Editorial: The real fight is about the Constitution

Published on Friday, 3 February 2017 14:47 - Written by

The real argument going forward - particularly about U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, but also in cabinet picks and how future elections will be conducted - is really about the Constitution.

That was made clear recently in a piece in The Week, a left-leaning magazine that doesn’t pull its punches.

In “The case against the American Constitution,” Ryan Cooper writes that the document isn’t the foundation of our country, it’s the fundamental flaw.

“I’ll concede that there was indeed a time, hundreds of years ago, when the Constitution was, briefly and for its era, a halfway decent first stab at a workable democratic political system for the Northern states,” Cooper writes. “In the South, it organized one of the most brutal tyrannies in history.”

He then goes on to list the three biggest problems with this “massively, hopelessly flawed” document.

First, he says, it’s anti-democratic. The Senate (two senators per state, rather than by population), along with House redistricting, and finally the Electoral College, make the nation undemocratic.

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Granted. But the thing is, the founders never intended a democracy - they set up a democratic republic. The reason, of course, is the tyranny of the majority. In a pure democracy, what the majority says goes - even if it infringes on the rights of the minority.

Next, Cooper calls the separation of powers “a boondoggle.”

“In a parliamentary democracy, the executive power is exercised by the winning coalition in the legislature,” he writes. “That’s how it should work. In an American-style presidential democracy, the executive is elected separately. The idea here, as everyone learns in civics class, is to separate powers to protect the people from government tyranny, as each branch will guard its own power. This doesn’t work at all, as we are all right now getting ground into our faces under President Trump.”

Trump’s overreach (and President Obama’s overreach, as well) aren’t arguments for less separation of powers, they’re arguments for more of it.

Cooper argues that government is slowed by the tension. Good. Cooper argues for a more activist, “agile” federal government. Perhaps with Trump in power, the left will rethink this folly.

And finally, Cooper says