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Hypothetical 2017 Constitutional Convention

The 2017 Constitutional Convention  

24 members have voted

  1. 1. If sent as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, would your primary goal be to...

    • Preserve the Constitution as it is.
    • Amend the Constitution where it is unclear.
    • Amend the Constitution to make improvements, suitable for the 21st century and beyond.
    • Rewrite the Constitution, since it is archaic
    • Abolish the Constitution, because it's a hindrance
      0
  2. 2. Which of the following articles or amendments of the Constitution would you propose amending?

    • Article One, describing the Congress/legislative branch
    • Article Two, describing the President/executive branch
    • Article Three, describing the Supreme Court/Judicial Branch
    • Article Four, describing the relations between the states and the federal government
    • Article Five, describing the process for amending the Constitution
    • Article Six, establishing the Constitution, and all Federal laws made in accordance with it as the supreme law of the land
    • Article Seven, describing the process for establishing the government
    • 1st Amendment -- Freedom of speech, of religion, of the press, of assembly and the right to petition
    • 2nd Amendment -- the right of individuals to bear arms
    • 3rd Amendment -- prohibits the government from forcing citizens to house soldiers during peacetime without consent
    • 4th Amendment -- protects against unreasonable searches and seizures of self or property
    • 5th Amendment -- establishes judicial protections and requirements for both accused and guilty; also has clause regarding eminent domain
    • 6th Amendment -- protections and rights of those accused of a crime
    • 7th Amendment - extends the right to a trial by jury to civil cases and prohibits a judge from overturning the decision of the jury
    • 8th Amendment -- protects against excessively high bails and from cruel or unusual punishments
    • 9th Amendment -- declares that individuals have other fundamental rights, in addition to those stated in the Constitution.
    • 10th Amendment -- that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
    • 11th Amendment -- specifically prohibits federal courts from hearing cases in which a state is sued by an individual from another state or another country
    • 12th Amendment -- modifies the way the Electoral College chooses the President and Vice President.
    • None of the above
  3. 3. part 2 of the above

    • 13th Amendment -- abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.
    • 14th Amendment -- granted United States citizenship to former slaves and to all persons "subject to U.S. jurisdiction".
    • 15th Amendment -- prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude".
    • 16th Amendment -- allows the Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on the United States Census.
    • 17th Amendment -- established the popular election of United States Senators by the people of the states.
    • 19th Amendment -- prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex.
    • 22nd Amendment -- sets a term limit for election and overall time of service to the office of President of the United States.
    • 24th Amendment -- prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax.
    • 25th Amendment -- deals with succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, as well as responding to Presidential disabilities.
    • 26th Amendment -- prohibits the states and the federal government from using age as a reason for denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States who are at least eighteen years old.
    • I would also like to amend one of the "minor" Amendments not mentioned
    • I would like to add an amendment not purely amending an already existing amendment.
    • None of the above


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It's 2017, and you've been selected as a delegate to a new Constitutional Convention.

We will try to fashion a new or preserve the old Constitution in this scenario. Any amendments/alterations will require a 2/3 majority from the delegates (66% or higher)

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1) Modify where unclear

2) President and Executive Branch: conflict of interest clause, mostly, and the electoral college + clause on campaigns and campaign finance. Supreme Court: put judicial review in writing. 3rd amendment: we don't really need this any more, right? Electoral college: don't get rid of it but make it something that's used in an emergency (e.g. very close race, foreign interference/other tampering with voting machines, stopping someone who's obviously unfit/a demagogue, though that last one might be a slippery slope) rather than used in every election. 

