Our Founding Failures

The United States Constitution is supposed to be a living, breathing document, correct? It’s time for change.

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Barry Blitt/ The New Yorker

Some of the founding fathers overlooking our senate today. We are in need of a revision, in more ways that one.

Compared to every other country in the entire world, yes, the entire world, the United States Constitution is as old as dirt.

It’s outdated and inapt to be a governing factor for any country in the 21st century. Despite all of this, our constitution seems to have a “cult-like” following by acclaimed patriots and has become a controversial item in a multitude of current events due to its interpretability. Simply put, our constitution needs a revamp. 

The United States Constitution is the oldest constitution in the world, followed by Norway which is still 26 years younger than ours. When our constitution was written, slavery was still very legal, women couldn’t vote, and rich, old, white men ran the entire country. The constitution is fundamentally holding up racism, sexism, and violence in the United States. 

But, the fact is, no one truly knows exactly what the founding fathers meant when it was written, and we never will.”

When the constitution was written, black slaves were not regarded as being United States Citizens. So although the constitution has ideals about equality, justice, and freedom, it was only meant for white people. Rape, lynching, and slavery of white people were all illegal, but against black people, it was all legal.  

Laws created in inequality will justify inequality. This is proven in the case of Dred Scott vs Sanford where the constitution was used to justify that slaves weren’t citizens and really had no right to life. Also, while the thirteenth amendment did abolish slavery, the current constitution still has the fugitive slave clause and still, today counts a slave as ⅗ of a person. Just think, the same constitution that governs the United States today has been used countless times to uphold slavery and murders of black people, and still could.

After the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in 2012, the President of the NRA, Wayne La Pierre, was quoted saying “We are as absolutist as the founding fathers and framers of the constitution. And we’re proud of it!” This absolution means the opposition of universal background checks and national gun registries. 

The current NRA has no similarities to the founding fathers. When the founding fathers wrote this, they had just nearly escaped a tyrannical government with a group of men with guns. But, the top of the line guns in 1783 shot 3 rounds per minute maximum, whereas semi-automatic weapons of today can do 45 rounds plus, a minute. 

Guns today are so much more advanced than the founding fathers could even imagine, yet decisions are made based on this amendment with the context that they made this knowing a gun that would shoot 15 times more rounds a minute would be available. 

Believe it or not, the founding father were pretty sexist people. The constitution doesn’t even regard women as citizens, or people for that matter. When it was written, women had absolutely no rights and were lawfully property of their husbands. In 1787, wives and daughters were both known as subordinates to the “head of the household”, the man. This shows exactly why women weren’t included in the constitution, they weren’t considered important. 

Yes, amendments have made it legal for women to vote, but the guiding principles of the constitution still only grant equality for all men. It is argued that the founding fathers used “men” to encompass all people, but, if that was the case, why did women, and black people, have to earn the right to vote?

So many decisions, are put into the hands of judges who “interpret the constitution”.

The world is not the same as it was in 1788, we need a constitution that reflects that. If we continue to use a document which was written when so many things were different, how are we going to better ourselves from our past?