Lacey Smith

Time magazine gets a lot wrong, some right

In Uncategorized on June 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm

There’s a new and controversial cover article in Time magazine that asks if the Constitution still matters.

It’s a ridiculous question, since our government is founded on the principles that are laid out in the Constitution. All of the rights and freedoms we enjoy, though not given by the Constitution, are protected by that document.

That Time would even ask that question is audacious and shows how out of touch the writer and editors are with mainstream America and have no understanding of our government system.

Time does get a few things right and once I got through the first page and a half I found the article fairly well reasoned.

Unfortunately, by the time the author makes it to page 2, he has so damaged his credibility that even his logical premises are invalid. You can’t build a real house on a house of cards and expect it to stand.

He makes statements like Washington didn’t even dream a man could fly (given his relationship with Benjamin Franklin I doubt that claim – though I have no proof), that the Constitution protects democratic freedoms (it actually protects republican freedoms) and that the founders prevented women from voting (some could and did; that prohibition came later with political partisanship).

The article also includes thinly veiled insults about the Tea Party’s “almost fanatical” interest in the Constitution and presents the House’s recent reading of the complete Constitution in a negative light. I can’t figure out why that would be a bad thing.

He doesn’t present the same negative tones about the liberal legal scholars who believe in a looser view of the Constitution.

Finally, near the end of the article is the assertion that “we cannot let the Constitution become an obstacle to the U.S.’s moving into the future…” This sounds to me like the author believes that if the Constitution is in the way of progress we should throw it out.

I do tend to lean towards a stricter view of the Constitution but recognize that not everything is clearly laid out. There has to be some flexibility and elasticity in the document.

However, elasticity and complete disregard for the Constitution are completely different things.

I happen to believe that change for the sake of change is stupid and moving “forward” without a clear understanding of potential consequences is reckless.

On so many levels this article was irresponsible but it once again illustrates how much we lack understanding in this country.

The Constitution absolutely still matters. I think the founders would understand (and foresaw) a lot more than we give them credit for.

I think if the Constitution gets in the way of “progress” it’s probably not progress I want.

I’m completely happy being a curmudgeonly, backwards regressive if it means sticking to the Constitution. I believe in our founding document, even if Time does not.


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