Professor Larry Sabato is the founder of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia presents 23 proposals to revitalize our Constitution and Make America a Fairer Country. His book provides insight for a hard fought debate. Whether you like his suggestions or not or you agree with him or not, you have to respect anyone that can outwardly state that the United States Constitution as it has been handed down is “outdated.” This quest for reform I’m sure would anger many political conservatives who believe that the Constitution that we know today, is not in need of any reform, and is just the true document that is has always been and should remain.
There a few things within the recommendations that one would have issues with, but for the most part a lot of his ideas have merit. For instance Sabato’s suggestion that there be a Universal National Service, where every American being of “sound mind” be required to provide two years of military or civilian service. Now this particular recommendation is going to require a lot of buy in from not only me, but from the general public and more than like some of our conservative politicians. I think that Sabato realized this because of his quote "Libertarians find this proposal especially objectionable, insisting that governmental power over the individual must be kept to an absolute minimum.... But,...the libertarian approach ignores the substantial benefits not just for society but for the individual in the commitment to service." Although I can understand the proposal or commitment to service, it is difficult for me to fully buy into a forced requirement to serve in the military. Unfortunately this reminds me of over one hundred years ago when African Americans were forced into labor; later well known to everyone as slavery. I can only imagine that after requiring everyone to serve only two years, that there would be
some need to extend that requirement out to three, four, five or more years. Heaven forbid that we find ourselves in some degree of conflict that we like to call “war,” and then that requirement becomes an indeterminate number of years. If the government can demand any numbers of years of your life, then you are essentially owned by the government.
Many of us have opinions on the government, whether it is how it manages the annual fiscal budget and the overall debt of the United States or the Executive Branch of the government; we can agree that opinions run from the very minimal to the overly opinionated. There are many opinions of government today than we probably have seen in decades. With a growing recession and fears of home foreclosures, growing unemployment, failing corporate giants and the excessive salaries of bank presidents and corporate chief executives; it is no wonder that there are so many opinions on what appears to be a failing governmental system.
Consider balanced budgets and government continuity; these talks bring very mild responses in today’s society. It appears that government does not know how to balance a budget as we seem to fall deeper and deeper in trillions of dollars of debt. The goal of achieving a balanced budget and strong fiscal economy probably doesn’t matter as much to us currently as it potentially will for our children and their future. President Jefferson and Washington both spoke eloquently about the importance of our fiscal responsibilities as a government. There is probably no more an important warning that the one that Washington spoke after completing his second term of office in 1776, when he warned of
the actions of today and the affects on the future of tomorrow "ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear." Despite our respect for these two presidents, we have continued to permit a huge budgetary problem to materialize.
As Sabato has articulated in his book, he believes that Washington,...