Apart from lowering the voting age to 18 in 1971, the last time any rights were expanded or protected was in 1964, when the right to vote “shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax”.
That was well over half a century ago. Republicans are now conspiring new ways to obstruct and deny voter rights. They are building the political machinery that would overturn elections if they lose.
In this century the chances of passing a Constitutional Amendment are nil. The radical Right and Supreme Court are systemically shutting down reproductive and voting rights. Progress is being reversed. The “living Constitution” is dead in the water, a relic of past times.
For the most part the Bill of Rights is the sustaining and essential feature of our law of the land. But the founders left huge obstacles for a free democratic republic to overcome.
The consequences are very much still with us, and ominously threatening our democratic republic more than any foreign adversary could. Rich White men made sure they would rule, and still have dominant political power.
The founders wittingly and unwittingly poisoned the republic with five massive impediments to democracy, justice, and stability.
Slavery, racism and white supremacy were enshrined in the Constitution with long term consequences. Even some Republicans understand the residual effects of this racism. Liz Cheney tweeted on 5-16-22: “The House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism. History has taught us that what begins with words ends in far worse. GOP leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them.”
2. Lifetime Supreme Court Justices
The legacy is a lifetime appointment of an unaccountable Supreme Court with no code of ethics. The wife of Justice Thomas actively worked to overturn our election.
3. The 2nd Amendment
It was about organized, “well regulated” state militias, ostensibly to defend their territory and people from armed insurrection. They had the right to bear muzzle loading arms. The Historical record shows militias killed Native Americans, and were used by Southern states to hunt slaves and to defend slavery by waging war on the United States.
To this day, waging war on the Federal Government and the Republican Party’s adversaries is the justification for a large percentage of purchasers of AR-15 style weapons.
Weapons of mass murder are easily acquired by young and unstable people. 37,200 Americans died from guns in 2021.
169 Americans, mostly children, have been killed in school-related mass shootings in America since 1999, when two teenage students rampaged through Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
President Biden noted: “Over the last two decades, more school-aged children have died from guns than on-duty police officers and active-duty military combined.” The CDC reports 42,507 firearm deaths of children ages 5 through 18 over that time span.
According to the Defense Casualty Analysis System there were 25,527 active-duty military deaths between 2001 and 2020. The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) lists 3,583 deaths from active-duty officers in 2001-2020. Between the military and the police, that’s a total of 29,110.
And there are STILL paranoid gun nuts and greedy voices of the industry calling for “more guns” as the solution.
4. The Electoral College
How can a "bastion of democracy" allow a minority to elect a president and control congress, essentially subordinating the will of the people as political hostages to rural white people?
This has been a disastrous failure in our so-called experiment in representative democracy.
Bush and Trump both won the White House with fewer votes, and stacked the Supreme Court with Federalist Society selected, anti-choice, Catholic judges who favor corporate interests and the ideology of the conservative minority of American voters. Thank the slave states for this terrible compromise.
5. The unrepresentative, disproportionate, anti-democratic Senate
About 30% of Americans, again mostly white rural Americans, control 50% of federal legislators. Fueled by racial resentments stoked by Trump and the Radical Right, White Americans were the only racial/ethnic group with a majority of Trump voters. This assures minority rule and marginalization of the majority.
All five of these poison pills doomed our republic from the beginning, and eventually tore our country apart. I'm thinking the only path to a democratic representative republic is through eliminating corporate personhood and protection of voter rights. It wouldn't hurt to see demographic changes that put White Americans squarely in the minority, either.
No, not by "replacing" them. They'll still be around.
Our founders' ideal of consent of the governed cannot be realized until radical White nationalism is subdued. The radical Right must be voted out of power and lose their war on our democracy. Too many White people are blinded by the Right, to the absurd degree that a large percentage of conservative White Americans have been duped by white nationalist propagandists into believing THEY are the "real victims" of racism.
Too many irrational bigots and authoritarians are their leaders.
Therefore, in the interests of democracy and equality, the radical white right needs to be outnumbered and outvoted by significant numbers of Americans who deserve a voice and fair representation.
Otherwise. the American Dream will continue to be suffocated in its sleep.