Friday December 7, 2018
Wrongheaded view threatens our democracy.
Many conservatives revere our brilliant Founding Fathers but mock intelligent people today as “intellectual elites,” as if intelligence is shameful.
The Founders certainly were brilliant, but back then they carried single-shot muskets, wore wigs, and used quill pens and chamber pots. Many owned slaves. The average life expectancy was around 35. They couldn't foresee everything.
They didn't foresee America's eventual size, or that extreme variance in population density would give some citizens over 50 times more representation in the Senate. They expected Electoral College members, once elected, to be free to choose the most qualified candidates, not to be locked into partisanship.
They feared a standing army as a threat to government and wrote the Second Amendment for a citizen militia instead. They didn't foresee military weapons in the hands of right-wing militias formed specifically to oppose government.
They didn't foresee the end of slavery, women's right to vote, civil rights for all or an income tax. Our Constitution is brilliant, but not perfect, as shown by 17 amendments, so far, since the Bill of Rights.
While principles endure, civilization advances in spite of conservative resistance. They insist on a literal reading of the Second Amendment but support today's version of the Electoral College. They believe civil rights and voting rights are open to interpretation, so some states are compounding unequal representation with voter disenfranchisement tactics.
Our representative democracy is threatened.
Civilization advances despite conservatives