This Old Constitution is Falling Down

For Americans, the Constitution is like a national home we all have in common. Its daring new ideas, like freedom from monarchy, and self-determination, poured the foundation for the American adventure.

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  1. The Signing of the Constitution of the United States, with George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson at the Constitutional Convention of 1787; oil painting on canvas by Howard Chandler Christy, 1940. The painting is 20 by 30 feet and hangs in the United States Capitol building. (Photo by GraphicaArtis/Getty Images)
    The Signing of the Constitution of the United States, with George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson at the Constitutional Convention of 1787; oil painting on canvas by Howard Chandler Christy, 1940. The painting is 20 by 30 feet and hangs in the United States Capitol building. (Photo by GraphicaArtis/Getty Images)
  2. There was nothing like it, in its day. But it has not stood the test of time.

    The beams are warped, pulled slantwise by special favors built in for the slave states, that now benefit small states. The ground under the house grows more uneven, as people gather in large cities in a few populous states. The advantage of small states grows as their relative population shrinks. As states become more unequal in population, the government built from our Constitutional blueprint becomes, paradoxically, less and less representative.
  3. WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21:  Protesters walk during the WomenÕs March on Washington, with the U.S. Capitol in the background, on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. Large crowds are attending the anti-Trump rally a day after U.S. President Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th U.S. president.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
    WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Protesters walk during the WomenÕs March on Washington, with the U.S. Capitol in the background, on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. Large crowds are attending the anti-Trump rally a day after U.S. President Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th U.S. president. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
  4. The states, united and not, are locked in unequal embrace. The Constitution is all of a piece – it cannot be fixed part by part. The only way to fix its falling beams is to tear it down and start again. And soon. It’s dangerous to live in a crumpling house.
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