With another passing Constitution Day, questions once again arise as to the relevance of the country’s most important document. While some would argue the Constitution is still completely relevant, others would say it needs to be thrown out altogether. However, a more moderate perspective would serve the country best.
The Constitution is a living document and was intended to change as the country grew. That is why there have been 27 amendments made over the last 227 years, starting with the Bill of Rights in 1791. That is an average of one amendment every eight years. With the last amendment being 26 years old, a pay increase for congress, the United States is past due for a new amendment. And I think society’s desire for change is reflects this need for new legislation.
But to be honest. If you were to ask people what amendments should be implemented, you would get a lot of different answers. While I would hope to see an amendment for gay rights, other people may answer with calls for healthcare, affordable education or restrictions on the sales of firearms. However, many people do not know that there are currently four amendments waiting to be ratified by the U.S.
The longest of these has been waiting to be ratified since 1789, as it was originally intended to be included in the Bill of Rights. This amendment limits the size of congressional districts. The other three amendments deal with child labor laws, stopping the government from outlawing slavery and to revoke citizenship from people who hold noble titles in other countries, watch out Meghan Markle.
These amendments were never ratified by the U.S., but still technically could be. This reality makes one wonder why people still believe that this country has not changed since 1776.
And that is exactly why making changes to the constitution is so difficult. The political arena is polluted with anger and not enough cooperation. When people are polarized, the government stops functioning properly. Rioting, fighting and illegal actions have become normalized when it comes to pushing for change. Unbridled rage is not the path forward.
For issues and causes to be taken seriously, each and every member of society must stand up and speak out. Speak out against violence in less privileged neighborhoods. Do not cause violence, speak out against intolerance and listen to the response. If we all can manage to stand together, we can stand stronger and create the changes we want to see.