In this country the Constitution is a hotly debated topic, and has been since our creation. To openly bad mouth the Constitution is taboo, though most sane people would have to agree that something written over 200 years ago should be viewed with a great emphasis placed on perspective about what our society is today—not what it was over 200 years ago.
As great as our Constitution is, it’s not infallible. As our nation grows and changes, our Constitution is meant to adapt and change with it.
In late 1700’s, just after our Constitution was created:
- The average life span was around 35-40 years old
- We had fewer than 20 states
- Our population was less than 4 million people
- Electricity wasn’t anything more than scientific experiments
- Horses were the primary means of transportation
- It was acceptable (and legal) for older men to marry much younger women, sometimes as young as 13 or 14 years of age
- Slavery was legal
- Women had little or no influence in policy making, and definitely couldn’t vote (once voting was established)
- A “semi-automatic weapon” meant you had more than one musket loaded and ready to fire
Needless to say, society is significantly different today. It makes absolutely no sense to believe our Founding Fathers wrote a document over 200 years ago expecting it to never adapt to a future they could never predict. In fact, their true genius was the fact they set up a government to do precisely that—change and grow with our society.
There’s no such thing as “traditional American values,” because we don’t have any. Our country, since its inception, has been a constant evolving entity with new creations, new growth, new enemies and new allies. True American values don’t lie in a set of beliefs, instead they are found in the idea that being American is a fluid concept. White, black, brown, man, woman, child, Christian, Muslim and everything else…we’re all Americans This country was built by a diverse grouping of people for a future that will always remain unpredictable.
Our strength lies in the gift our Founding Fathers gave us–the ability for our government to change. We’re not a monarchy set up for tradition or a theocracy based upon a religious dogma—we’re a government for the people, by the people.
As long as people change, so will our society. And as our society changes, so should our government.
That is what makes this country great and that is the true strength of the United States and our Constitution.
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