Great! My most urgent topic is Government. The United States government in particular. The 13 colonies began the Revolution in April, 1775, although we prefer July 4, 1776 as the start up date. Representatives of the colonies met in Philadelphia and created the United States of America - the name given to us in the Articles of Confederation, done in 1777.
That document created a unicameral legislature. It failed in two respects. It lacked an effective executive and it failed to have tax or revenue raising powers. The former function was exercised by Committee of the States, made up of 1 member from each state. A vote of 9 was required to take any action.
To raise revenue, the individual states agreed to contribute to a common fund based on the value of the land within their borders. The Articles worked well enough to give us the decisive victory at Yorktown, in 1781. The peace treaty was done at Paris in 1783. The treaty was delayed in part by the hope of the British that the colonists would relent and return to the kingdom.
In the colonies, the general consensus was growing that the Articles were inadequate to the new nation’s needs. A second Constitutional Convention was called to meet in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love was America’s largest city and was centrally located. The new document was done in 1787 and submitted to the 13 colonies. 10 states had ratified in time for an election in 1789. (Should have been held in 1788 but the first election was late.) Only 10 states voted in the first election. New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island were to late ratifying the new document to participate.
I have said all that to say this:
This document is not adequate to our needs in 2006. We have a president that is unpopular and who, if we had a parliamentary system, would most likely have been booted from office after Katrina. We, however, are saddled with him until January 20, 2009. Like him, like his policies, or not.
In 1787, we were familiar with the institutions of kings and queens. The monarchy. The monarch held office for his or her lifetime. We choose to limit our executive to a four year term in 1787, which musts have seemed an extremely short time period. I therefore want to alter our current Constitution to provide for re-call of the president before the completion of his term of office.
Congress. Congress is micro-managing America. It must be that all the 535 elected members of the House and Senate imagine themselves as being the president. If you will listen to CSpan or CSpan 2 you will hear the most tedious and most exaggerated goings-on which pass for committee hearings. It is an impossible task. The current US budget is $2.75 T. We used to lament we could not comprehend billions, and now we are dealing with trillions. There are many things that only Congress can do, but trying to get a handle on the budget is not one of them. Micro-managing must end.
Judiciary. The great strength of the Federal judiciary is the lifetime appointment. And, add the provision that Congress cannot reduce their salary. Even the lower court judges, the District Courts, are each appointed by the President and approve d by the Congress. This means that higher court judges are not the bosses of the lower court judges. A district court judge need not bow to an Appeals court judge or even to a supreme court justice. They are on equal footing in that rearward.
But I don’t like the right leaning judges appointed by Reagan and the Bush41 and Bush43. I don’t like them enough I am willing to give up the lifetime anointment. What we needed in 1789 is not necessarily what we need in 2006. To travel from Charleston - the richest city in America back then - to Boston, the leading intellectual city, could take 8 weeks in the winter.
Our times are more demanding. Communications are instanteous and more capable. I suggest we make Federal judge adornment for a single 15 year term if the appointee is under age 55, and for a single 10 year term if over 55. I believe this would put the judges beyond undue political influence, if that is even possible with lifetime appointments which was the rationale.
Bureaucracy. Civil Service. I will add an addendum for this most important change in our Constitution. We must find some way to incorporate a decent, skilled and energetic Civil Service. This is the bedrock of a democracy and we are killing it, shooting ourselves in the foot. Back Later.
[edit on 7/15/2006 by donwhite]
edit on Fri Jan 27 2012 by DontTreadOnMe because: (no reason given)