Sabato: U.S. Constitution needs an upgrade
Throughout the history of the American republic, politicians have run on platforms of change: changing healthcare, or the economy, or foreign policy. They have promised their constituents that they will go and "clean up" Washington, and encouraged voters to "throw the bums out." But nowhere amidst their posturing has there been a call for changing the system itself; no one seems to see that maybe it’s the Constitution, not just the Congress, that needs to be cleaned up.The whole thing is worth a close read.
In the 220 years since the Constitution was written, the United States has undergone a great transformation. The 13 original states on the Atlantic seaboard have grown into 50, from sea to shining sea. Advances in transportation and communications have created an interconnected nation that shares information in the blink of an eye. We've seen the growth of political parties, and the various institutions and practices that come with them.
But what we haven't seen is major Constitutional reform. There have only been 17 amendments (the first 10 must be considered a part of the original document), one of which simply reversed another, others of which have been quite minor. Despite the new realities of the modern United States, our government runs under the direction of a document written with quill pens. This is not what our founders envisioned.
I've always thought there are a number of problems not tackled by the Constitution. For example, the Constitution doesn't include a presidential nominating system or standards for how elections must be conducted across the fifty states. There are a number of significant problems that could be solved were the document to be improved by the nation's finest political and legal minds.