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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/9/21

The Framers of the US Constitution Never Told How to Properly Abolish It

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At the end of the Declaration of Independence it states that we can abolish our government if it no longer meets our needs. The current US Constitution nowhere states how we can abolish the government and create a new US Constitution. Jefferson said, "Every constitution, then, and every law naturally expires at the end of 19 years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right. Jefferson said, "Thus, the American Constitution should lapse and become null and void in 1808."

US citizens have had their second constitution for 232 years, and according to Jefferson's calculations, we should have had 12 constitutions by now. If you divide 232 by 19, it is 12.21. The Constitution was implemented in 1789, so 1789 + 19 = 1808. I'm not sure how Jefferson came up with "19 years" exactly and why he said that the Constitution should be null and void in 1808. It might be related to the fact that slavery was to end in 1808 according to Article V of the constitution. Essentially then, Jefferson thought we should have a new constitution with every new generation.

The current US Constitution was written in 1787 and implemented in 1789 with George Washington as the first president. Now we know that technology can improve dramatically in 10 years. But there are some people who still believe the US Constitution is a sacred document ordained by God, and it should never be abolished.

There are several ways that the US Constitution can be improved. We could create a new constitution that empowers people to be all that they can be, a constitution that gives power to The People. We could abolish the electoral college system that is becoming increasingly unpopular. How fair is it that California with a large population has the same number of senators as Wyoming? With a new constitution we could totally eliminate the undemocratic US Senate and use proportional representation to create a unicameral federal legislature composed of 7 political parties equally empowered. With a new constitution, we could remove all subtle references to slavery in Article V and Article I, Section 9, Clauses 1 and 4. Article V obscurely states that slavery could not be prohibited until 1808. Instead of enduring a US constitution written in lawyer legalese, we could make it enjoyable for our children to read and understand.

Our current constitution makes it far too difficult to amend it. To amend the constitution it takes a ├ -- majority of both houses of the federal legislature or Congress, and then it has to be ratified by ├é ż of the 50 states. Article V tells 2 ways to amend the constitution, but nowhere does Article V tell how to properly abolish the constitution--in an orderly, democratic, and fair way.

The only way that we can make it easier to amend the constitution and have the capability to properly abolish it is to pass a 28th constitutional amendment that totally rewrites Article V. It is very difficult to pass a constitutional amendment; however, the 26th amendment that makes it possible to vote at age 18 was passed in less than 4 months because it had universal appeal. People in the United States don't think much about Article V, and few people talk about the need for a new constitution. But a newly revised Article V, as described in the proposal below, could be the most liberating amendment to the constitution we have ever had.

Years ago I wrote my ideal of an Article V, and I wrote my ideal of what a new US Constitution should look like even though I am not a constitutional lawyer. Periodically I have revised those 2 documents, and I am certain they could be improved by constitutional scholars, historians, and from the input of others. So I will share below my ideal of a new Article V and my ideal of a new US Constitution. In my constitution, called the Third Constitution of the United States, I tell at the very end how it can be properly abolished to create the Fourth Constitution of the United States.

This is a Twenty-Eighth Amendment Proposal that Totally Rewrites Article V:

The New Article V For This Generation

Revised, March 8, 2021

Here is the current Article V of our Constitution which became operational in 1789 with the presidency of George Washington; it has now been operational for 232 years:

Article V: The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate. (End of Article V)

Here is a simplified explanation of Article V:

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February 11, 2023 I grew up in a church that said you had to speak in tongues to get saved and go to heaven. I often prayed fervently starting at the age of 5 for the experience in the prayer room at church, where people would cry and wail, (more...)

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