Snark Infested Waters ~ Bob Edwards

Bob Edwards


The Zoom convention

Posted on September 5, 2023 by Bob Edwards

Imagine how difficult life would be today if, instead of tapping a cellphone to call friends or pay bills we still had to get out pen & paper, write & mail a letter; dial “the operator” to connect us to customer service on “long distance;” or drive to the “telegraph office” and send a “telegram.” 

Yet much of the Constitution governing life in the 21st century was written in 1787 with the knowledge, experience, & mindset of even earlier times, when The Rich owned slaves and even white women were little more than plow-pulling property.  

Since 1787, there have been over 10,000 amendments (changes) proposed, but only 27 have been adopted. Depending on one’s perspective, the current Constitution has “stood the test of time” or “made time stand still.”  

Of course, the Founders rightfully believed that changing the Constitution should not be as easy as changing their silk stockings. They decreed (in Article V) that the only ways to amend it are (a) by a Constitutional Convention a la the first one, or (b) have Congress craft amendments and submit them for a decision by voters in 3/4 of the states. For most of the Constitution’s history, “voters” didn’t include women, Black Americans, or anyone easily intimidated by a few 2nd Amendment death threats.

But one need only watch The News or Congress in inaction to appreciate the chaos that either approach to amending the Constitution would create if attempted now. Asking Congress to draft amendments to submit to voters would overwhelm an institution that often resembles a middle school cafeteria at lunchtime. 

Picking delegates and holding a live Convention could even be dangerous, given our increasingly divisive and violent political climate, the likes of which has seldom been seen since the Battle of Gettysburg.  

Thus, for better or worse amending the Constitution has been largely left to (drum-roll, please) The Supremes.  

Yes, for all practical purposes the Supreme Court (not ‘We The People’) decides what Rights and Obligations we have/don’t have under the Constitution; e.g., the Right to carry guns in public and the Obligation to carry pregnancies to term. And though “corporation” nowhere appears in the Constitution, the Supremes have effectively decided that corporations are people, too, with their own rights and (probably) feelings. 

Thus, many cases are appealed to the Supreme Court every year, generating millions in legal expenses. But it’s cheaper and easier to get five justices to agree (or not) to change (or not) the meaning of the Constitution’s words than to harangue over delegates to a Convention who could decide to change (or not) the actual words themselves.   

After all, busy 21st century Americans can’t just drop everything, travel hundreds of miles just to sit for weeks & argue over how the country could work better than it does. So let the Supremes decide.

But why not a Constitutional convention via Zoom? Think about it: With our modern technology, every registered voter could now be a delegate from the comfort of home, debating and voting on modernizing our (mostly) centuries-old governing document. Why not put our social media skills to good use? Think: WWW with rules enforced by AI. 

Crazy?  Maybe. But such a Zoom convention would engage the entire nation in its own rebirth, in majority rule, perhaps even allowing (insisting?) MAGA Confederates to secede without bloodshed and with apologies for that hammering “their kind” took at Gettysburg.  


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