those who would argue for rule.
    There is only one way that the total loss of privacy can work and that is no arrests, no incarceration,
    no persecutions or prosecutions, no judgments, no shaming, condemning, shunning or anything else that
    is abusive.
    What those in power want for themselves?
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    Mar 11 2014: Constitution also will evolve to embrace the TOMORROW.....
    • Mar 11 2014: Salim

      Can you be more specific? All things evolve or die out. How do you see the Constitution evolving? What can be added or subtracted?
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        Mar 12 2014: Charles

        Thanks for your question and interest on my view. Agree my comment was expressed with a too generalist view.

        Well let me clarify limitation first. Neither I am an expert on political science / constitution nor I am an US citizen so had limited oversight on US constitution or it's evolution. I rather in a general sense know that all law, ethical standard , practices in different countries or cultures evolves over time to meet the specific demand of time and people's desire of the time. Your question stretched me to look into the US constitution a bit , thanks for that as it opened a opportunity of learning for me :)

        With my novice understanding , I know there are two kind of constitutions practiced by different countries i.e. written constitution and un-written constitution. Interesting thing is (which I am sure you are aware of) , country with written constitution doesn't have everything written in it rather there are lot of practices which are not written but followed as tradition and vice versa for country with unwritten constitution.

        I am not sure what time frame is good for a country to bring amendments in it's constitution. That being said as I looked into evolution of US constitution to answer your question , I felt it's evolving very slowly compared to the speed of innovation US is driving....some of the landmark amendments are as below

        13th amendment abolished slavery in 1865
        19th amendment abolished discrimination of voting right on the basis of gender

        Latest amendment happened in 1992 , which was about compensation of senators and I don't consider it to be major one.

        Those are changes in written part of US constitution
        Let's focus on unwritten part , say in 70's US foreign policy used to use it's FOOD as weapon to rule poor countries and US people were fine with it or may be they were not aware of it. I don't feel US is applying similar strategy now a days, even if it uses it like that US citizen will not accept.

        Could I explain a bit ?
        • Mar 12 2014: Salim

          Enjoyed your response and honesty. I too, did some research on Bangladesh and learned a few things. I spent some time in India and Vietnam in the 60's (US military) and I believe that old mind sets and memories can wrongly influence ones thinking.
          When you speak of the food, as a weapon, are you referring to the food for oil debacle. It was wrong and ill conceived. This however, is not our Constitution. It is the postmen who decides what letters to deliver and what letters to throw away. If I may use such an analogy. The 'ugly American' is not the Constitution.
          I cannot accept your, "unwritten" as a real premise or as an extended part of a constitution. If such a premise is accepted then anything can be interpreted, as quisi-constitutional and therefore within the constitution. The effect of this than is no constitution and totalitarianism.
          Sadly Salim, this is now the situation we face here in America, a situation that has been building for some decades; many decades.
          Perhaps, I am a purist when I read the Constitution. For me and too, the world, the US Constitution is not freedom, but individual freedom. That is, as I see it, everything.
          You speak of the advancement in technology, as if technology was a gauge, as to ones degree of freedom. The Constitution was not based on technology, therefore changeable when new gadgets come to the market or spying abilities are enhanced.
          Individual freedom, I would maintain, is a philosophical truism. It is a recognition of the inherent right, not given/handed out right, of a reasoning being to be free of the whim, the bureaucracy, the corrupted incompetence of political figures.
          The concept of individual freedom, if I may use the analogy, is like being just a little bit pregnant. A woman is pregnant or she is not. You may abort the baby, as one compromises the Constitution.
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    Mar 10 2014: i don't know a lot about the constitution but don't we all need ideals to strive for?

    that smacks of cheese and oratory-fatigue but the point is, it's not our ideals that are the problem, it is the corruption that is present in systems of governance that is the problem.

