Recently, CNN's Fareed Zakaria spoke admiringly of how "Iceland is actually junking its own constitution and starting anew and ... soliciting ideas from all of Iceland's 320,000 citizens, with the help of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube."
Zakaria beamed as he ticked off some of the wonderful ideas proposed by Icelanders, such as "guaranteed good health care" and "campaign finance systems that make corporate donations illegal."
Putting aside the obvious question of how Barack Obama, Russ Feingold and John McCain managed to get on Iceland's social networks, I hope idealistic Americans don't get any ideas from this tiny nation's dubious project.
Oh, wait. Our geniuses are already well ahead of Iceland's. A friend called me in February to tell me of a proposed resolution circulating in the Missouri House in support of a national convention to consider amendments to the U.S. Constitution. She asked me to help discourage the Republican leadership from pursuing this ill-considered idea. She didn't have to convince me.
I could have understood if just Democrats were behind it, but I was surprised that Republicans were also involved. Another highway to hell paved with good intentions, I assumed. I'm thankful that the initiative lost steam.
I understand the frustration conservatives feel about the federal government's virtually unchecked growth over the past 75 years and how this is destroying our liberties and bankrupting our nation. But the Constitution isn't the problem. Rewriting it isn't the solution.
Proponents of a constitutional convention might protest that their goals are far more modest than a new constitution. Well, so were the Framers' plans when they met in Philadelphia to (SET ITAL) amend (END ITAL) the Articles of Confederation. Fortunately, they drafted an entirely new constitution instead, which would be, in the words of former British Prime Minister William Gladstone, "the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man."
Don't ever make the mistake of believing that such a miracle of constitutional craftsmanship will ever occur again in this nation, especially considering the social, cultural, demographic, political and, yes, spiritual changes that have since occurred.
We can certainly support tweaking the Constitution through limited amendments, but a convention would open the floodgates to the nefarious devices of what Ann Coulter -- in her new book, "Demonic" -- describes as "the mob."
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