13 December 2013

Time for Constitutional Convention

There's a pretty good article in the current New Yorker about just how dysfunctional the Constitutional system has become, and how political theorists on both the left and right (in totally incompatible and opposing ways) want to reform it.

I used to think a Constitutional Convention would be too dangerous, etc. etc., but I now think our Constitution has devolved so badly that it is a serious impediment to the basic functioning of our society, and that it pretty much obliterates any pretense of democracy at the national level. I will cite but one of many, many examples.

Statistics were just published today that show that my state, California, has 38.3 million people, very nearly one-eighth of the nation. In 1789, the largest state, Virginia, was, if memory serves, about 15 times the size of Delaware. Today, California has 1/8 of the nation's people but only 1/50 of the senators. And it is more than 250 times larger in population than Wyoming, which also has 2 senators (and 3 electors in the Electoral College), even though it doesn't have enough population to fully justify even one member of the House on population alone.

The Connecticut Compromise (opposed by Hamilton), which gave us our undemocratic Senate, may have had its justifications at one time. But no more. We cannot pretend that our government is even approximately democratic in the face of this gross distortion.

And, again, it's undeniable: this is only one of many, many serious Constitutional issues that are hobbling our country's public policy.

The time has come to agitate for a complete overhaul.

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