November 29, 2023

The Constitution Dilemma

While discussing the state of America with a conservative friend, I began to be more aware of a problem surrounding the most important document that shapes the face of this country: the Constitution. I told my friend that conservatives, if they ever wanted to control the outcome of the ‘culture war’, would have to begin to utilize the same tactics that leftists use against them, such as the various ones advocated for by Saul Alinsky in his book, Rules for Radicals. My friend gave the standard conservative answer, insisting that using tactics of the obviously winning side would make us just as bad as them; what we need to do is trust our political institutions and put our faith into the Constitution’s ability to protect us.

This made me realize one of the many dilemmas surrounding the Constitution: one being the people’s understanding of its true function. The Constitution cannot be looked at as an infallible document that protects us from government tyranny: the view most internalized by conservatives and one that is obviously not the case, seeing how the US government throughout its history blatantly violates the document when it is convenient to do so. The Constitution in actuality functions as an agreement between state and citizen; the state gains its political legitimacy by giving the “rights” outlined in the agreement to its citizens and following the guidelines of what the state should refrain from doing. Therefore, the document functions more like Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan rather than the Ten Commandments of God. We can see many instances where many rights outlined in the Constitution get violated in times of crisis such as both World Wars and the 9/11 aftermath (i.e. the Patriot’s Act).

If the state begins to deviate from the agreement, then theoretically it would become illegitimate, but only if the civilian population recognizes it as a blatant violation of their documented agreement. That is why nothing will be done about Second Amendment violations because one half of the country does not see it as such, rather they are usually glad for it. 

The American Constitution also functions in a different way than many other political constitutions we have seen in the past and see currently; the Constitution functions as a tool that binds the American nations together. In the Founding of America, much to the dismay of many ethnic nationalists in the States, the creation of the country did not rest on a founding ethnic stock, as many other nation states are; it rested and still rests today on Enlightenment philosophy. So the people who say America is not a people but a philosophy or an idea are not entirely wrong. Where they are wrong is establishing that conception as a good thing rather than what it is in practice: a huge mess that will take us many years to try to fix in a positive manner. Traditions, cultures, peoples are also subject to change over time but not as easily as philosophies do; the nation must find a more solid bedrock for its foundation, otherwise what political paths it takes forward are no longer subject to positive change. A nation founded on tradition, culture, or people will serve to function for the betterment and the preservation of those values. A nation founded on a philosophy that is subject to change and can function outside of what is found within the nation will be doomed to die a death in flexibility; this references to the constant changing parameters that occur when the meaning within the Constitution is debated in a way to make it better form around the current zeitgeist. Ideas within the Constitution can be molded in a way to conform and support acts of what could be considered evil by the populace, such as forcefully taking away a child from their parents by the state because the parents would not allow the child to go through gender reassignment surgery. The state can then justify this action through uses of rhetoric about holding up the liberal idea of liberty and then pointing to the Constitution with a convoluted explanation of why this may be allowed and in fact should be. People, and now corporations, can by large part use rhetoric to justify their selfish behavior, which usually causes harm to the general populace, and point to the document to say why their actions are not only protected, but morally good. 

Naming all these flaws with the Constitution, however, there remains an issue that at this point becomes unclear whether we can name it as a problem or something to be thankful of. Even if we could hypothetically get rid of the Constitution for a political formula that would benefit the people and the state better, I do not see a scenario where this would be successful, much to the dismay of many illiberal individuals. The Constitution is the only thing that binds America together at this point; it is the only connection the hyper-individualized automatons we call American citizens have with one another. The divisions are far too deep and a healthy cultural homogeneity seems to be long gone; the only cultural homogeneity we really have is through the sovereignty of our political institutions and maybe our love for fast foods filled with xenoestrogens. 

This is why it is important for Americans to create relationships with one another that begin to supersede the political institutions and based more on their attachment to something we can all learn to love and appreciate, the literal land that we live upon. Encouraging this love for America’s nature will give the basic framework for an American monoculture and a rebirth of regional identity that used to be so strong in the country, hence the strong importance we hold on Eco-Futurism in our platform. People working together, dropping sweat, blood, and tears with their fellow American for the upholded purpose of preserving their home can help us put the divisive squabbling behind us so we can take united action together in the future. This way, the Constitution can slowly transform into a document that is not only the unifying crux of America but one that serves its original intended purpose: protecting the unified interests of the populace.