    by the way, that reference to 1984 is very relevant. we are already balls deep in it. the only thing Orwell got wrong was that people would voluntarily buy the technology of surveillance and happily use it without coercion. wait until the TPPA laws catch up with the tech. then we're all screwed.
    • Mar 11 2014: Scott
      Orwell did not get it wrong. "You can keep your Dr." People are now 'voluntarily' buying (paying taxes) healthcare. The government can now call it a tax and sell you anything it deems "beneficial" to you---for them.
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    Mar 8 2014: People still get lost despite having a guide; they'll probably the lost and blind without any.
    • Mar 8 2014: Charles Hunsinger


      Children need to be held by the hand when crossing the street.
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    Mar 7 2014: I am afraid that it already is.... congress has passed laws that give the president literally the authority to waive the constitution in case of national emergency.
    • Mar 7 2014: Charles Hunsinger


      Yes, for the security of the nation I believe. This does not answer the question though. Is the Constitution relevant for you? Why or why not?
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        Mar 7 2014: Of course. Our constitution is the lawful basis of our country. We are a constitutional republic. We are governed by specific laws and our governmental agencies have assigned responsibilities. However, over the years some have suggested and acted to "interpret the Constitution" because it "wasn't up to date" So, laws are passed and enforced that really beg scrutiny when evaluated .
        Over the years, I see the Courts looking the other way, the congress giving up authorities to the Administrations, All to the destruction of our basic laws.
        The lack of understanding and knowledge of the constitution has gotten so bad, recently a Federal Judge ruled using the Declaration of Independence as the legal authority. A late night TV show went out and asked college student questions about the constitution and showed the hilarious responses.. How sad, supposedly educated people being the butt of jokes. More sadly, that the students are so legally illiterate.

        I guess it is relevant and I see it becoming made irrelevant.
        • Mar 8 2014: Charles Hunsinger


          Your references, I believe, are to Political Correctness on the part of our courts. Too, the dumbing down of our children to the history and heritage of this country. If there is an analogy to this process it is embodied in Orwell's "1984".
          The Political Correctness that is permeating all aspects of our society are no less than an engineering process of proper word usage, which has the effect of thought control. Orwell called it "newspeak." "The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible."
          The Constitution is relevant. It is relevant and it is paramount to a free society. Political Correctness (politically controlled speech) is, to my thinking, Marxism 101.
          Some years ago I too, said, "how sad."

  • Mar 6 2014: Charles,

    You state:

    America lead the world in invention, innovation, medicine, agriculture, industry and education, raising, to new heights, standards of living and dreams of a better world.

    By most measures we are below average in invention, innovation, medicine, industry and education. What do you base this statement on?
    • Mar 7 2014: Charles Hunsinger

      You are absolute correct. The word, 'lead' was used in the past tense. Currently China is posed to lead the world in patents. We, as last noted, are in 4th or 5th place. Educationally we hover somewhere behind 25 to 30 other countries. Our industrial complex is, essentially, gone and health care, although still quite good, not the best and is about to get worse.
      The initial question remains however and I would be interested in your response.
      • Mar 7 2014: "Led".
        • Mar 7 2014: Charles Hunsinger


          Thank you. Perhaps, you would like to respond to the question.
      • Mar 8 2014: Charles
        Let me try to answer your original question with my own (independent) philosophy.
        The U. S. Constitution or its antecedent Magna Carta, was the absolute best "constitution" for that time. After many centuries, there have been some evolutional social changes so that some meaningful changes or re-interpretations are needed. That's what the stipulation of constitutional amendments were made by the consensus of the people.
        However, the current usurpation of the Constitution were carried out not by amendments, but by the twisted interpretation or simply ignoring the proper interpretation of its real intentions, or refusing to hear the cases. Sometimes, they would say that the current societal "customs" are changing that we should not stick to the "old Constitution" any longer. That kind of attitude is really not quite logical regardless of the excuses made by those politicians. Examples are abound that once these excuses are accepted, that will always lead to political maneuver to change the constitution just for the political ruler to tailor to his own desire, such as a life long presidency or even a familial control of the ruling party, as in Venezuela, North Korea, and to a lessor extent, Russia, Zimbabwe, etc. Their process is simply to change the "constitution" by coercive "popular votes".
        Thus the problem of the destruction of the proper procedure of the "constitution" is not the "constitution" itself, but rather it depends on the proper process of how should we refine the procedure to modify the "original constitution" and how to guarantee the group of "justices" to make sure that they are absolutely independent of partisanship, and independent thinkers, and demonstrate that they are interpreting the existing constitution in its original spirit without any deviations. The confirmation political body/bodies should be an assembly with equal representation of many political parties, and independents, and judge them on constitutional interpretation alone.
        • Mar 8 2014: Charles Hunsinger


