Is the Constitution overrated (USA)??

Nov 2013
I think the american constitution is so overrated. It never actually did what it was supposed to do. Everyone acts like patriot acts and wars on drugs are anything new. The USA has committed blatant violations (internment camps in WW2, Plassey vs. Ferguson) on plenty occasions.

The USA didn't really gain any of the freedoms it touts until like the 70s. You don't have to be PC in order to realize that. The reasons for the success of the USA (vs Latin America) are more fundamentally economic than legal.

You can't even defend the constitution or point out hypocricies without sounding like an idealist. But it's not idealism to point out that if something clearly doesn't work (the constitution) it probably sucks.
Feb 2015
Outer Deseret
Well ... "sucks" is a little strong. But I agree that it's not holy writ.

The successful and democratic countries in Europe, for the most part, get along fine without a written "constitution". And, you are correct (IMHO) that we observe ours more in the breach than in fact.

The problem with a written "constitution" is that nothing stays the same. What may be true and relevant at time "A" is outdated and inadequate at time "B". But at the same time, you need something a little more solid and dependable than the whim of a legislature. Imagine, if you will, if our "constitution" was the votes of our House of Representatives. That sends cold chills down my spine!

The amazing thing is that it was written and approved at all! Even doing that required that northern colonies swallow their revulsion and agree to slavery and the concept that some people were only three-fifths as much human as other people. Without that concession, we wouldn't have one either. In fact, we wouldn't have a country. We very nearly didn't "four score and seven years" later. Europe tried to get a written constitution in 2004 but they couldn't pull it off.

I don't agree that the difference with Latin America can be chalked up to economics, however. I think it's the fundamental temperament of the people. Culture does matter.

ps ... It's "Plessy" vs Ferguson.
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Oct 2014
Piccolo, the founder of the second California (since renamed Baja California) mission (San Javier)... any relation?

Oh, and the U.S. Constitution is perhaps the greatest written contract people have with their government... few others continue to be honored, after 200 years! Of course, when you have officials in office ignoring it, then it is up to the people to get rid of the offenders.


Forum Staff
Jun 2009
land of Califia
yes, yes, yes...we know how evil the United States is.

The record goes around and around.



Forum Staff
Mar 2008
On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yeah...I win!!
Plessy v. Ferguson (the separate but equal doctrine) is the correct spelling of Plessy. A doctrine that was overturned by Brown v. Board of Education. What these two rulings demonstrate is that although men can be wrong, the U.S Constitution is sufficiently flexible to withstand human failings; in a sense it is a self-correcting document.

edit: in my haste I did not notice that Mr. Rockwell caught the spelling. However repetition is a great learning tool.