Lucky for Marsha Blackburn, the U.S. Constitution protects the right of every American to be ignorant in public. Because the junior senator from Tennessee celebrated Constitution Day by doing just that.
Yesterday the senator posted a video encouraging her followers to “spend some time” with the Constitution and “realize what has kept us a free nation for the last 244 years.”
“Google it online!” exhorted the senator, of the document which was signed … 233 years ago.
“We will never rewrite the Constitution of the United States,” tweeted the co-sponsor of several proposed amendments to ban gay marriage and flag burning.
We will never rewrite the Constitution of the United States.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) September 17, 2020
Which is idiotic, considering we’ve already rewritten the thing twenty-seven times. But saying stupid sh*t is protected by the First Amendment, so … knock yourself out.
But if we’re going full originalist, why not respect the holy Founding Fathers’ original intent? Go for broke and get rid of all those blasphemous edits!
Unfortunately Senator Blackburn, whose popular election was set out in the Seventeenth Amendment, won’t be able to vote at all in the absence of the Nineteenth. But if we intend to honor our Framers, sacrifices must be made.
Sure, it will be hard to fund the government without a federal income tax, but perhaps Senator Blackburn is planning to make up the deficit by reimposing a poll tax. We’re only 46 days from what promises to be a massively high turnout election, so that might work!
Although disenfranchising everyone but white men might put a bit of a crimp in that plan. It would, however, guarantee a Trump victory. Or four, since we’re getting rid of the Twenty-Second Amendment!
Hopefully the Confederate states won’t re-establish slavery in the absence of a Thirteenth Amendment. We might face some international pushback if we return to the Three Fifths Compromise.
And without the Second Amendment, Marsha Blackburn will probably lose her coveted “A” rating from the NRA. But maybe she’ll gain a new roommate if we cancel the Third Amendment and start billeting troops in American homes. Silver lining!
Or maybe American “Greatness” derives not from a centuries-old piece of paper but our continued striving toward a more perfect union. Maybe we the people can honor the Constitution by working to establish justice and liberty, not just engaging in jingoistic celebrations of an imaginary heyday.
Because the Blessings of Liberty are for red states, and blue states, D.C. and Puerto Rico, Black, and white, and people of every race and religion. So in this moment of division, let’s not conscript our founding documents as a cudgel against our political opponents.
We the people means all the people, and the Constitution belongs to all of us.
Elizabeth Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.