3) None, the Constitution is remarkably well written already and at most needs a few small tweaks based on things we've learned from experience

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1. Modify where unclear

2. Congress (elastic clause); 2nd Amendment (make it harder to put restrictions on guns)

3. 14th Amendment (make it clear that children of illegals do not have birthright citizenship; maybe stablish a citizenship test regardless of where the person was born); 15th Amendment (Require civics test and ID to vote)

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Oooh where to start... :)

1. I voted "preserve" because none of the other choices fit.  One of the choices should have been "keep but add amendments." The "suitable for 20th century and beyond" part is disingenuous, assuming that the problems with our document are age-related.  There are things I'd add (more on that later).  But seriously I'd love to hear from those who would choose one of the last two (thankfully none have yet) to outline specific examples of what is "archaic" about it and more importantly, if you abolish it entirely, does that mean you're willing to give up free speech, freedom of the press, return slavery, revoke citizenship and voting rights for blacks, allow the government to arrest you without charge and hold you indefinitely, force you to testify against yourself in court, deny you the right to a jury, allow the government to establish a national religion, take away your guns, deny religious freedom, condone torture as punishment?  I'm deadly serious - "Abolish" is a pretty strong word, and if you're going to do so, you'd better be able to justify it, and more importantly, have something to replace it. 

2. I don't believe any "articles" can be amended directly without amending the document itself, so that's moot and I would shudder at any proposal to change or amend the bill of rights.

3. I don't know why I forgot to check this off, but I'd definitely repeal the 16th and 17th Amendments.  The original purpose of the Congress was that the House of Representatives represented the people, but Senators represented the states' interests, and thus were appointed by the state legislature.  I'd also propose adding the following:

* An amendment requiring the budget to be balanced each year.  $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities is sickening and reckless.  If everyday Americans can balance their checkbook, then so can the Feds.  Any deficit spending must be approved by three-fourths majorities in the House.
* An amendment establishing term limits to Senate and the House for a grand total of 12 years combined.
* An amendment limiting Supreme Court justices to a single, non-renewable 10 year term.
* Subject all government departments to regular review and auditing.
* Specify the meaning of the Commerce Clause, the General Welfare Clause, and the Establishment Clause to prevent activist judges from justifying illegal decisions by making up those definitions as they see fit.
* Lower the veto requirement from two thirds of the Senate and/or House to three-fifths.
* A two-thirds vote of the individual states can nullify ANY federal law or Supreme Court decision.
* Allow impeachment for actions or legislation in violation of the Constitution.
 

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2 hours ago, jvikings1 said:

2. Congress (elastic clause); 2nd Amendment (make it harder to put restrictions on guns)

 

I don't know, I think "shall not be infringed" is pretty clear :P

 

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Here's mine: 

1. I wish I hadn't of phrased this as, " Amend the Constitution to make improvements, suitable for the 21st century and beyond.". I mean, primarily update it. I think there should be a new Convention every 20 years, even Thomas Jefferson fans should agree with me on this, since this was his own idea. 

2 & 3. I checked off several of these, and some are just minor clarifications, deletions or additions. Some of my ideas include

- Constitutional rules for cabinet selections

- A constitutional concession to the losing nominee (2nd place finisher), perhaps a cabinet-level position as Secretary (or advisor) of the Opposition, or something. This allows a constant sitting Devil's Advocate, who could potentially actually help the sitting president work with people of the other party. I haven't completely thought this through, but something so that the 47 to 53% of the voters who lose the election don't lose everything. I don't like winners take all systems, even if my candidate wins. 

- I'd like more checks on unpopular presidents. If a president's approval rating is ever 25% or below, they shouldn't be president any longer, regardless of their party affiliation. The VP would take over. 

- An amendment would prevent the president from spending tax dollars for vacations. 

- An amendment would consider lying under the presidential oath as perjury. As such, if a president makes a blatantly and intentional false statement that a former president has wiretapped him, without showing proof, then that sitting president is liable for impeachment for lying under oath. A strict law in this regard would force a politician to be more open and honest. Unintentional lies are obviously unavoidable. Yet, intentionally misleading statements or bald-faced lies are much easier to prove, especially if a bipartisan panel of fact checkers unanimously can point it out. 

- I'd accept someone's suggestion that terms of office be altered into 2 year terms for up to 6 years, or something. I think this would make the president more beholden to their campaign promises. 

- I want term limits for Senators, US Reps and SC Justices

- I want to reform the election process, campaign process, primaries, conventions, etc., including eliminating the electoral college, or making it an emergency measure. 

- I want to change the order of succession. 

