Fault Lines in the Constitution

Fault Lines in the Constitution

The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today

Book - 2017 | First edition
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Examines the Constitutional origins of modern-day political problems and outlines solutions for these issues.
Publisher: Atlanta, Georgia : Peachtree Publishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781561459452
Characteristics: 235 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Levinson, Sanford 1941-- Author


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Lord_Vad3r Oct 18, 2019

Okay, first off, don’t laugh. I didn’t know this was a kid’s book until I finished it. Despite that, I feel like I learned a lot.

Let’s face it America, we have a lot of work to do. We seem to have no national identity anymore and no long term goals, with the exception of preserving the status quo for as long as possible. Climate change? We’ll let the next generation deal with that. The national debt? We’ll let the next generation deal with that. Make social security solvent? Next generation. Infrastructure? Next generation. Education? Well, maybe if they don’t know anything they won’t recognize anything’s wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my country. We just have some things we have to work on and some of those things are in the Constitution. I’m not really concerned with the designated survivor scenario. Bicameralism is fine but we could do ourselves a favor and put rules in place to pass clean bills. If the house and senate disagree on something, why can’t the parts they do agree on be passed independently? Is there something in between a majority and a supermajority we could use to pass bills? There must be something that could be built into the rules to ensure that gridlock can’t be perpetuated for partisan purposes. Gerrymandering and the electoral college are both concepts that need to be put out of their misery. Eliminating these two concepts would probably fix quite a bit.

Then we get to free speech. Sometimes I think the Bill of Rights should have a corresponding Bill of Responsibilities. Free speech is extremely important to a healthy democracy but it is a double-edged sword that can do a lot of damage in the wrong hands. What’s the saying? A lie can make its way around the world before the truth can get its pants on? There should be some punitive measures with sufficient teeth to deal with people or entities that knowingly and deliberately promote falsehoods for any type of personal gain.

And get rid of Citizen’s United. Money is not free speech. You win arguments by the force of your conviction, supported by appropriate data. Not by the depth of your bank accounts.

This book did make some things really clear: 1.) there have always been stark party divisions. It’s nothing new. 2.) it has always taken Washington a long time to get things done. 3.) the framers were human and made mistakes.

This book is clear with just a couple of editing mistakes. I would categorize it more as a young adult nonfiction than juvenile. It would work well as a source for high school students.


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