Monday, September 17, is Constitution Day. It’s a good excuse to think about a few things. First of all, what’s the big deal about having a constitution? For the founders…
With the composition of the Supreme Court being so consequential, the Senate has an eternal obligation to confirm justices who will defend the constitution on a non-partisan basis for all people within our borders. We hope citizens will ask their senators to go beyond that and make support for free, fair, and accountable democracy one of their major confirmation criteria.
Our constitution gives the media a central and protected role in our democracy. Our founding fathers expected the media would help hold leaders accountable and also help educate voters (and legislators) about the pros and cons of various policy options. The media have never been especially polite in doing the job the founder fathers gave them: personal attacks on political leaders started early on. In the last many years, however, many media owners have directed their staff to set fires and then pour gasoline on them.
Democracy is not dying everywhere, or even in most places. Here is an example from Slovakia. The action started just a few months ago and the people are winning!