- I want to clearly write what the VP's position aught to be or aught not to be. 

- I want to put an age limit/retirement age on elected officials. 

- I want to make it much easier to amend the Constitution. I think a straight majority of the states is enough. However, I think if every objecting state repetitions a review of the amendment, then alterations are must be made, until a certain number of those states are on board. 

- I don't think the VP should preside over the Senate, since he now operates more with the executive branch. 

- I don't think the VP should preside over his own impeachment trial, since the Constitution states that the SC only presidents over presidential impeachment. 

- I think the cabinet should not be the only body to declare a president as unfit. I think the Senate and/or the state governors, and/or the house should have the powers to do that. 

- I would like every department and financial institution connected to the Federal government to be audited regularly

- Make a declaration of war necessary for military action against another country, say within a month of conflict, since some warfare is an emergency. 

- Make it much easier for a federal official to be audited.

- More transparency in government

- Add on some of FDR's proposed 2nd bill of rights (he died before he could usher them in). 

- Make unconstitutional behavior by politicians, such as restricting or advocating the restriction of Civil Rights, as an impeachable offense. 

- Add an amendment allowing referendums in certain situations

These are some things I'd propose as the basis for amendments. 

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3 hours ago, jvikings1 said:

1. Modify where unclear

2. Congress (elastic clause); 2nd Amendment (make it harder to put restrictions on guns)

3. 14th Amendment (make it clear that children of illegals do not have birthright citizenship; maybe stablish a citizenship test regardless of where the person was born); 15th Amendment (Require civics test and ID to vote)

About the Second Amendment, I think this one is, despite almost no American today, either for or against gun control, acknowledges, or perhaps even knows, is probably one of the actually most dated aspects of the US Constitution. When the US first became a nation, it was very different than today. It was a largely rural, underdeveloped frontier nation where the danger of wild animals, hostile Native Americans, angry neighbours who were not content with civil lawsuits or local ordinances to settle disputes between neighbours, but preferred more violent resolutions, bandits and highwaymen, potential slave rebellions (if you lived in the South), and even militias, raiding parties, and soldiers from neighbouring nations and colonies (as, back then, the US borders were completely unguarded and unpatrolled). Law enforcement was VERY scarce back then - the FBI and state highway patrols didn't exist yet, and a number of counties had no sitting sheriff, and those that did often had ONLY the sheriff, or maybe with a handful of deputies, and located in the county seat. Since many counties were geographically, and they were all MUCH,MUCH less populated, it was hard for him to get to the fringes of his county. Also, their were no phones to call him, and if he did come, he had no police interceptor car or helicopter - he had a horse, and, there were no asphalt-paved highways, just dirt roads, and a sheriff often to go off-road. This meant that most US citizens actually NEEDED a firearm for basic and practical self-defence - not withstanding the much more significant food and hides intake of the day from hunting than in the modern US. Today, the perceived "need" for unrestricted civilian ownership of firearms is SOLELY self-perpetuated in US society. Also, I'm pretty sure the Founding Fathers of the US would NOT have wanted civilians to have unlimited access to weapons like assault rifles, submachine guns, or even semi-automatic pistols that, in their day when the Ferguson rifle was brand new and cutting edge, they couldn't even fathom, imagine, or predict ever existing.

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7 hours ago, Patine said:

