Thursday, May 08, 2008

Constitutional Republic

Law Dog has an good post up about the depressing willingness of the American public to entrust the President with far more power than the Constitution allows. Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to change in the near future.

The funny thing about it is that none of our so-called "Constitutional scholars" worry about the document they're "interpreting." Go to your nearest college and talk to some professors in the political science department. They'll cite case law that backs whichever stance they'd like to defend on whichever issue is big at the moment, but ask them about the Constitution and see what happens. Many of them will tell you that it's a "living document" and "open to interpretation," but they'll very rarely even dust off a copy of it and look at what they're interpreting.

I had professors who routinely called our political system a democracy and would not accept a correction. If, heaven forbid, I brought up a point regarding the Constitution, they would simply spout precedent, if they bothered to present a reason for the disagreement at all. "Why is this done this way?" "Well, they've been doing it since it was first done by..." "But what about the Constitution?" "It's a living document, and the founders couldn't have foreseen our world. That's why we have to rely on precedent."

It's my experience that, for everything that changes, human nature never does. Sure, we have different technology, but people still want to pursue their individual dreams without interference. People still want to protect their own interests, property, and families. Sure, the internet and television have largely supplanted the printing press, but it's not a new concept, just a new media. Our Republic was designed with the unchanging aspects of humanity in mind, though you'd never think it with the modifications that've led to the current state of affairs.

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