Thomas Jefferson was of the opinion that the Constitution should be revised or updated every generation. His argument was that nobody wants to have their lives directed by dead people. Back then, a generation was about 18 years. Nowadays it is more like 25. Under Jefferson’s thinking, the Constitution would have been updated 9 times by now.
Of course, there have been 26 amendments, which could be considered revision, but it takes an advanced degree to be able to figure out which amendment replaced what article, and which amendment replaced the last amendment.
At the very least, the Constitution needs to be re-written to include the amendments in a way that anyone reading the document can understand just what it says. There are so many layers upon layers that the message is muddy, if not downright murky. This leads to wildly different interpretations. And those interpretations are increasingly colored by ideology. It should not be that the outcome of Supreme Court deliberations can be fairly accurately predicted according to the political affiliation of the Justices. (The Justices should not have known political affiliations, but that is another matter altogether)
The Constitution should be simple enough to be understandable to every citizen of the United States. It is not. So the time has come to change it.
But who will we get to write it, the cry goes up. We don’t have an Adams, or a Franklin, or a Hamilton, a Jefferson, Madison, or Washington. Well, actually we do. We have some of the finest minds in the world, and they have been recognized by a completely non-partisan entity. They are the Nobel Laureates. The three most recognizable ones are politicians – Barack Obama, Al Gore and Jimmy Carter. But the others are economists, doctors, scientists, and writers.
Their brain-power is surely equal to that of the Founding Fathers, and their access to information is about a million times more. Why not give it a try? If their Constitution for the 21st Century is not what the American people want,then it will not be accepted. But, hey, you never know until you try.