Overhauling the American System and Starting Over
Part One: Seven Worldviews in the United States
By Roger Copple
In part one of this online booklet, I discuss seven divergent political and religious groups which express seven worldviews in the United States. Part two is called "What's wrong with the system and how do we fix it?" In part three, the focus is on "Why and how we should rewrite Article V," the part of the U.S. Constitution that tells how the constitution can be amended. In part four, I give "25 recommendations for the American people" to consider. Then in part five, I propose a new constitution for the United States, called the "Third Constitution of the United States."
Of course, I would like to see the American people implement my 26 recommendations and adopt my new constitution as well, but the American people may choose to adopt none of the recommendations, and they may never want a new constitution. But changes are needed. We cannot keep doing things the same way. At the very least, I hope I can provide readers with some food for thought. My proposed constitution is called the "Third Constitution of the United States" because it is created after the Articles of Confederation and the current Constitution.
Part One: Seven Worldviews in the United States
There are many dystopian naysayers who have given up on the possibility of ever dethroning the powers-that-be who are leading the world to destruction. But if enough people start promoting a common vision, such ideals can become a reality and not a utopian dream. Many of these ideals are already valued by others. Ultimately, our nation and the countries of the world must adopt a sustainable worldview with policies that can make it possible for us and future generations to live peacefully together on a healthy planet.
What is now happening is the working class is increasingly getting a smaller share of the pie, the middle class is disappearing, and the rich keep getting richer. World crises and environmental degradation keep getting worse. Based on current trends, the world is unraveling. So it is important to first examine the prominent worldviews as they exist in the United States. In describing these various world views, I do not claim to be unbiased. I am biased, as everyone is. We each have preferences, opinions, and beliefs. We all agree there are objective facts, but not everyone agrees with the facts we believe in.
The first group is the Paleoconservatives (as distinguished from Neoconservatives, to be discussed later). It is not a familiar term in today's vernacular. But Paleoconservatives in the United States adhere to a conservative political philosophy stressing Judeo-Christian traditions, limited government, anti-crony capitalism, and a noninterventionist foreign policy reminiscent of our founding fathers, who said our nation should not get entangled in the affairs of foreign governments. Members of the Constitution Party are probably the best representatives of Paleoconservatism in the United States. The Constitution Party endorses seven principles: life, liberty, family, property, Bill of Rights, states' rights, and American sovereignty.
Paleoconservatives are socially conservative, so they are less likely to support gay and abortion rights and the legalization of marijuana. They are usually against putting more restrictions on gun owners. Paleoconservatives are quick to argue that our government is a "republic" with guaranteed individual rights; it is not a "democracy," they say. They will inform you that the word "democracy" is not in the Constitution because our founding fathers feared the "mob rule" of a democracy. Democracy, or rule by the majority, is what you have when two foxes and a chicken decide what's for dinner. Paleoconservatives will argue that our Constitution was not meant to be a "living" document that changes with the times. They fear a "democracy" that can take away their God-given rights by the decisions of a majority.
Neoconservatives are the second group. Neoconservatives believe that our government has a right, even a moral obligation, to police the world. Though Republicans and Democrats have well-known, definable differences regarding taxes, general spending, social policies, or domestic issues--many individuals from both parties favor a neoconservative foreign policy. The Neoliberal foreign policy of the Democrats is roughly the same as the Neoconservative foreign policy of Republicans. Both are imperialistic. It is okay and proper for the United States to intervene in the affairs of other sovereign nations, they reason, because the world would succumb to chaos without a benevolent superpower attempting to bring "democracy" to the world.
To those who view the world as a place where dog eats dog, the Neoconservatives are right. But Buddhists and mystical traditions within Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and secular humanists who practice peace and nonviolence, would say that, if we take the initiative in showing compassion and benevolence, other individuals and nations too will reciprocate with corresponding sentiments, sooner or later. Love conquers all. Nonviolence and unconditional love are what Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. taught.
The Libertarians are the third political group. They are socially liberal, but economically they are conservative. They are more likely to support gay and abortion rights, and the legalization of recreational drugs. But economically, they are apt to recommend laissez-faire capitalism. They want a small government with the fewest number of government regulations. Libertarians may want the liberty to become billionaires through the free market. Libertarians, however, oppose crony capitalism, which occurs when there is a collusion of private companies that get subsidies and special benefits from the government. Libertarians, like Paleoconservatives, are against the interventionist foreign policy of the Neoconservatives.
Fundamentalists and evangelical Christians are two religious groups that are combined as one here, referred to as the fourth group. The fundamentalist churches interpret the Bible in the most literal way, even more so than the evangelical churches do. But both have a pre-seventeenth century, or pre-Enlightenment Age, viewpoint of the Bible--believing in a fiery, eternal hell for the lost who refuse to take Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They believe that abortion, in most cases, and homosexuality, are sinful practices. Evolution is wrong because it contradicts the first few chapters in the Book of Genesis.
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