Immediately before the day of the 2008 US federal election, I posted this article in which I said I wouldn’t be voting, and listed three major problems with the Constitution. The gist of the problems were these:
1. Majority rule leads to tyranny of the majority over minorities.
2. Government should be by the consent of the governed — but I am not allowed to withdraw my consent.
3. The Constitution violates basic tenets of almost every religion — for example, the War Powers clause blatantly violates injunctions against murder.
Slavery by the Consent of the Enslaved
These flaws were literally on parade during the Civil War. The Constitution did nothing at all to help those who were bound to servitude, forced to live, eat, and work by the whim of the master; whose families were broken; who were abused, physically and emotionally, and packed on trains or forced to march hundreds of miles away, and told they were doing all this for the good of the country, and then lined up and shot. If they were lucky, they died quickly; if not, they were frequently captured and sent to prisons that would make Guantanamo Bay look like Club Med.
Yes, I’m talking about the draft, too. There are many kinds of slavery.
In the previous post in this series, I discussed the Catch-22 we face in the 2008 US presidential race — two candidates that, in the overwhelmingly essential foreign policy arena, differ only in which kind of innocent people they feel it necessary to slaughter. It is possible to choose some other candidate entirely, and that would make it a lot easier to sleep at night. Unfortunately, because of the way the Constitution is set up, if everyone voted for the candidate they really believed in, the president would not be chosen by the people, but by the House of Representatives. That would be at least as horrible as the present system. In this article, I’ll point up some other difficulties with the US Constitution, and what it means for this voting season.
Let’s assume you’re a US citizen, and let’s assume you care about the country. And let’s assume you plan to vote for the president this year — either because you think your vote might affect the outcome, or because you think it’s your civic duty as a citizen of a democracy.
Who should you vote for?
Well, the original field of 10,000 candidates has been winnowed down to just two that have any realistic hope of winning: Barack Obama and John McCain. Since one of the two will win, it should be simple enough to figure out which one would be better.
But in fact it’s not that simple.