          I would agree on some points, but it is disagreement that expands our knowledge. With reference to your, "Examples are abound---"; it is akin to the sentiments of one Joseph Goebbels, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
          I would disagree with, "Thus the problem---." All that is necessary to maintain the Constitution is (was) in place. The procedure has been violated and corrupted. Certainly, as time moves and society evolves adjustments must be made, but, as you say by Constitutional Amendment, not Executive Order, judicial or Congressional sedition.
          I would also say that it is not only the process that has been corrupted by our elected politicians, the people, as well have been corrupted by our schools, and the media. Our people have been politically divided by race, gender preferences, disability, feminism, by social and economic division, class warfare and so much more that America and American no longer exist.
          I am always amazed by Republicans who denounce the Democrats for the demise of American principles when, in fact, the degradation of America was and is a bipartisan effort, otherwise we would not be in this position.
      • Mar 8 2014: : Charles
        I agree on your last comment that both major parties are doing more or less the same things; just to promote their own agenda, disregarding the spirit of our Constitution. That why I made the suggestion of the nonpartisan assembly for revitalizing the Constitution. As to the education of our citizens, I have posted many comments about the government interference of the K-12 curriculum by financial subsidy coercion. In essence, I have been alarmed that recently, the federal government even made the teaching materials written by governmental assigned "scholars" to be the so-called Common Core materials for all the school textbooks in school systems in states that consented to this "governmental program". My comment is that only the authoritative or dictatorial governments, not democratic governments, wrote their standard teaching materials for their students. Moreover, even the college faculties here are infused with many politically oriented teaching, which are supposedly apolitical.
      • Mar 9 2014: The problem is that we have forgotten that this country was founded on a compromise, survived on compromise, and there were no non- negotiable points. If we were willing to compromise, the constitution will be adequate.
        • Mar 9 2014: Charles Hunsinger


          I think we have read different histories. Can you elaborate on your understanding of the Founding, as well, as all this compromise and lack there of.
      • Mar 10 2014: Jefferson compromised on the declaration of independence, the constitution was a compromise pushed by small states (CT for example) afraid of the large states with large slave populations which led to the Senate, bill of rights was a compromise (for example, several founding fathers did not want the 2nd amendment), there was the compromise of the 1850 (Henry Clay and Stephan Douglas), the 13th amendment was a compromise, many decisions by the supreme court are compromises.
        • Mar 10 2014: Charles Hunsinger


          Thanks for the clarification. I thought that you may be bringing something new to the table. Compromise is not a bad thing and most assuredly there have been compromises from day this country. The comprises that are disconcerting are those that threaten the Constitution. Arguably, all such compromises may, in effect, have that result, but then we are pointing to the un-dotted 'i' and making a determination on the value or meaning of the sentence. Compromise does not invalidate the worth of the Constitution. Compromise does invalidate the Constitution if the contained principles are compromised, such as Individual freedom for a collective defined worth, free enterprise for socialism. Free speech for a government defined hate speech, free speech for politically controlled speech, Newspeak, or political correctness.
          You have made the allowance that if more compromises were made the Constitution would be "adequate." What are those compromises and what document, system of government would be superior to the Constitution?