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Original Intent-
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Posted 6/26/10 , edited 6/26/10
Should we really read the constitution as how our founders intended? Should their rigid 18th century views be imposed upon our dynamic computer-age society?
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27 / M / In your room stea...
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Posted 6/26/10 , edited 6/26/10
You don't like the constition ? Whats wrong with it ? Without it the government can do whatever the hell it wants, including taking away all your rights and money. But its already doing that anyway lol.
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Posted 6/26/10

Allhailodin wrote:

You don't like the constition ? Whats wrong with it ? Without it the government can do whatever the hell it wants, including taking away all your rights and money. But its already doing that anyway lol.


Its great and lovely and all that, but, should we interpret it as the founders would have liked for us to interpret it as (that is to say, without universal suffrage and all those nonsense), or interpret it with relations to twenty-first century life and twenty-first century affairs.
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Posted 6/26/10 , edited 6/26/10

orangeflute wrote:


Allhailodin wrote:

You don't like the constition ? Whats wrong with it ? Without it the government can do whatever the hell it wants, including taking away all your rights and money. But its already doing that anyway lol.


Its great and lovely and all that, but, should we interpret it as the founders would have liked for us to interpret it as (that is to say, without universal suffrage and all those nonsense), or interpret it with relations to twenty-first century life and twenty-first century affairs.


Universal sufferage and nonsense ?

Well the constition was drafted around 300 years, its not going to include things that are relevant to modern day society, such as the internet, radio, tv, utilities, cars and such because they didn't exist yet, the forefathers couldn't see into the future lol.

They put stuff into it that was relevant then. But a lot of it is still relevant today.
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Posted 6/26/10

Allhailodin wrote:


orangeflute wrote:


Allhailodin wrote:

You don't like the constition ? Whats wrong with it ? Without it the government can do whatever the hell it wants, including taking away all your rights and money. But its already doing that anyway lol.


Its great and lovely and all that, but, should we interpret it as the founders would have liked for us to interpret it as (that is to say, without universal suffrage and all those nonsense), or interpret it with relations to twenty-first century life and twenty-first century affairs.


Universal sufferage and nonsense ?

Well the constition was drafted around 300 years, its not going to include things that are relevant to modern day society, such as the internet, radio, tv, utilities, cars and such because they didn't exist yet, the forefathers couldn't see into the future lol.

They put stuff into it that was relevant then. But a lot of it is still relevant today.


That is why, I am sure you will agree, we should interpret the constitution in context of today's society, as oppose to the frill-wearing beaver-hunters' society they lived in.
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Posted 6/26/10
The founding fathers wrote the Constitution with the knowledge that society and culture would change over time, and the intent that the Constitution would need to be amended in order to address those changes, which is why it is considered a living document and can be amended. So yes we should interpret it in the context of today's society, because that's how the founders intended it to be interpreted.
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Posted 6/26/10

Cuddlebuns wrote:

The founding fathers wrote the Constitution with the knowledge that society and culture would change over time, and the intent that the Constitution would need to be amended in order to address those changes, which is why it is considered a living document and can be amended. So yes we should interpret it in the context of today's society, because that's how the founders intended it to be interpreted.


While, yes, it can be changed, you must admit that some of its ideas are out of date (like having a Minutemen-esque militia of farmer-folks, quartering troops inside houses, &c.), and there are certain things they wanted to make clear, like Slaves are not at all human, only three fifth of one, and that under this value system, the number of people in this district, even if they cannot vote due to property requirements, shall be represented by so and so amount of people.
Posted 6/26/10 , edited 6/26/10
The American way has become one where people are being relieved of their basic human rights all the time. This is why we have a few just people willing to stand up to injustice and its terrible power.
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Posted 6/27/10
Your constitution is your business as Americans. IT only becomes of interest to us foreigners should your new/old/revived interpretation cause you to return to "Manifest Destiny" or some similar rot, that would require us to defend ourselves.
The Wise Wizard
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Posted 6/27/10

Cuddlebuns wrote:

The founding fathers wrote the Constitution with the knowledge that society and culture would change over time, and the intent that the Constitution would need to be amended in order to address those changes, which is why it is considered a living document and can be amended. So yes we should interpret it in the context of today's society, because that's how the founders intended it to be interpreted.

While I am certain they anticipated change, I expect they could not anticipate the rate at which it would change, and some of the consequences of that.

