Is our Constitution outdated?
Those who call our Constitution outdated forget that the Constitution protects our freedom. If that’s outdated, so is freedom.
Constitution outdated – who says?
Barack H. Obama and his followers and fellow travelers are waging a subtle and even successful campaign against the US Constitution. An amazing number of “good” American citizens now think the Constitution is outdated. Since the Constitution was written over 200 years ago, they think, it is no longer relevant.
Constitution outdated – why that’s wrong
Maybe some people will buy that. But those who understand the document and what it stands for, will not. Our Constitution tells us how government works. (Or maybe, these days, we should say “how our government should work.”). The Declaration of Independence gives the “why” of our national existence. For you business people, our Constitution is our by-laws, and our Declaration of Independence is our Mission Statement. So: to understand our Constitution, start with our Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration says plainly that the role of government is to secure our god-given rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is the core of our system of government. It is the foundational statement for our Constitution.
Our Constitution does not break this rule. It protects it. It limits the power of government and protects the rights of our citizens to live life as they see fit.
How James Madison protected our rights
Most of our founders strongly believed that limiting government protected our rights. But Alexander Hamilton fought to spell out those rights in no uncertain terms. So shortly after the States first ratified the Constitution, Hamilton won his argument. James Madison then wrote and proposed the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution—the Bill of Rights.
Madison at first argued against Hamilton. He feared that if the Constitution spelled out our rights, maybe people would argue in the future that those were the only rights we had. (And in fact, they are saying that.) So, just to be sure to protect all our rights – including all not listed in the Bill or Rights – Madison wrote Amendment 9.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
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Constitution outdated – absolutely not
The framers of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights went through much deliberation and many arguments to write a document that limited government and protected the rights of our citizens.
Therefore, to answer the headline question, one must first answer another: Is freedom outdated? Are limited government and the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness outdated? If they are, that’s the only thing that can make our Constitution outdated. If they are as relevant today as they were over 200 years ago, then our Constitution is just as relevant.
Featured image: the Constitution of the United States. Credit: National Archives of the United States.