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Reading that title what first comes to mind? Do you think I am anti-American? Do you immediately assume I am a rebelling millennial? Do you assume I don't know any better? Or perhaps you are intrigued? You have come across something you have thought about, but never dreamed of speaking aloud?
First of all, a few words of warning, as you are reading this keep in mind that I am neither a politician, nor a historian. I am not a hater of our government, nor am I someone who accepts ideologies and "facts" without voicing my own opinion and searching for further understanding. Do know, however, that I am an average citizen, someone who has seen what is going on in our nation for a long time, and has grown concerned through my time as an outside witness of the system. Understand that I am not judging a specific person nor a specific party. I am, however, voicing my opinion and as it is my opinion many will disagree and many will agree, and I accept all of your thoughts equally even if I disagree with them myself.
The United States Constitution is by far one of the best and most powerful documents that is still enforced in our present history. It runs our government at its roots, it helps us decide what moves to make and how to make them, it guides us in electing leaders, it protects us citizens, and much more. However there is a huge issue that comes with all its greatness, an issue that should be fixed soon, and that issue is that it was written in 1787, over 200 years ago.
The writing of our Constitution is probably one of the greatest things that has happened to this nation as (along with the Declaration of Independence) it gave us freedom from tyranny, it gave the citizens of this country various rights and protections from the stronghold of government, and it gave us guidance in how to run our great Country. In spite of all of that the ideals of that era, the technologies available, the land we owned, the people living within the nation, and so much more has tremendously and drastically changed from then till now. Our Constitution gave us the power for all of that to happen, but stop and think about the various things were different back then*:
- Education did not go past High School for most people at that time unless you were wealthy
- Only wealthy landowners, and military heroes were considered for office
- Most of the citizens within our nation had British roots
- The grand majority of our nation believed in Christianity
- Technologies like the internet and other great revolutionary ideas did not yet exist.
to name a few. Yet, we currently live our current lives based on a document, although ratified a few times, that was written back then? Why?
The intent of the original Constitution as signed by our founding fathers, was to give power to people in the form of a Democratic Republic. It gave us the opportunity to vote for decisions being made by our leaders, preventing the rise of a new king, and gave us rules to follow as citizens to prevent further revolt. Tell me, has it worked? Is no one person held responsible for what happens to our country ("because of Obama" "thanks to Trump")? Or do we all citizens take responsibility for what occurs? We were given the power to vote and chose what happens, yet because of what we call "flaws in the system" every election less and less people vote. If that is the case, the power of the people is slowly diminishing, some of it by choice, some of it because what our outgrown Constitution is causing.
Give this a little thought, most people in the country right now are within the "next generation" category, some millennials, some generation Z and X, and a few that will follow millennials. With that in mind - think about the conditions they are living in - no longer trying to expand our nation (like our founding fathers), able to constantly check news and facts online (thus expecting immediate ratification and reward), working on further improving civil rights, and protecting the environment (while attempting to create and survive a work force being driven by technology). Did our founding fathers plan on that? Could they relate...? No, the answer is no, so the next question becomes... is our system broken or does the new generation of people simply not care enough about anything other than about whining and complaining? The answer... not as simple.
Our system, is not exactly broken it is simply outdated. Think about computers, Windows98 and Windows XP were probably some of the best systems of their time (remember opinion), yet Microsoft and Apple did not stop their ingenuity and creations there. As technology advanced, as people and their needs adapted, so did operating systems. Windows XP was not broken, but yet it was "fixed" or "recreated" to do newer and better things now. Same goes for vehicles (which adapted to our needs of needing to travel further and faster), communication technologies, medicines, and entertainment. If those things have changed, why hasn't our backbone of government changed to fit us?
With that being said, the new generation of people is not careless about our nation and our government, it is simply not engaged. I cannot speak for everyone, but keep this in mind, would you be interested in an ongoing battle that does not directly involve you, and when it does you are bound to lose regardless? Would you be interested in a fight where there are only two options to pick from (Democrat or Republican), but you can't fully agree with them while they expect you to go all in or not all for either of them? My answer in all of that is no, I would not be engaged. There are many parts of my belief system that aligns with Democrats, many others that aligns with Republicans, but at the time of voting, I have to choose one? So who does one usually vote for, not for the better choice, but instead the one that is believed to be "the lesser of two evils". I am a teacher, and something that is more consistently taught to us is that kids are changing, that we need to adapt our lessons to their learning styles, and that we need to make sure they are engaged so they can actively participate and be successful. So, shouldn't our government change to get us more engaged and actively participating?
No ruling document will ever be perfect. No candidate will ever be perfect. No moment in history will ever benefit every single person being affected by it. However, we can't claim progress while being held back by the past. History, good and bad, needs to be accepted and learned from. History should not be a weapon of hatred, but instead a weapon of progress, and with that our Constitution and Government should not be a tool that leads us forever, but instead a tool that changes along with us.
I don't know how to change the Constitution. I understand that it would take years worth of work, and countless minds to be put to work in order for it to be successful as it has been for the last 200 plus years. I do know however, if we really want change as all candidates and voters and non-voters claim, then we need to start from the bottom up, not simply from our figure at the "top". Our President, regardless of who holds the office, cannot be successful if they must follow and old document, and support citizens who are not at all engaged.
America does need to be great again, that however does not mean go back to the "original" ways and follow our Constitution to the tee. Instead, it means we should learn from what our founding fathers intended and be revolutionaries; constantly changing for the better, adapting to the way we live, and the way want to live, improving things that we realize can no longer work for us.
Once upon a time, having a King was the best idea for the land and it's people (assuming he was fair), then it wasn't and we broke free. We created a land to be run by the people and for the people. Well those people are no longer happy, those people are not working together united as one nation, so let's make a change and adapt to the future!