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View Diary: I Know You Think You Have a Constitutional Right to Vote - But You Really Don't. (160 comments)

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  •  The idea of amending the US Constitution (46+ / 0-) over. Internationally, it is designated as "entrenched" and any high court justice will tell you that is the case.

    Thus, the American people will be yanked around by political forces who spin the vague and antiquated wording of a compromised document that was essentially designed to appease slave-owners at the state level.

    It functions well in that regard -- when you think about it.

    The abuse will continue until Americans come together and define what kind of country they would like to live in -- and what kinds of rights and opportunities and benefits they would like to have.

    There are many wonderful templates to work from.

    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 05:37:01 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Too entrenched for amendment, so replace? (6+ / 0-)

      This is a wonderfully-researched, beautifully-written diary, and it is useful to think about (so I've tipped it).

      But the basic analytical premise doesn't make sense, to me.

      I can conceive of lots of ways that entrenchment could be overcome enough for amendments. (Repealing the 2nd Amendment has a growing chorus.)

      But I can't imagine a scenario (within 100 years, beyond which its sorta futile to speculate) under which the US replaces its Constitution but still survives as a single country.

      •  All countries replace their constitutions (10+ / 0-)

        ...periodically. Not amend. Replace.

        It is a perfectly normal, peaceful, sane, intelligent practice for moving forward through time as human cultures evolve.

        Only the US is still run like a colony. The resources are privately owned and the people are forced to pay global commodity spot prices to buy them back. The banks are enabled to asset-strip the people while the bank's losses are socialized. Most of their tax dollars are sucked down the black hole of a military that functions only to open markets by force for private corporations. The people never see a penny of returns on this investment. The people are denied most basic human rights like health care and food and shelter and income security -- which are enjoyed by the people living in all other developed nations.

        You'll just have to trust me. No other nation is run in such a exploited fashion -- where the people are separated by pay-off money from the legislative mechanisms that controls their destiny. It is constitutional in the US for the media to form monopolies and for the public news media to lie to the people about political issues that affect their lives.

        No other people in the free world would put up with such a thing. They remedy such abuses without revolutions. Many of the world's constitutions were revised since 1980 to help the people thrive and benefit from the opportunities of the 21st century world.

        Americans just don't know that other nations think about the future in such an empowered way.

        Denial is a drug.

        by Pluto on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 02:16:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ya' just lost me. *GONG* :-) (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, viral, Paul1a

          I don't need to read any more words than these, to lose interest:

          You'll just have to trust me.
          Famous last words.  :-)

          I hope you'll write more diaries, but I also hope you'll be careful about international comparisons, and avoid hyperbole such as this:

          No other nation is run in such a exploited fashion --
          It undermines your credibility and arguments, and casts doubt on everything else you write. North Korea, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Suriname -- these come immediately to mind, among many dozens of other countries (most of Africa, most of MENA, most of Asia, much of Latin America). Russia, Moldova, Belarus, most of the 'Stans...  Work for a few years in a non-OECD country, to see how bad it can be.

          Maybe you mean no other 'free' country, or OECD, or Western, or First World, or Advanced Industrial, or etc. -- those categories are important and not to be taken for granted. But your diary mentions Suriname (oddly -- its reality makes a mockery of its Constitution), Paraguay, Albania, Bulgaria, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Mali, Moldova, Mozambique, PNG, etc.

          Written constitutions matter less than practice, as the cases of UK and USSR revealed. (See Jim P's comment about Stalinist USSR's Constitution: )

          •  You may not agree with Pluto (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BvueDem, Mnemosyne, poco, BlueDragon, a2nite

            Indeed, you may think his analysis was harsh ... that does not mean he was incorrect.

            Many of the countries you mention have LESS control over their citizens, not more, however repressive the regimes appear to be.

            In countries like Russia, for example, it isn't the law that is more repressive, it is the state of their economy.

