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In hindsight, was the Bill of Rights a success?

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posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:13 PM
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So before I make my case here, let me give a little bit of history. When the Constitution was being formed a debate waged across the country, as to if our Constitution in addition to being the framework of the federal government should confer any rights on the citizens or if that duty fell to each state. On one side were the Federalists who argued for a set of rights, and on the other side were the Anti Federalists who felt that it shouldn't.

The Federalist argument could be summed up as saying that if no rights were outlined for the citizens then how could the claim be made that the people were free? A lack of enumerated rights is something the war was fought over.

The Anti Federalists argued that a document outlining specific rights would be taken to mean that those are the only rights the people have, and that all others would fall to the state. So if for example, the right to unrestricted travel were left off the state could forcibly restrict where a person chooses to reside. This argument also suggested that a lack of reserved rights would foster debate on each right, often at a state level where competition would ultimately create a more free society.

The Federalists ended up winning this debate in a compromise which brought the required number of states in to ratify the treaty, by making them amendments after the thing was already signed.

So now we can fast forward over 200 years and look at what we have:
Contrary to popular belief no where in the Constitution do we have the right to vote
We have no right to determine our own health care, which leads to cases like this where a young girl is forced into an invasive medical procedure she doesn't want.
We have no right to travel, which is becoming scarily relevant with the rhetoric to wall us in lately.
We have no right to privacy, or to be free from electronic eavesdropping.
Basically, the only rights we are considered to have are those specifically mentioned in the Constitution, and the political process to change that is near impossible.

So the question is, if each state conferred rights on their citizens, and could compete with 12 other and now 49 other bodies all trying to do the same thing, and create the nicest society for people to live rather than it being the feds who grant those rights through some Constitutional Amendments would we be better off? I think that the answer is a yes. Here's some of my arguments:

The Bill of Rights certainly did not help out in the causes leading up to the Civil War, it wasn't the only thing but it was a factor

Gun control today is a complete cluster# such as the second amendment: If you're on the gun control side, 3d printing will make it irrelevant in a few years, and control doesn't work unless all 50 states agree, and the military has rendered our weapons obsolete. On the pro side people like to feel secure by being armed, and they have a right to protect themselves. There's really no way to address this issue, neither side is adhering to the original intent, and the original intent itself is obsolete. If this were decided by each state individually, there would be much less national stress.

Due process has become nearly unworkable due to case load. To not get sidetracked I won't list all the details and rather hope people are aware of the plea bargain rates, but this amendment effectively no longer exists. The tough on crime approach, that is impossible to get away from on a federal level ensures such a thing. If due process (and what that means) were up to each state, we could compare 50 different jury systems, find the effective ones, and emulate them.

It's late and I'm tired so I'll give one more: The 4th. What if we still had an NSA but they didn't have legal recourse to look at data on people from specific states who had a strong 4th amendment clause in their laws? Don't you think that would let the states compete as people would move, bringing their skills and dollars to states that are benefit their citizens?

So I'll sum it up by saying that I think the Bill of Rights brought up good points, but it was attached to the wrong document. It belongs on state constitutions, rather than at the federal level.




posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:40 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan

Any idea on how long the framers of the Constitution expected it to last? Did they expect two hundred years?



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:50 PM
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originally posted by: TerryMcGuire
a reply to: Aazadan

Any idea on how long the framers of the Constitution expected it to last? Did they expect two hundred years?


Whether they did or not, its not that relevant to what the OP is asking. I mean it is, to a degree, but the OPs question is pretty specific.

It reminds me of the YT series where someone was arguing on a private system for just about everything. In theory, it could work amazing, in practice, I doubt whether or not it would be able to withstand corruption.

I think this might be the series, or its something similar: www.youtube.com...



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:51 PM
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originally posted by: TerryMcGuire
a reply to: Aazadan

Any idea on how long the framers of the Constitution expected it to last? Did they expect two hundred years?


They were expecting it to fail as soon as Washington was out of office, he's the only one that could politically unite the country. Things continued on past him though. It wasn't really the Bill of Rights that kept things going but rather the checks and balances on the three branches.