About the Second Amendment, I think this one is, despite almost no American today, either for or against gun control, acknowledges, or perhaps even knows, is probably one of the actually most dated aspects of the US Constitution. When the US first became a nation, it was very different than today. It was a largely rural, underdeveloped frontier nation where the danger of wild animals, hostile Native Americans, angry neighbours who were not content with civil lawsuits or local ordinances to settle disputes between neighbours, but preferred more violent resolutions, bandits and highwaymen, potential slave rebellions (if you lived in the South), and even militias, raiding parties, and soldiers from neighbouring nations and colonies (as, back then, the US borders were completely unguarded and unpatrolled). Law enforcement was VERY scarce back then - the FBI and state highway patrols didn't exist yet, and a number of counties had no sitting sheriff, and those that did often had ONLY the sheriff, or maybe with a handful of deputies, and located in the county seat. Since many counties were geographically, and they were all MUCH,MUCH less populated, it was hard for him to get to the fringes of his county. Also, their were no phones to call him, and if he did come, he had no police interceptor car or helicopter - he had a horse, and, there were no asphalt-paved highways, just dirt roads, and a sheriff often to go off-road. This meant that most US citizens actually NEEDED a firearm for basic and practical self-defence - not withstanding the much more significant food and hides intake of the day from hunting than in the modern US. Today, the perceived "need" for unrestricted civilian ownership of firearms is SOLELY self-perpetuated in US society. Also, I'm pretty sure the Founding Fathers of the US would NOT have wanted civilians to have unlimited access to weapons like assault rifles, submachine guns, or even semi-automatic pistols that, in their day when the Ferguson rifle was brand new and cutting edge, they couldn't even fathom, imagine, or predict ever existing.

Military grade weapons where what they required people to have at the Founding.  Also, guns  are still needed for self defense in places like the South Side of Chicago which is ruled by gang violence.

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I'd like to amend the 22nd amendment to include term limits for congressmen, who are often afraid to raise taxes, cut spending, or other unpopular measures that might be good for the nation because they are always out to get reelected, always. Nobody wants to raise taxes or implement a policy that might be needed, but unpopular among their constituents. Perhaps a 8 term (16 year) limit for house members and a 3 term (18 year) limit for senate members. Given that too often, we see lifetime politicians unable to make choices that benefit us because they want reelection, and it might finally get younger blood into an aging legislature.  "The average age of Members of the 114th Congress is among the highest of any Congress in recent U.S. history." (cite Senate.gov https://www.senate.gov/CRSpubs/c527ba93-dd4a-4ad6-b79d-b1c9865ca076.pdf ). This is partially due to historically low turnover rates in the house due to extreme gerrymandering (Possibly make Gerrymandering a constitutional offense?). Gerrymandering takes away the people's voice in politics. Example Hillary Clinton carried just 205/435 house districts despite winning by 2.1% of the vote. This doesn't seem quite right.  Map of congressional districts by 2016 winning presidential party

As you can see, Callifornia, Oregon,and New Mexico are Gerrymandered Democratic, while OH, MI, WI, TN, NC, and MO are gerrymandered to swing republican, but this sword can cut either way, like it did back in the 80's, when Reagan was dealing with a Democratic house due to, in part, gerrymandering, then there's the senate, but that isn't effected by gerrymandering.

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1) Modify it for the 21st century- mainly in regards to privacy.

Amendments that need to be amended: 

1st- I think we need a clear definition of Separation of Church and State.

4th- Protection against Civil forfeiture.

 

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46 minutes ago, LokiLoki22 said:

Callifornia, Oregon,and New Mexico are Gerrymandered Democratic

California has non-partisan redistricting, and as such is perhaps the least Gerrymandered multi-district state in the union.

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Just now, pilight said:

California has non-partisan redistricting, and as such is perhaps the least Gerrymandered multi-district state in the union.

Okay, thank you for fixing that.

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Some things:

The people can put term limits on members of Congress through the ballot box.  Whose fault is it if the people continue to elect the same people?  What if there is a great Senator or Congressman that you wish to stay in office?

Also, how would a fair process be instituted for the makeup of Congressional Districts?  It sounds good to get rid of gerrymandering, but it is a lot more complicated in practice.

11 hours ago, servo75 said:

I don't know, I think "shall not be infringed" is pretty clear :P

 

Unfortunately, some think that this is not the case.

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I think the best process to also improve Congress is to add more seats to the House. We haven't increased the number of House seats since 1912(excluding those that came from the admission of Hawaii and Alaska), and the average constituency size back then was 200,00. Today the average size for a district is well over 500,000(some states like Texas and California suffer the greatest, and have districts that can represent up to 750,000 citizens). Now we can talk about ending gerrymandering, but with such a small number seats allocated to a state, it is easy to draw lines that benefit one party , as opposed to having a higher number of seats to prevent packing a district full of democrats or republicans.  

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I'll wait until Thursday for us to discuss proposals for altering Article 1. 