            Few countries have anything like the Patriot Act which legally turns the US into a Police State.

            The fact that you are not seeing that state being exercised overtly does not mean that it doesn't exist.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            Who is twigg?

            by twigg on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 08:48:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Harsh analysis is fine; faulty analysis is not. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              twigg, AaronInSanDiego, Paul1a

              And "you'll just have to trust me" is a conversation-stopper.

              Here's a list of the countries I mentioned: Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Mali, Moldova, Moldova, Mozambique, North Korea, Paraguay, PNG, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Suriname, the 'Stans (take your pick). Which 'many' of these have "LESS control over their citizens [than the US], not more"? Especially regarding the right to vote, which is the main topic of this diary.

              Most of the above-mentioned countries don't need a Patriot Act because they also don't have a Bill of Rights, nor our history of political freedom, however tarnished it is, nor our freedoms of press, however constrained by the 6-corporation oligopoly. (Saudi Arabia, for example, abolished slavery in 1962 -- better late than never.)

              Russia: Putin abolished elections for 'governors' in 2005, and appointed them himself. This is not economics, it is political, systemic, and the US has nothing like it. (It's unimaginable, here.) You'd prefer Russia's legal system, KBG and Siedkom (SKR) to our legal system, CIA and FBI? Please proceed.

              I have yet to meet a far-left critic who has worked for more than a year in a non-OECD country. (I'm excluding armed forces here, b/c their work environment is so constrained by the military that it's not really the same thing, although many of them feel the same way.) I've met many who arrived overseas that way -- and by the end of 3 years were much wiser and more appreciative of the USA.

              •  Well the non-OECD countries (3+ / 0-)

                are not really the ones we should be measuring against.

                You may tell me to proceed, but the fact remains that the US has more legal authority over its citizens than the USSR ever had.

                How are the repressive tactics being used to deny the opportunity to vote in the US any better than the tactics used in other countries? Just because we are more polite about it does not make it better.

                Virtually every amendment in the Bill of Rights, except the 2nd, is coming under fierce attack, if not outright gutting, to the point where they really don't exist as rights the citizens can reliably enforce.

                The only reason police actions are not being used to suppress people here in an overt manner is that there is no civil disobedience.

                Then I remember how ruthlessly the Occupy movement was suppressed.

                I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                Who is twigg?

                by twigg on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 09:37:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  I do believe you... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LillithMc, Kickemout, jfromga, Paul1a

          ...that our constitution is antiquated and that we desperately need a new, more modern one.  We need to not only guarantee the right to vote, but move to some kind of parliamentary system--perhaps like Germany's--which would eliminate the evils of the Gerrymander.  

          What I do NOT believe is that we have a gnat's whisker's chance of actually GETTING a better constitution.  I believe instead that we'd get something MUCH worse.  There are forces with literally unlimited resources who would pervert and destroy any move toward a more progressive and democratic document.  Trillions of dollars are at stake, and the propaganda machine would run full force, non-stop.

          Here's what would immediately be on the table: a constitution that enshrined DOMA, forbade all abortions, eliminated all regulation of firearms, eliminated separation of church and state, enshrined state nullification of federal law, and mandated a 'balanced budget,' just to name a few of the insane things the right-wing would insist on putting in.  We'd be lucky to keep the income tax and Federal Reserve.

          Absent getting their way on these and other issues, does anyone think the old Confederacy would ratify such a document, or even choose to remain part of this country?

          In order to get a "consensus" document,  some or all of these odious things would be put into any document that came out of a constitutional convention...and we'd be worse off, not better off.

          We are right to be terrified of a move to write a new constitution. It would be like every other "task force" of the last fifty years.  The Simpson-Bowles fiasco is but a pimple compared with the disaster that would ensue if the billionaires and their religious fanatic allies had a chance to write THEIR version of our governing documents.

          Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Arthur C. Clarke

          by mathGuyNTulsa on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:58:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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