America at the time consisted of 13 states. Congress had 26 senators and 65 representatives. The entire population was about one percent of today’s number – four million people.America was an agricultural society, with no industry – not even cotton gins. The flush toilet had just been invented.These were the circumstances under which this document was written.Let me be very clear here, the U.S. Constitution is an extraordinary work – one of the greatest expressions of liberty and law in human history.One amazing testament to it is the mere fact that it has survived as the law of the land for 222 years.
But our Constitution has been revised 27 times. Some of these revisions have been enormous and important, such as the abolition of slavery. Then there are areas that have evolved. For example, the power of the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court, is barely mentioned in the document. This grew as a fact over history.But there are surely some issues that still need to be debated and fixed.The electoral college, for example, is highly undemocratic, allowing for the possibility that someone could get elected as president even if he or she had a smaller share of the total national vote than his opponent.The structure of the Senate is even more undemocratic, with Wisconsin’s six million inhabitants getting the same representation in the Senate as California’s 36 million people. That’s not exactly one man, one vote.
And we are surely the only modern nation that could be paralyzed as we were in 2000 over an election dispute because we lack a simple national electoral system.So we could use the ideas of social media that were actually invented in this country to suggest a set of amendments to modernize the Constitution for the 21st Century.Such a plan is not unheard of in American history.After all, the delegates in Philadelphia in 1787 initially meant not to create the Constitution as we now know it, but instead to revise the existing document, the Articles of Confederation. But the delegates saw a disconnect between the document that currently governed them and the needs of the nation, so their solution was to start anew.I’m just suggesting we talk about a few revisions.Anyway, what do you think? Should we do this? And if we were to revise the U.S. Constitution, what would be the three amendments you would put in?Let us know in the comment thread and we’ll post the best ones on the Global Public Square.