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7 hours ago, Sunnymentoaddict said:

I think the best process to also improve Congress is to add more seats to the House. We haven't increased the number of House seats since 1912(excluding those that came from the admission of Hawaii and Alaska), and the average constituency size back then was 200,00. Today the average size for a district is well over 500,000(some states like Texas and California suffer the greatest, and have districts that can represent up to 750,000 citizens). Now we can talk about ending gerrymandering, but with such a small number seats allocated to a state, it is easy to draw lines that benefit one party , as opposed to having a higher number of seats to prevent packing a district full of democrats or republicans.  

I would agree, it's been proposed to use the "Wyoming rule" where the "standard divisor", or number of citizens per representative, is equal to that of the smallest state, in this case Wyoming of a little over 500,000 which would give us approximately 600 seats (yeah because there aren't enough politicians in Washington already :) ).

As for the gerrymandering, I'm sure it must be possible with today's computers, to develop an algorithm that can automatically draw lines dividing as evenly as possible, but even that's no guarantee.  That's the only way to ever make it truly "fair."

 

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8 hours ago, Sunnymentoaddict said:

1st- I think we need a clear definition of Separation of Church and State.

I'm rather nervous about amending the Bill of Rights.  To be honest, I think the 1st Amendment is already pretty clear on that.  If I had to sum it up in a sentence, I'd say "Religion and government shall have no influence on each other."  Separation isn't even part of the Constitution, it's based on a Jefferson quote.  Many people (incorrectly IMHO) apply the separation extremely broadly, for example claiming that school vouchers for private education is some Constitutional violation.  The way I view it, as long as the state is not interfering with religious liberty of individuals (e.g. the Hobby Lobby case and the Colorado bakers), as long as the government is not specifically favoring one religion over the other (e.g. you can use this voucher for Catholic schools but not Jewish) and as long as religious laws don't get made into civil law (e.g. The bible is against homosexuality therefore gays shouldn't marry) then I think the First Amendment is satisfied.  For example I think a town hall can have Christmas Trees, Santa and reindeer, but not a nativity scene.  The second is overtly promoting Christianity, but the first are not religious symbols.

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1 hour ago, servo75 said:

sure it must be possible with today's computers, to develop an algorithm that can automatically draw lines dividing as evenly as possible, but even that's no guarantee.  That's the only way to ever make it truly "fair."

The people in charge of making changes like that are the ones most strongly opposed to doing so.  California only got non-partisan redistricting through public referendum.

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11 hours ago, jvikings1 said:

Some things:

The people can put term limits on members of Congress through the ballot box.  Whose fault is it if the people continue to elect the same people?  What if there is a great Senator or Congressman that you wish to stay in office?

Also, how would a fair process be instituted for the makeup of Congressional Districts?  It sounds good to get rid of gerrymandering, but it is a lot more complicated in practice.

On the first point, I completely agree. Term limits on Congress would just make it so freshmen congresspeople would have to rely on lobbyists for information rather than senior members of their chamber (since there would be no senior members).

On the second point: You could have an independent commission draw the maps, though the "independent" part might be hard to enforce...

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23 hours ago, vcczar said:

Ok let's start with the parts I agree with (it'll be much shorter :P)

23 hours ago, vcczar said:

- I want term limits for Senators, US Reps and SC Justices

 

23 hours ago, vcczar said:

- I'd accept someone's suggestion that terms of office be altered into 2 year terms for up to 6 years, or something. I think this would make the president more beholden to their campaign promises

23 hours ago, vcczar said:

I would like every department and financial institution connected to the Federal government to be audited regularly

23 hours ago, vcczar said:

More transparency in government

Agreed but I'd like to see something a bit more specific.

23 hours ago, vcczar said:

- I'd like more checks on unpopular presidents. If a president's approval rating is ever 25% or below, they shouldn't be president any longer, regardless of their party affiliation. The VP would take over. 

