In today's New York Times ("all the fits are news to print"), mouthpiece of the Far Left Wing Extremists and Bible to the anti-American Wing of the secular humanist movement (I have no beef with secular humanists - as long as they leave alone my "free exercise thereof"), Sanford Levinson, Professor of Law and Government and, no doubt Major Embarrassment to Real Texans everywhere has published an opinion piece entitled,"Our Imbecilic Constitution". Ibecilic is correct, but only as regards Levinson.
I am not a government or legal scholar by any means, but I'm a reasonably smart guy who can "smell what you're steppin' in". This is piled high and deep.
The author wishes us to ignore for the sake of arguement, the clauses that allowed slavery to exist until ended by the Civil War. What he fails to understand is that the Civil War was not fought over slavery. Ending slavery was a convenient rallying cry and little more. The Civil War was fought over the ability of states to choose their own economic path. Once states began to secede, it was "War". To maintain the Union, it was necessary to fight.
But those clauses were part of a Great Compromise. In historical context, to proclaim slaves as 3/5 of a citizen was a gigantic win for the founders. They has been precisely zero before that. This was a watershed.
Our professor also wants to remind us that the Electoral College hasn't been very popular for quite some time. That is only because people do not understand that the federal government was "constituted" from the individual states. The Electoral College ensures the sovereign states each have equal say in the selection of the President. But the esteemed lecturer wants to ignore that little tidbit. Eliminating the Electoral College ensures all US politics is dominated by California, New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois.
He claims the "separation of powers" is nearly meaningless, disregarding that these checks and balances have worked for nearly 250 years. He goes back to the 1912 Presidential campaign and debate about the Constitution between two Progressives (Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson), both claiming the Constitution is outdated. he further takes a shot at Mitt Romney regarding Mormon Theology and the Constitution. But had Levinson actually understood the founders intent, he would know that we are endowed by The Creator with certain unalienable rights. The Bill of Rights protects those with which we are endowed.
Levinson believes that enhanced Presidential power or an ability to prevent gridlock are good "radical reforms" to the Constitution. I cannot disagree more. Gridlock is not a bug. It's a feature. The Founders knew from their own experience that government only mucks things up. Bigger government, less Liberty, less innovation, less ability to control one's own outcome. These are good things, not bad.
Levinson is a believer in Direct Democracy. Direct Democracy is "mob rule". It also does violence to the sovereignty of the individual state. Levinson is not just wrong here, he is dangerously wrong. The Constitution of the United States has worked spectacularly for nearly 250 years. Amend it, don't dump it.