A More Perfect Union

I was raised in a pro-union, democratic home. Dad was active in Boston politics and I held my first campaign sign while still in single digits. I was in middle school when I was allowed to work the local polling place, handing out information for our candidate. A friend was working for an opponent when I, jokingly, referred to him as a communist. Dad shut that down, hard.I learned a couple of important lessons that day. One, that friends can support different view points and still be friends. The second, and more important lesson, don’t make stuff up. Slinging mud was ok, just as long as it was factual. If you did your homework then you knew your opponents weak spots and you attacked that.

You went after policy not personality.

You had standards. Standards I use to this day.

My politics have evolved since my first campaign. I wouldn’t stand for the overt racism and homophobia that was part and parcel of Boston politics in the 70s and 80s and started calling it out whenever I saw it.

Dad struggled with his racism. Bless his Archie Bunker heart. By the time we lost him, he was a changed man; his daughters Debbie, Patty, and Tracey saw to that. The homophobia never bothered him since two of his brothers were gay.

I still follow Dad’s advice. I know my stuff and I can dismantle an argument using facts not rhetoric or the politics of the personal attack. That’s for dishonest people. People who can’t or won’t back up their arguments.

I’ve been annoyed with this ridiculous notion that liberals do not love this country and the Constitution. In the midst of this ridiculous debt-ceiling nonsense from the hard right including a renewed call for a balanced budget amendment, I decided to take a look at the history of failed Constitutional amendments.

The 19th Century had only three failed amendments, the most notable being The Christian Amendment, which was proposed in 1863. The amendment would have added acknowledgement of the Christian God in the Preamble to the Constitution. Similar amendments were proposed in 1874, 1896, and 1910.

The 20th Century brought us seven failed amendments although several of them had more than one iteration.

They include the Anti-Miscegenation Amendment of 1912; the Flag Desecration Amendment of 1968; the Common Property Amendment of the 1990’s; and the Death Penalty Abolition Amendment also in the 1990’s.

The 21st Century has been a hotbed of activity with eleven proposed Amendments ELEVEN. In ten years. All but one from the right. Amendments proposed ranged from school prayer; to protecting the reference of God in the pledge and the official motto; to the federal marriage amendment. The left hasn’t been quite as busy but they did propose abolishing the electoral college.

I was surprised by what I found in my walk down history lane.

I have to say, I’m getting a little irritated when I’m told to read the Constitution by people who clearly have so little respect for it that they are constantly trying to amend it to their narrow world view.

The Constitution belongs to everyone so slow your roll with all the amendment making. America has a rich and vibrant history, the Constitution is a strong document; it’s the framwork that makes this country great so stop trying to screw with it.


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