How would you change the Constitution?
According to Political Science Professor Larry Sabato, our Constitution is a little out of date.
There have only been 17 amendments (the first 10 must be considered a part of the original document), one of which simply reversed another, others of which have been quite minor. Despite the new realities of the modern United States, our government runs under the direction of a document written with quill pens. This is not what our founders envisioned. Thomas Jefferson insisted that, "No society can make a perpetual Constitution...The earth belongs always to the living generation." He wanted major Constitutional reform every generation. One of Jefferson's great contemporaries, James Madison, agreed on the matter, saying that constitutional revisions would be "a salutary curb on the living generation from imposing unjust or unnecessary burdens on their successors." Daily Kos
I have always thought these basic facts demonstrate how successful our Founding Fathers were in constructing a government based on principles of liberty. Nonetheless, Mr. Sabato wishes to invoke Article V of the Constitution to call for a National Constitutional Convention to be held October 19, 2007 in the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
The goal of the National Constitutional Convention is not to promote one possible reform over another, but rather to spur a grand, national discussion on the Constitution of the United States and whether the cornerstone of our republic could or should be a means of revitalizing civic and political engagement in America, curtailing apathy and renewing confidence in American politics and government. A More Perfect Constitution
And, of course, to promote his new book, A More Perfect Constitution. Maybe if it is burned on a DVR it will have more authority in today's world?

Mr. Sabato's suggestions are designed to retain the basic principles of individual liberty, federalism and the separation of powers. I fear if we really opened something like this up, however, what we would end up with would look more like the Bill of Rights for the 21st Century we discussed back in April: a complete redefinition of rights.

But what we really need to do in order to ensure the liberty Jefferson sought to protect in his letter to Madison quoted above does not involve major revisions to the Constitution itself. Instead, what we need to do is return to a time when our representatives asked whether or not they had the Constitutional power to do what they proposed to do rather than how to secure and broaden their powers.

In other words, we need to stop viewing the Constitution as a living document, amenable to our whims. Because, as Jefferson stated in a letter in 1803,
Our peculiar security is in possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction.
We have essentially made our Constitution a blank paper by construction. No Constitutional Convention can change that. We either respect it for the bounds it has set on government, or we discard it.

Incidentally, Larry Sabato is also the author of an American government text book used in high school, American Government, Continuity and Change.

So how would you change the Constitution?

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