Saturday, November 21, 2009

The purpose and being of law

After having spent the day pondering the workings of the U.S. constitution (remember I've only been an attorney through the dim years of Bush I, and two terms of Shrub destroying the Constitution), and despairing over the state of law enforcement in our beloved Idaho, I see what the problem is: we have forgotten what it means to be a colonialized people. Not that some of our citizens aren't colonized, many are: wrong color skin, too poor, too mentally ill, (NO, too rich does not apply here).
But here's the crux: the constitution belongs to ALL OF US. If you aren't a U.S. citizen, or don't want to be, that's O.K., but our constitution infected your leaders with something that made many of them reach higher and try harder. Our leaders got lazy, and stopped reading and living the constitution in 2001, and tried to dump it into a nasty slime hole. There's a serious problem with that.
I have high hopes that Mr. Obama will change this, and remind us that we are a constitutional people. We should require kids from grade 5 through 12 to read the constitution every day (who cares about the Pledge of Allegiance? It's not in the constitution, do you know what the 17th Amendment says? Why is that important? ). Scrap the SATs, can your college bound kid explain in writing (that is without the help of Wikipedia) why the Federalist Papers are so bloody important? Can s/he describe why the Federalist Papers and the men who wrote them had to have strong concepts of a republican political structure, and an understanding of the Greek theory of democracy, and an understanding of what government "by and for the people" meant?
Further, every educated adult in this society should be able to indulge in enlightened conversations about the constitution, and its founding documents over beer over coffee on any of the seven evenings of the week. . .