Sure, it was cutting edge 230 years ago in the 18th Century Age of Kings. But it was intentionally designed by the property/slave-owning elite of the 13 former British colonies then, our Founding Fathers, to assure their power in the new national government, protect their own local hegemonies from it, and constrain establishment of actual democracy in the United States.
That’s why it locks in a fundamentally anti-democratic Senate to roadblock a potentially democratic House, a manipulable Electoral College between the voters and the final choice of the chief executive, and a near-impossible amendment process.
Its mythical status as the still-revered foundation of our nation is just one more fantasy of American Exceptionalism. In fact, it’s a curse. It took a brutal Civil War 70 years later just to resolve who are the citizens of the nation it founded and proscribe “equal protection under the law” for all of them. And it took another 60 years just to provide for universal suffrage, the pre-requisite for any democracy.
Now 100 years after that we have been made suddenly aware that, again in fact, no, most civil/human rights are not actually specified in it. A right to “bear arms,” once necessary to suppress slaves and America’s Native Peoples, is ensconced within it. But the rights of every individual to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” the control of their own personhood, once so boldly declared by the Founding Fathers only 15 years before, is not.
Such rights can be legislated—or un-legislated—by any of the “sovereign” states unless sanctioned nationally by federal law, first approved by a Senate where only 18 percent of the nation’s voters elect a majority of 51 senators who can—and do—block any such legislation.
But worst perhaps is the truth that the political system it has evolved into is not even a principled republic, as intended in 1790, but in fact an Oligarchy of the Nation’s Wealth Elite whose financial powers dominate every layer of American governance today. How ironic that the outcome of our Founding Fathers’ much-admired revolution against a King did little more than ultimately empower the Aristocracy instead.
Our Constitution’s deep fundamental flaws lead inevitably to the first Civil War of 160 years ago. And now they have done so again. Our Second Civil War began on January 6, 2021. A New Confederacy, still with a core of former slave states, has already seized control of the Judicial Branch of our government. It is a morally debased alliance of that Oligarchy with White Supremacists and Traditionalists fearful of all the societal changes of modern times.
It is fueled by the last 40-years’ failure of co-opted neo-liberal national governance to simply meet the basic needs of the American people. It tacitly incorporates the rapidly growing de-centralized and armed terrorism of its fanatical adherents. And it is just one manipulated national election, 2024, away from taking permanent control.
Because once the New Confederacy gains control of all three branches— presidential and legislative as well—it will never let go. And nothing in our Constitution stands in its way.