The Bill of Rights after being ratified enumerated certain rights but it was mostly ignored. To this day there still isn't a right to vote in the constitution (though there are amendments saying people can't be denied a vote based on certain criteria). We had the Alien and Sedition acts, and we've had numerous other challenges to those rights. Outside of the Civil War though I think they were all pretty minor, until we get to the present day. Just about every amendment is under attack in one form or another, and there is no middle ground. Each side has amendments they want to drop and others that they want to keep. Then there's the third side that claims the document is sacred and that any change is sacrilege (even though the document itself is meant to be changed).

I've been thinking about this for awhile now and I keep coming back to the same conclusion. Those Amendments were a mistake, they should all be a matter of states rights (and if you read my posts you'll know I don't argue states rights much). Texas should be free to become a Christian theocracy if they want to eliminate that from their state constitution. Illinois should be free to become gun free if they choose. We have 50 different states, that's 50 different configurations of rights, which sounds just about perfect for our divided populations that can no longer stand living among each other. Let each person live in the state that is free in the ways they want it to be free, and the influx of a healthy dose of competition will help drive better legislation for those residents.

It seems to me that this is the only way we can continue to remain united while accounting for our diversity.

The Bill of Rights ironically has come to represent what we don't have. In the face of government wiretaps for example, we say we have a right to privacy but are told to read the amendments... there's no right to privacy there, so it's implied we don't have one. On a state level we could fix this.
edit on 2-9-2015 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:59 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan
Wow. Thank you! Your premise is the first I have read that managed to remain non-partisan and clearly state the argument. I can actually understand it and it makes sense, from this perspective. Definitely need to think about this one for a bit.



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 12:06 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

I would equally say GOD and American soldiers agree so it is.

What YOU suggest would break up the Republic which is what is being attempted by the left as diligently as possible
edit on 3-9-2015 by cavtrooper7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 12:25 AM
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a reply to: boncho

Great video

I found this today

The Syndic by C.M. Kornbluth

It a SciFi fiction book about Libertarian government.

It is out of print.



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 12:34 AM
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There is effectively no 10th amendment any longer. The states of the union were designed in the constitution to be sovereign states retaining nearly as much power as an individual nation state. The union of these nations has been superseded by a single nation state which top down controls all the other states on most important maters.



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 01:09 AM
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a reply to: cavtrooper7

I totally agree.

While the arguments seem valid in the OP, there is , IMO, based on the history of the federal gov't a strong likelihood that the changes would ultimately be screwed up and we'd end up with a worse mess than even now. I know that might stretch the imagination a bit...
...yet we've seen a number of attempts to 'improve' this situation and few have not ended up making the divisions worse.

Political ideology and vested interest has never been stronger, Socialism, anti-Corporation agendas, the Corporations themselves, international pressures and groups...the list is long and far more complicated than in the past.

Rights are an important issue. Survival as a nation and a people, the economy, trump the articulated rights issue.

We can live with the imperfections that exist in the system....for the time being. We've lived with them for 200 years and bested the world with them....


Not any more.

'Rights' aren't the cause of the downfall. Fix that first...otherwise there'll be nothing to 'fix'.....


edit on 3-9-2015 by nwtrucker because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 01:27 AM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

It's not just that either we lead the world in many factors depite being ONLY 200 and some years old.
By WHAT measure of performance ,BEFORE the economy was essentially stolen by the oligarchs, would anyone say it was nonfunctional?
WHY would so many DIE before surrenduring to progressive reformers?
WHO's the current world power?
Exceptionalism is not a dead issue ...YET.



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 08:28 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

The Bill of Rights was and still is a tremendous success... as evidenced by the fact that the corrupt and self-serving must constantly violate that Bill of Rights in order to fulfill their dastardly agenda. The saddest part is that too often a significant segment of "we the people" aid and abet the bureaucrats and elected officials in that agenda.

It's also important to note that the 9th and 10th Amendments stipulate that the lack of enumeration of a specific right in the Bill of Rights does not negate that right. I would also note that the federal government does not have rights, (contrary to what they claim), they only have those enumerated powers that we the people grant them via the Constitution.

