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Founding Liberals

Founding Liberals

The Dish: Opinion: Andrew Sullivan: Neither Living Nor Dead

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Before I give you my take on the U.S. Constitution, I’m going to give you takes from others further Left of me and from people who are to my Right and further Right.

Today’s so-called Progressives who are really Social Democrats to be real and blunt about it see the U.S. Constitution in European democratic terms and want to and see America as their type of social democracy. Where government is more centralized with more power and more resources for the good of the people. And where most if not all all things done though government are through majoritarian means with majority rule. They probably see our constitutional amendment process as undemocratic because of what it takes to repeal or amend an amendment. As well as forcing all Americans regardless of generation and the times as having to live under the same Constitution and Rule of Law.

Conservatives and Libertarians see the Constitutional in its original form. (Or that is what they say) And anything that is not specifically laid out for government to do based on the words of Constitution, they see as unconstitutional when government tries to perform those functions. Neoconservatives or the Traditional Values Coalition lets say when it comes to personal choice and freedom say that anything that is not granted specifically with the exact words laid out in it for the people, those rights don’t exist for the people. And that government can deny those actions for them. The same-sex-marriage debate is a perfect example of it.

I guess I’m somewhere in the middle on this which is where a Liberal would be between a Social Democrat on the Left and a Libertarian on the Right. All of the amendments and constitutional rights that we have as individuals with the constitutional amendments and Bill of Rights apply to all of us at any time. But when it comes to things for either the people or what can government can do I’m not what is called a strict-constructionist which is sort of a bogus term to begin with. And even people who call themselves that find ways to expand government power to meet their own political goals.

Just because same-sex-marriage doesn’t exist in the Constitution, or marijuana, or gambling and perhaps even property rights and the Right to Privacy doesn’t mean we don’t have the right to practice those things as long as we aren’t hurting innocent people with those practices. The Fourth Amendment clearly limits what government especially law enforcement can to when it comes to regulating individuals own lives. And the Fifth Amendment clearly limits what government can do to one’s property. And can’t simply decide to take it over or take it away simply because it wants to. The Equal Protection Clause clearly protect all classes of Americans equally and doesn’t grant government the right to discriminate because it doesn’t like one class of people.

I’m a Liberal Constitutionalist because I believe in the Constitution and more broadly liberal democracy. The rights that we have just from the words themselves will always be there unless they are repealed or amended through a super majority process. As it should be because we are a Constitutional Federal Republic in the form of a liberal democracy. Not a social democracy and those things are different. And just because the Constitution doesn’t specifically say an individual or government can do something, doesn’t mean they can’t. You have to look at the Constitution and see where those rights exist or not.


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Source: The Fiscal Times

Source: The Fiscal Times: Opinion- Josh Boak- Nine Changes To The Constitution- How Would You Change It

I love the United States Constitution the way it is and wouldn’t do anything that limits current freedoms that we have. But I would change some things that would make it better without doing anything that would make us less free, or less of a liberal democracy that we are, but to make us more of a liberal democracy with more freedom for everyone.

Like a constitutional-right for all American citizens eighteen or older who aren’t currently incarcerated with the right to vote.

And allowing for naturalized Americans citizens who’ve been American citizens for a certain amount of time, who do not hold dual citizenship who are thirty-five or older with the ability to run for President.

Perhaps an amendment to allow for the Federal Government as well as state and locals to regulate, but not end campaign money. Like with full-disclosure, but for the most part we have a great Constitution that just needs to be improved. Rather than radically revamped to deal with today’s world that today’s so-called Progressives (Social Democrats in actuality) want to do to make America into a social democracy. Or a socialist republic. Rr Neoconservatives and right-wing Nationalists, who think Americans have too much personal freedom and that personal-freedom is dangerous and we need to do away with the Fourth Amendment and amend the First Amendment.

Just because I prefer our Constitution over anything else that any other democratic republic  has, doesn’t mean ours is perfect and the rest of the Democratic world doesn’t do anything well. So here are some of the changes that I would make so make our Constitution even better. That wouldn’t subtract any of our constitutional rights.

Opposition Party-

I would put into law or the Constitution an official opposition party with an official opposition leader. Who would have their own administration not a governing administration, but would serve as the opposition the alternative voice to the presidential administration. With spokespeople to counter the administration on all policy issues of the day. Who wouldn’t be current members of Congress, or would the opposition leader, or their deputy. Which would be like the Vice President and they would serve as the official opposition to the party that won the last presidential election and as the official alternative voice in the United States. Led by the opposition leader who would be the person and party that finished second in the last presidential election.

