It is inescapably apparent, all too often painfully so, that there is great discontent within our nation that runs not just to its operations but to its foundations. So pervasive is this malaise that its presence may soon surpass the status once held by the weather: everyone complains about it, but no one does anything about it.
Not so at the National Constitution Center, which recently published three proposed drafts of a new U.S. Constitution, each drawn in accordance with the points of view of three separate committees of noted conservatives, progressives, and libertarians.
The conservatives, not unsurprisingly, are not as irked by the Founders’ handiwork than others, yet they are vehement in urgining the installation of reforms which would temporally limit public office and which would restore to the Senate an obligation to debate the common good.
The conservative focus is on minimizing opportunities for mischief that ensue when short term gains are advanced at substantial costs to long term stability in service of shared goals.
The progressives focus on their overarching concern with true democracy and equality, with a particular interest in coming to terms with what, in fact and in practice, are rights, which rights ought to be protected, and in what manner.
Libertarians have even less cavil with the original Constitution, thinking initially that the committee would merely review the existing document and add to each Article and Amendment a succinct “we mean it.” The were not so pleased with themselves, however, as to forsake drafting with an emphasis on curtailing the existence and exercise of federal powers.
As such efforts go, this project seems a good one, efforts which might serve as starting points for the seemingly ever more elusive civil discussions that are hoped for but too infrequently had.
The recently published drafts, with commentary, may be found at the links below.