If I were Queen of Everything, I would put the Bill of Rights at the beginning of the Constitution, add a few more rights (like healthcare and education), and preface the enumeration of federal powers with a clear and comprehensive statement that the federal government has no rights, only those powers we grant them -- and all can be taken away again at our discretion.



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 11:26 AM
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originally posted by: cavtrooper7
a reply to: Aazadan

I would equally say GOD and American soldiers agree so it is.

What YOU suggest would break up the Republic which is what is being attempted by the left as diligently as possible


God agrees with the Bill of Rights? That's really your argument? Which God? Where did God ever say in whatever scripture you choose to use, that people don't have a right to vote but they do have a right to not quarter troops?

The soldiers agree because they have no choice, to anyone in the military the Bill of Rights has always been there and it isn't changing, there is no other comparison to be made.



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 11:31 AM
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originally posted by: Boadicea
The Bill of Rights was and still is a tremendous success... as evidenced by the fact that the corrupt and self-serving must constantly violate that Bill of Rights in order to fulfill their dastardly agenda. The saddest part is that too often a significant segment of "we the people" aid and abet the bureaucrats and elected officials in that agenda.


Then why is the NSA targeting American citizens legal? The argument put forward is that we don't have a right to privacy. The Constitution, in particular the Bill of Rights lists certain rights, but it never lists that one, so we don't have it.


It's also important to note that the 9th and 10th Amendments stipulate that the lack of enumeration of a specific right in the Bill of Rights does not negate that right. I would also note that the federal government does not have rights, (contrary to what they claim), they only have those enumerated powers that we the people grant them via the Constitution.


If you can infer that we have rights not mentioned as per the 10th, why can't a successful argument be made that there's a right to travel, health care, privacy, voting, or several others?



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 12:49 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan

originally posted by: Boadicea

Then why is the NSA targeting American citizens legal? The argument put forward is that we don't have a right to privacy. The Constitution, in particular the Bill of Rights lists certain rights, but it never lists that one, so we don't have it.


I promise I'm not trying to play semantics... but NSA surveillance and targeting is legal only under color of law; but it is not lawful because it violates our natural rights and our inalienable rights under organic law and codified law.


If you can infer that we have rights not mentioned as per the 10th...


I am not just inferring; I am outright stating as fact that this is the original intent and purpose.


... why can't a successful argument be made that there's a right to travel, health care, privacy, voting, or several others?


There can be a successful argument made for all of those... I would say our founding fathers made those arguments, as did their mentors (Locke and others), and they can be reaffirmed today. Many people try to make those arguments today. The real question is why do so many of us refuse to listen and understand? Why do so many of us just want to use the law to violate the rights of others -- aiding and abetting the lawmakers -- rather than find reasonable solutions that don't compromise the rights of anyone else? (And, in the process, empower we the people, and weaken the wannabe tyrants).



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 02:58 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan

I have PLENTY of choice WE OUT number the government greatly with our majority and MOST love our traditional documents as the BACKBONE of our beliefs,aka WE DON'T WANT to change them. I 'm hardly a minority there. Our supreme goal is to be LEFT the hell ALONE,so long as we obey the law.
This new, traitorous ,P.C., garbage IS an abomination and personally I CAN'T WAIT to see what happens when the backlash agaoinst vallerie Jarretts "PAYPBACK" hits them.
As to the OTHER I suppose to you Insh'Allah pretty well covers itONLY for us Jesus /God ,not Allah.
edit on 3-9-2015 by cavtrooper7 because: (no reason given)

edit on 3-9-2015 by cavtrooper7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 04:13 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Natural rights and inalienable rights don't exist. Rights only exist as a matter of law, the moment you place certain concepts off limits is the moment society takes them for granted and they cease to hold meaning. All rights should be re justified by the citizens from time to time. Furthermore, a belief that certain rights simply are regardless of law leads to intolerance of other nations with a different take on things which promotes conflict.

