Rant/Working Through an Argument
I’m working through an argument for my Democracy paper. So I’m slapping this here to work out the particularly angry bits I’m trying to leave out of the paper.
I don’t have a problem with alternative politics, or different political opinions. Healthy debate and deliberation is what is needed in a functioning democracy.
But trying to argue with someone who is going to default to a sense of “fundamentalism” is just like trying to debate with any other “fundamentalist.” Hoisting the Constitution to the status of a Sacred Document (much like a Bible) and the authors of that document as Demigods, who somehow knew everything there was to know about society, specifically society in 2012, and not as men capable of fault is simply replacing one form of religious idolatry with another. They were not perfect, as none of us are. Further, even Thomas Jefferson recognized that the Constitution should be rewritten and reinterpreted “every three or four generations.”
Did they believe in revolution? Absolutely. Did they believe that we should replace the religious tyranny and monarchical rule with yet another Sacred Text that we approached with the same assumed inerrancy as we approached the Bible? I don’t know, no one does. But I’m going to err on the side to “no.”
When I look towards the Constitution as a set of core values and core beliefs, I think there is value. Just as I think there is value in understanding history. But when we approach the Constitution as a sacred text, I hear a lot of the same rhetoric as when people talk about the Bible. Citizens become parishioners to a shrine of infallible men who created rules that are in the best interest of a society they could not have even envisioned. These politicians? They are our Priests. Interpreting documents for our own good, telling us what they mean, instead of inviting us the opportunity to rewrite and redefine our own Constitution and rights as someone like Jefferson would have intended. And the Founders? They become the demigods and infallible men they tried to steer us away from 250 years ago.
Okay—Back to the paper.