Sunday, August 12, 2012

The usually cool Mark Graber rips Sandy Levinson, among others, a new asshole. I won't quibble over the details of science or the relation of people to the society they were born into. It's a chicken and egg problem, but he makes a point few people make, and I'm one of them. That he may have made it drunk only makes that more clear.
Constitutional populists always assign the blame for constitutional failings to evil institutions which are thwarting the good American people from fully realizing their constitutional commitment to the “Blessings of Liberty.” If we can just get rid of the Electoral College, eliminate state equality in the Senate, abandon life tenure for federal justices, and change the rules for constitutional amendment, my friend Sandy Levinson and others imply, gridlock would disappear, the American people would cherish their governing officials, and most other ills of contemporary American politics would be significantly alleviated.
His proposed amendments to the American people
... 
3- Constitutional democracies function best when citizens have substantial cross-cutting relationships or what Robert Putnam calls bridging capital. Notwithstanding any other provision in the Constitution, therefore, the American people are hereby amendment [sic] so that all citizens have friends and associates who they recognize to be reasonable and morally decent individuals, even though they disagree with them on the fundamental political issues of the day. Provided, all Americans are allowed one issue (abortion, aid to foreign countries, the designated hitter rule) in which they may deem all opponents to be either intellectual morons or moral cretins.

4- In order to create and maintain constitutional citizens who are capable of operating constitutional institutions to achieve constitutional values, capital punishment is hereby abolished, except for university and college administrators who spend more attention on sports teams and promoting their institution as an engine for economic growth than they do on ensuring that students are becoming good democratic citizens.

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