Looking at the NSA issue in further detail, security inherently means restriction and intrusion. If defense is a goal, you must restrain the populace, and you must intrude into their lives. Liberty ultimately means a lack of safety. Where is the balancing point? With enough intrusion into peoples data they can be kept safe but that also means a world in which there is no privacy and where we are not secure in our documents and effects. Now, we're all familiar with the liberty for security quote, but what do you do when the people demand to be secure? On a national scale, if we trade liberty for security no one ends up free, and no one ends up secure but if rights instead existed on a state level rather than a national level we could try different configurations and demonstrate which work best.

Which brings us back to the 10th amendment which states that all rights not mentioned belong to the state or to the citizen. The citizens have been unable to show in 200+ years that they have any rights beyond those specifically mentioned which means the state has them all.



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 04:18 PM
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originally posted by: cavtrooper7
a reply to: Aazadan

I have PLENTY of choice WE OUT number the government greatly with our majority and MOST love our traditional documents as the BACKBONE of our beliefs,aka WE DON'T WANT to change them. I 'm hardly a minority there. Our supreme goal is to be LEFT the hell ALONE,so long as we obey the law.
This new, traitorous ,P.C., garbage IS an abomination and personally I CAN'T WAIT to see what happens when the backlash agaoinst vallerie Jarretts "PAYPBACK" hits them.
As to the OTHER I suppose to you Insh'Allah pretty well covers itONLY for us Jesus /God ,not Allah.


So you agree that you have no right to vote, and that the state can step in and mandate you undergo specific medical treatment against your wishes, and that they have the final say on where and when you travel?

As far as Allah goes, I'm not Muslim. Jesus, God, Allah, and all the rest have never made a proclamation as to the validity of the Bill of Rights or anything in the Constitution for that matter.
edit on 3-9-2015 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 04:46 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan

You CAN vote as you please ...wether the system counts them is a matter of corruption.
We are EXPERIMENTED on, which is authorized. In my case an experimental anthrax vaccine and nerve agent pills
But since Clinton has done the same for US citizens I don't feel like the only one.
I am service connected with VA disabilities THEY handle all of my medical care,so if THAT is what you mean by mandated then you are correct.
I use cannibis for PTSD and the FEDERAL state regards it as not medical at all.
Colorado state is fine with it as recreational until the science confirms it THEN I can get a medical licence.



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 04:57 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan
a reply to: Boadicea

Natural rights and inalienable rights don't exist.


Oh yes they do!!! And they are self-evident. If I can do it for myself, by myself, and/or with other consenting adults, then it is my natural and inalienable right.


Rights only exist as a matter of law...


The law in and of itself makes a demand of me, but it's only the force of a gun that can force me to do something or not to do something... a clear violation of my natural rights.


Furthermore, a belief that certain rights simply are regardless of law leads to intolerance of other nations with a different take on things which promotes conflict.[/quote]

I disagree. If you look at what the UN, its member nations, and various international groups call "Human Rights," they basically mirror the natural law the USA was founded upon. People are people. We all have the same basic wants and needs, and the same natural rights to secure and fulfill those wants and needs.


Looking at the NSA issue in further detail, security inherently means restriction and intrusion. If defense is a goal, you must restrain the populace, and you must intrude into their lives.


Considering NSA surveillance and targeting is at an all-time high, if that were true, we would be enjoying both domestic and worldwide peace and harmony.


Liberty ultimately means a lack of safety.


Life ultimately means a lack of safety. Liberty means we have the right to protect ourselves the best we can... lack of liberty means we cannot protect ourselves at all.


...what do you do when the people demand to be secure?


We give them the tools to protect themselves and their families and their neighbors and their communities.


...if rights instead existed on a state level rather than a national level we could try different configurations and demonstrate which work best.


Hence the national security importance of protecting and promoting the 9th and 10th amendments, not throw them out with the bath water!


The citizens have been unable to show in 200+ years that they have any rights beyond those specifically mentioned which means the state has them all.


The case has been made, again and again and again throughout our history... why do we keep giving them up anyway???



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 04:59 PM
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If they were LEGALLY applied and NOT failing because of rampant corruption ,I suppose it would help.



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