I expect they could not have foreseen large corporations, their lobbying efforts, soft money donations, etc.. If they had, I doubt they would have left the term of copyrights as "for limited times", and would have instead stated some concrete upper limit that would have required an amendment to change.

In the time the Constitution was drafted, the largest enterprise to require copyright would have been a newspaper, which was still a very local operation and of limited scale. These would also have little interest in lengthy copyrights, as there was no value for it at the time. Those interested in longer copyrights would be authors and publishers of books. Again, these were small enterprises, or much more often, individuals. As such, an self-interest in pushing for extended copyright periods was more balanced against the interest of others.

Frankly, I think the problem in this case is that Congress has ignored original intent. The flip side is that the intent is subjective to interpretation, and interpretation can be distorted with sufficient influence.


On another topic, the Second Amendment, it seems clear the intent of this was to provide people with the means to fight back against the government, should it become unjust. I suspect the founding fathers would have little problem with individual gun control, but would find it rather disturbing that our idea of a "militia" is a state-wide National Guard that can easily be nationalized by the federal government.
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Posted 6/27/10

TheAncientOne wrote:


Cuddlebuns wrote:

The founding fathers wrote the Constitution with the knowledge that society and culture would change over time, and the intent that the Constitution would need to be amended in order to address those changes, which is why it is considered a living document and can be amended. So yes we should interpret it in the context of today's society, because that's how the founders intended it to be interpreted.

While I am certain they anticipated change, I expect they could not anticipate the rate at which it would change, and some of the consequences of that.

I expect they could not have foreseen large corporations, their lobbying efforts, soft money donations, etc.. If they had, I doubt they would have left the term of copyrights as "for limited times", and would have instead stated some concrete upper limit that would have required an amendment to change.

In the time the Constitution was drafted, the largest enterprise to require copyright would have been a newspaper, which was still a very local operation and of limited scale. These would also have little interest in lengthy copyrights, as there was no value for it at the time. Those interested in longer copyrights would be authors and publishers of books. Again, these were small enterprises, or much more often, individuals. As such, an self-interest in pushing for extended copyright periods was more balanced against the interest of others.

Frankly, I think the problem in this case is that Congress has ignored original intent. The flip side is that the intent is subjective to interpretation, and interpretation can be distorted with sufficient influence.


On another topic, the Second Amendment, it seems clear the intent of this was to provide people with the means to fight back against the government, should it become unjust. I suspect the founding fathers would have little problem with individual gun control, but would find it rather disturbing that our idea of a "militia" is a state-wide National Guard that can easily be nationalized by the federal government.


I disagree with the whole 'Second Amendment' as a check on the government thing- the Founders were all affluent and rich, and absolutely detested the idea of the common people have any sort of power in our government, hence, while they did insure the common citizenry some rights, I doubt they would want some nation wide rebellion (like Shay's Rebellion or the Whiskey Rebellion) over some petty issue that the idiotic mass disagree with. Indeed, the government did not give most men the right to vote until much later, nor did they allow the direct election of senators until far after that era.
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Posted 6/27/10

orangeflute wrote:

I disagree with the whole 'Second Amendment' as a check on the government thing- the Founders were all affluent and rich, and absolutely detested the idea of the common people have any sort of power in our government, hence, while they did insure the common citizenry some rights, I doubt they would want some nation wide rebellion (like Shay's Rebellion or the Whiskey Rebellion) over some petty issue that the idiotic mass disagree with. Indeed, the government did not give most men the right to vote until much later, nor did they allow the direct election of senators until far after that era.


"Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth. " <- Gorge Washington.

Your wrong btw, the founders wanted a government for the people, by the people and of the people.

Where the fuck do you get all this incorrect information ?
Posted 6/27/10
http://washingtonindependent.com/88487/texas-gop-unveils-brand-new-far-right-platform

well as the new right concerned sodomy is illegal and not protected by the Constitution.
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Posted 6/28/10
I don't think people give the founding father's enough credit. When the constitution was made, there was no wall street, there were way fewer lobbyists, and people were a lot smarter. We shouldn't really be messing with a pillar of the country while the country is still standing. You wouldn't mess with the main support beam of a huge building while the building it still relying on the pillar to keep it up would you?
Posted 6/28/10
I guess the constitution could be reevaluated if you were to look at it from the perspective of a rich slave-owning white male who claimed that all men were created equal. But nowadays I'm more concerned about some of the later amendments and their ambiguity. For example, am I the only one bothered by the fact that the 13th amendment still allows slavery as a punishment for crime?
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