Letters to the Editor. Constitution rewrite?
In the Nov. 27 article ``Reassessing the Constitution,'' the writer, Gil Klein, asks: ``After 200 years, time for some changes?'' Then he describes how ``a small, influential group of politicians'' and others are seeking to determine whether fundamental change may be necessary. The document may not be perfect, but as Winston Churchill observed, democracy beats whatever is in second place by a considerable margin.Skip to next paragraph
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Certainly, the way we govern ourselves might need some changes. But I disagree with the proposition that there must be a fundamental overhaul.
The Constitution makes provision for its own change, which provision makes it difficult for even a fairly substantial majority to gallop over the rights of the minority. Let us give thanks that it does; otherwise, we could run into the constant change observed in some of our states, whose constitutions provide for amendment by direct popular vote. Robert B. Henn Medina, Ohio
The world is far different today than it was 200 years ago. That a governing document, such as the Constitution, can be relevant and useful today is high praise for that document.
Some problems today were not present in 1787. There is the pervasive influence of television used to manipulate voters before elections. There is also the insidious influence of lobbyists, representing vested interests, both in Congress and in the White House.
The idea that altering the Constitution will result in reduced deficits, or better laws by Congress, or better leadership by the administration, is wishful thinking. Deficits are not caused by the Constitution; nor are poor laws or poor executive leadership due to the checks and balances of the Constitution.
For example, it is difficult to understand why we permit a February presidential primary in New Hampshire with some 375,000 voters, attended by millions of dollars of advertising in the news media, to influence 90 million voters throughout the nation.
Rather than studying ways of changing the Constitution, the Committee on the Constitutional System should be studying ways to minimize the influence of television on elections, ways to minimize foreign-policy breakdowns, ways to encourage the most capable men and women to be candidates for Congress or the presidency, and ways to minimize the influence of lobbyists. Warren Himmelberger Wellesley Hills, Mass.
Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''