Speaker of the House

Someone of such large stature and official power in the United States as the Leader of the House of Representatives, should be an official national leader as well. Rather than having to represent the House, their own caucus and their own House district. And just make the Speakership a larger office only accountable to the voters and their caucus. So I would make the Speaker an at large seat where the voters would determine who serves as Speaker. And the Speaker would be on the ballot that the Representatives and each House candidate would be on. And voters would be able to vote for a team. This team for Speaker and Representative, or a choice of other teams. Democratic, Republican and several other choices as well. And the political parties not the caucus’ would decide the candidates and nominees for Speaker. The Minority Leader of the House another at large seat. Whose party finished second in the Speaker’s race.

Leader of the Senate-

Again currently the Majority Leader of the Senate who in all intense purposes is the Leader of the Senate, even if it’s not official and the Leader of the upper chamber of Congress, someone with again such huge power and official stature who could if they wanted to prevent the President. from appointing a lot of their administration and a lot of the courts, should have just one office with that power. Rather than having to represent a state while trying to run the upper chamber of Congress in the most powerful country in the world. And just be held accountable by their party and the voters nationally. Rather than thinking they can use their office to benefit their state at the expense of everyone else have an easier path to reelection. By using their Leader’s office to send more money back home. And like the Speaker, the Leader would be an at large seat that the people would get to decide who the next Leader of the Senate is. And the candidates and incumbents would run as a team with the candidate. And incumbent for that Senate seat and they would be nominated for that office by their party. The Minority Leader of the Senate another at large seat would be the Senate leader whose party won the second most seats in the last Senate elections.

Vice President of the United States

It’s basically official now that the Vice President of the United States at least going back to the Carter Administration with Vice President Walter Mondale, serves as the president’s Chief Counselor, or even Chief Operating Officer. And have a big role in representing the President in Congress and leading negotiations with Congress. And serves as the chief representative to state and local governments and will foreign governments even. What I would do is just make these things official through law and take away the President of the Senate title from the Vice Presidency and make the Leader of the Senate the official Leader or President of the Senate. Since the Vice President is the second ranking officer in the United States Government, who would have to assume the Presidency if for whatever reason or reasons the President isn’t able to full fill their term, this would make the Vice Presidency the perfect place to learn how to govern and to be President of the United States.

U.S. Supreme Court-

Now that we even now have U.S. Justices who serve their party more than the Constitution, who see their role as to overturn and uphold laws they like and do not like, rather than to judge laws based on their constitutionality, Justices shouldn’t be allowed to have life terms. And have to be accountable differently, but still accountable like the rest of the country. And have to earn their jobs in order to keep them and end the entitlement to that office that they currently hold. So I would still make Justices including the Chief Justice appointed offices, but they would now serve six-year terms rather than lifelong terms and have to be reappointed and confirmed by the U.S. Senate every six years in order to remain in office. So the country can weigh in on whether or not this Justice deserves to stay in power or not. And in a country with fifty states and three hundred twenty million people, nine Justices to serve not represent the entire country is simply not enough. And I would move to have one Justice for each state with the Chief Justice a Vice Chief Justice holding at-large seats.

Multiple Party System

Throw out the current two-party system duopoly even though I’m a proud lifelong Liberal Democrat, our current party system is simply too under-representative of our liberal democracy. Especially in a country that’s as politically diverse as we are. Going from Socialists, to Social-Democrats to Progressives to Liberals on the Left. To Conservatives to Libertarians to Neoconservatives, or Confederates and Theocrats on the Right. Including Centrists in the dead-center and I would move to a multiple-party system with 5-6 different political parties representing the entire political spectrum in America. And have runoffs so these candidates for each Federal office would have to eventually win at least fifty-one percent of the popular vote. So they couldn’t get to office winning just thirty-percent of. the vote, but have to be more representative of the people they are supposed to represent.

Electoral College
Amend it, not end is sort of popular political term, but in this case is correct. To go simply to a popular vote would mean that candidates especially who lean heavy in one. ideological direction or another would be able to just campaign in politically friendly states or parts of states to win the presidency, or be reelected. But to have candidates and incumbents who win or are reelected the presidency, they would need to win their base, but a certain percentage of the Independent vote, or voters who normally wouldn’t vote for that party, but have to win their base. And these Independents who normally wouldn’t vote for them and that may mean moderating some of their positions to do that. Electoral College votes would no longer be awarded to candidates and incumbents who win just fifty-one percent of. The vote and that person getting awarded with all of the electoral votes. But to win an entire state they would have to win at least sixty-percent of the vote. Anything less than that they would be awarded electoral votes based on the percentage of the vote that they won.

We already have the very good Constitution and the best in the world that has served us very well. And a lot of ways is the reason that we are the liberal democracy with all of the freedom both personal and economic that we have. But it isn’t perfect and can be made to work better with some key changes that doesn’t lessen our freedom and give more power to the. government at any level of more power to the people. And make our government more representative of the whole country.

Keith Hughes: Changes To The U.S. Constitution- Easy Ways To Remember

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