Friday, March 23, 2012

The rhetoric of living in a rational, free society and the Constitution

It's all well and good to pontificate about our liberty, our freedom, our democratic system here in the U.S., how we were the first example of a functioning democratic order beyond the dutch free states...but there's the problem of the Constitution. When you get to the Constitution, and the thought that went into it, what you see is actually a mess, unclear, conflicting, as is the American political system that came out of it. I'll give folks a hint: if you have to spend years reconstructing what someone meant to say because their obscure thought and the many odd sources that they used, that are mainly forgotten today even by political philosophers, you're not dealing with a pure embodiment of an ideal, you're dealing with something messy that could have probably been expressed in a better way. States such as France have much clearer implementations of the principles we claim to have embodied in our laws, while we have a mix of archaisms that hearken back to the 17th century.

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