- An amendment would consider lying under the presidential oath as perjury. As such, if a president makes a blatantly and intentional false statement that a former president has wiretapped him, without showing proof, then that sitting president is liable for impeachment for lying under oath. A strict law in this regard would force a politician to be more open and honest. Unintentional lies are obviously unavoidable. Yet, intentionally misleading statements or bald-faced lies are much easier to prove, especially if a bipartisan panel of fact checkers unanimously can point it out. 

Aaaah, yes no agenda there. :lol::lol::lol: First, Donald Trump was not under oath, and the New York Times on 1/20 had the headline referring to wiretapping on Trump, before they conveniently changed the headline for their online edition.  Where were all these impeachment hawks when Obama was trampling all over the Constitution, or when Bill Clinton lied under oath?  And as for the "impeachment by poll" amendment how would you measure this?  Which ratings systems or polls would you use?  Who gets to make that call?  If a President breaks the law, or lies UNDER OATH (like Clinton, unlike Trump) we have a process in place called impeachment.  Nearly every President in the past century has committed at least one impeachable offense.  Yes the system has become too political, but what you're proposing - simply firing the president via polls - how is that better?  How is that non-political?  And while we're on the subject, can we also impeach for blatantly false statements that we could keep our plan and our doctor and save $2500 in premiums?  And if breaking the oath is perjury, we might as well posthumously throw every President through Herbert Hoover in jail.  I agree a President should be strictly held to his oath to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" but let's not pretend that both parties haven't been guilty of this, and proposing thinly-veiled "anti-Trump" amendments is nothing more than partisan "boomerang legislation."  "Bipartisan panel of fact checkers?"  How would you even go about such a thing.  There is no such thing as a completely unbiased fact checker.  We can all agree that the sky is blue but politics is rarely black and white.  So you want a small panel of fact checkers to be able to impeach a President on their say-so?

23 hours ago, vcczar said:

- Add on some of FDR's proposed 2nd bill of rights (he died before he could usher them in). 

As if FDR didn't do enough damage to our country when he was alive! The "Second Bill of Rights" is nothing but Socialist Utopian wealth redistribution, as if the government can unilaterally declare what's "fair" and steal from others to implement it.

P.S. I'm just chomping at the bit for the FDR "legacy poll" :D

23 hours ago, vcczar said:

A constitutional concession to the losing nominee (2nd place finisher), perhaps a cabinet-level position as Secretary (or advisor) of the Opposition, or something.  This allows a constant sitting Devil's Advocate, who could potentially actually help the sitting president work with people of the other party.

Yes because the two party system is working sooooo well right now isn't it? :).  We actually tried that once, prior to the Twelfth Amendment.  The second place winner got the VP position.  It was DISASTER.  You had Adams and Jefferson so at odds that the latter gave up and went home to Virginia.  This culminated in the vicious 1800 election which some may say was even worse than 2016.  No, elections have consequences.  We already have a minority leader in the Senate and the House and they have been in the truest meaning of the word, "devils advocates."  I agree Presidents should be more bipartisan in cabinet appointments, but that has to be his choice, and until our current parties show a bit more civility and restraint, forcing a bipartisan cabinet is a recipe for trouble.

23 hours ago, vcczar said:

- I want to make it much easier to amend the Constitution. I think a straight majority of the states is enough. However, I think if every objecting state repetitions a review of the amendment, then alterations are must be made, until a certain number of those states are on board. 

We don't live in a democracy, we live in a federal republic.  The Constitution is supposed to be difficult to amend.  Or else we risk majority tyranny.  If I have $100 and two other people have $5, do they get to vote in favor of me giving them my money?  As Ben Franklin once said, "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what's for lunch."  I might agree to go from 3/4 to 2/3, but simple majority of states?  That's dangerous.  We're talking about possible structural changes to our government here.  There's a movement right now in favor an Article V Convention of States.  The opponents argue (falsely) that this could result in a runaway convention.  If a bad amendment is proposed, the protection is the fact that 38  out  of 50 states need to  approve  it.  If you reduce to simple majority, that will in a sense make  it HARDER to make changes because we won't want to take the chance that a bad amendment will get through and then we'll be stuck with it.

23 hours ago, vcczar said:

- I want to reform the election process, campaign process, primaries, conventions, etc., including eliminating the electoral college, or making it an emergency measure. 


