Letters to the Editor

Is the U.S. Constitution a fixed document or a work in progress?

In this photo taken on, Tuesday, April 4, 2017, the Capitol in seen from the Supreme Court Building in Washington.
In this photo taken on, Tuesday, April 4, 2017, the Capitol in seen from the Supreme Court Building in Washington. AP

From a historical perspective, our Founding Fathers were technically “state-sponsored terrorists” (France) in rebellion (“treason”) against our ruler, George III, who derived his authority from God (“divine right of kings”). We established a new, radical form of government, deriving its powers from “the consent of the governed” (“We the People”) — “God” is not in our Constitution.

The Preamble gives the purposes of our government “in Order to form a more perfect Union … and secure the Blessings of Liberty …”

Republicans tend to view government as the “problem,” doing as little as possible, focusing on the “insure domestic Tranquility” (police) and “provide for the common defence” (military) portions.

Democrats tend to view government as the “solution,” placing equal weight on the “establish Justice” (fairness for all) and “promote the general Welfare“ (including public health) aspects.

Generally, Republicans have a limited view of government: conservative, negative, reactionary, looking backward in time, embracing the status quo. Whereas Democrats have an expansive view: liberal, progressive, proactive, looking forward in time, embracing change.

The Constitution can be viewed as either a fixed, stagnant document or as a living, breathing work in progress. Which ideal works best “in Order to form a more perfect Union”?

Kurt Montgomery, Los Osos

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