Do you even know what the Electoral College is for? It's absolutely necessary and vital to fair government.  It's designed to avoid majority tyranny so that a every regional demographic gets an equal voice, and few urban centers don't dominate the electorate.  The needs of those in New York and Los Angeles are vastly different from those of us in "flyover country," yet in a pure majority just a few urban metro areas would completely overwhelm the vote.  I say that would be LESS democratic.  I would even go so far as to repeal the 17th Amendment, and have the states choose their Senators.  An emergency measure?  Under what circumstances?  Again, who decides?  Who will be the one to stop an election and say, "Yeah, on second thought we're just going to declare an "emergency" and do it a different way now.  Your vote is now going to be invalidated because the government says so.  Have a nice day." That's very dangerous and completely open to corruption - things like that are how dictatorships get started!  Really I wish you'd think these things through and research them first.

 

23 hours ago, vcczar said:

- An amendment would prevent the president from spending tax dollars for vacations. 

Really?  By the way can we also ban welfare, unemployment and social security recipients from taking vacations?  Also tax dollars fund our TSA, our roads, and unfortunately, our passenger rail.  Again, an amendment is completely unnecessary here.

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Tomorrow, Thursday, we will start discussing Article 1, moving on to proposals and then voting when it appears everyone's had a say. 

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One last thought that I forgot to make yesterday...

The people who complain that the Constitution is outdated (despite oddly not being able to give a single example) insist that it can't keep up with modern times (again, completely vague and unsupported).  Moreover when you start crafting amendments you have to be really careful - If you start over-defining everything then your amendments just may someday be obsolete and then you're stuck with them.  Most "modern" or everyday life issues are handled through legislation, they don't require Constitutional amendments.  The Constitution is vague on purpose, and should be so, because it's supposed to be a framework for our laws, not the sum total of them.  It's supposed to be open to interpretation and it's supposed to be difficult to change..  The Constitution, and by extension the General Government, is not meant to solve every single problem we have.  Those are left to the legislators.  George Will put it thus: “To say the Constitution is a living, evolving document... is almost oxymoronic...  A constitution is supposed to freeze things. It is an anti-evolutionary device as Justice Scalia said. It is intended to put certain things beyond the reach of transient majorities... the point of the Constitution is that majorities are dangerous."  If we left the structure of our government open to simple majorities the results could be chaotic.  The Constitution's job is to prevent knee jerk reactionary legislation, leave things open to interpretation and to resist progressive interpretation.

 

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4 minutes ago, servo75 said:

One last thought that I forgot to make yesterday...

The people who complain that the Constitution is outdated (despite oddly not being able to give a single example) insist that it can't keep up with modern times (again, completely vague and unsupported).  Moreover when you start crafting amendments you have to be really careful - If you start over-defining everything then your amendments just may someday be obsolete and then you're stuck with them.  Most "modern" or everyday life issues are handled through legislation, they don't require Constitutional amendments.  The Constitution is vague on purpose, and should be so, because it's supposed to be a framework for our laws, not the sum total of them.  It's supposed to be open to interpretation and it's supposed to be difficult to change..  The Constitution, and by extension the General Government, is not meant to solve every single problem we have.  Those are left to the legislators.  George Will put it thus: “To say the Constitution is a living, evolving document... is almost oxymoronic...  A constitution is supposed to freeze things. It is an anti-evolutionary device as Justice Scalia said. It is intended to put certain things beyond the reach of transient majorities... the point of the Constitution is that majorities are dangerous."  If we left the structure of our government open to simple majorities the results could be chaotic.  The Constitution's job is to prevent knee jerk reactionary legislation, leave things open to interpretation and to resist progressive interpretation.

 

Sounds like you've worded the US Constitution like it was a Medieval Charter of Feudal Governance for a 13th Century European Kingdom co-signed by the Pope. Is that REALLY how staid, inflexible, and unadaptable you view it as?

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Yes.  I haven't worded anything; it was worded by the Founders in 1787, and yes it's supposed to be inflexible, but not unadaptable.  It's been amended 27 times.

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