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Flaws in the US constitution

Drafting the new constitution required consent of all the thirteen states where as two of them were not
present when Articles of Confederation were thrown away and a new constitution was written – this
makes the US constitution illegal by its birth.

1. Bad Foreign policy


2. In short, as President changes the foreign policy of the US changes.
The big flaw in my view is that there is not one single branch of government controlling foreign policy,
but that the power to make foreign policy decisions has been divvied among the competing branches
(with the president having the most power overall), but branches that can work at odds against each
other, allowing an adversary to play one group off of another. The result is that the nation cannot
adhere to a long-range systematic consistent sensible plan; it is a ship without a rudder, or which
changes rudders every four to eight years (depending on which president is in office). Friendly nations
can NOT count on the US for consistent support over time (exceptions: there are numerous ties
between the US and the other country (eg US & Britain have had a close relationship; also US and
Canada). What often happens is that it is easier for the US to coddle up to dictators, since they are
easier to work with than a foreign democracy with numerous power centers.
 Foreign policy is too much of a job for any one official who has other duties as well; rather, a different
arrangement is needed.
3. Awkward transition between presidents

From election-day (November 6th) to the inauguration of the next president on January 20th, there are
effectively two presidents -- one in office, one awaiting office -- and this allows confusion during this
almost three-month period. The president in office is a "lame duck", while the president-elect has no
formal authority. The nation is somewhat leaderless during this transition.
Examples: (1) President John Adams making so-called "midnight" appointments (which resulted in
Marbury v Madison Supreme Court decision) possibly to throw a monkey-wrench into the incoming
presidency of Jefferson. (2) Incoming President George W. Bush pushed outgoing president Bill
Clinton into deferring on a treaty with North Korea; in effect, the incoming president was telling the
outgoing president what to do.[1](3) During the awkward even-longer transition period (5 months?)
between incoming president-elect Lincoln and outgoing president Buchanan, the South seceded.
(Undoubtedly the South would have seceded anyway, but confusion about who was really in charge
(Lincoln or Buchanan?) was not helpful. (4) The 1932-1933 transition, with incoming Roosevelt, was
marked by a banking free fall.[2]--Thomas Wright Sulcer

During transitions, in short, there is no relationship between power, accountability, and electoral
support that normally hallmarks the democratic process.

4. Under-representation of voters from populous states


Since each state has two U.S. Senators, a rural state such as Alaska has as much clout in the Senate
as a populous state such as California. When the original constitution was written, there was not much
difference between the relative populations of the most populous state such as Virginia and the least
populous state. Today, in contrast, a state such as California has approximately 70+ times the
population of a state such as Alaska. California has 35 million people; Wyoming has 500,000. The
effect of both states having the same number of US senators is a huge distortion, since the Wyoming
voters have a disproportionate weight. The result is a "remarkable flow of federal dollars from "highly
populated states such as California and New York to thinly populated but politically advantaged
states," according to constitutional scholar Sanford Levinson.[4] It results in weird projects such as
Alaska's "bridge to nowhere"; further, needed highway projects in populous states are often unfunded
when they would clearly benefit more people.--Thomas Wright Sulcer (talk) 02:42, 28 November 2011
(UTC)

It is directly contrary to fact to say that this has not always been a problem. In fact, big states
like Virginia were feared by the Founders, which is why there is a House as well as a Senate.
This ensures a strong voice for every state, as befits a federation of states, as well as direct
talk
response to the proportionate needs of the populace.-- 03:18, 28 November 2011
(UTC)

It is time to rethink the Virginia compromise, since population shifts have changed the
dynamic considerably. I think the big problem comes with money flows, when money comes in
to Washington, gets redistributed, and flows back out of Washington. The House and Senate
control these money flows. The House is motivated to give back the money proportionately
(since that is how it is structured); the Senate is not. As a result, much-needed funds which
would have gone to structural improvements in high-population states with big cities are
diverted to places like Wyoming and Alaska and New Hampshire. This is clearly a
constitutional issue.
5. District of Columbia voters lack representation in Congress
Roughly 600,000 people live there. But they lack a representative in Congress. Supposedly the
Congress controls the entire area of DC. But it seems unfair that citizens there -- who pay taxes, serve
in the military -- do not have a congressional representative.

The Democrats have proposed a representative for them very regularly. But because such a rep would
be a sure thing for the Dems, the GOP always crushes the proposal.-- talk 03:19, 28 November
2011 (UTC) Exactly. It is not working. Partisan concerns have trumped what's right, and the people of
DC have been left without a representative.

6. Failure to specify a right of privacy


The original constitution failed to specify in clear terms if there was a right of privacy. Such a right has
been inferred based on some Supreme Court decisions, but it should be made explicit.

7. Danger of a military dictatorship


Levinson suggested that a catastrophic attack on Congress (one bomb by a terrorist when it was in session)
could lead to a declaration of martial law by the president. The constitution does not specify what specific
arrangements should be made if such an attack did happen.

Individual states are rightly responsible for deciding how to replace their delegates. They all have procedures,
most of which direct the governor to appoint replacements. It is a mystery to me why martial law would be
necessary if Congress was wiped out. Each state has a governor and state legislature, the executive branch
and associated bureaus would still be around, and so on. What's so urgent?-- talk 03:22, 28 November
2011 (UTC)
Not sure what you're getting at here. Here's the problem: suppose a bomb wiped out Congress. No
more representatives. No more Senators. It would be incredibly tempting for the President to declare
martial law and rule as a dictator to solve the problem. The current Constitution does not specify how
to cope with such a situation; it should. Perhaps, in time, individual states would replace their
delegates, but the danger is that a president could use the excuse of danger to prevent this from
happening or slow it down.
8. Dangerous concentration of power in the presidency
Numerous thinkers have criticized the so-called "unitary executive" theory, in its strong form.[8][9] What has
happened is that, particularly in the 20th century and present day, is that the executive branch has grown
proportionately more powerful than the other two branches, partially as a result of wars or the threat of wars (eg
the supposed war on terrorism.) The original constitution provided that the president should control the
executive branch, but what has happened is that this branch has expanded substantially since the early days of
the republic. And when a president decides to exert considerable control over everything the executive branch
does, then he or she has a power which is vast and unanticipated and capable of overriding the other
branches. Consider the alphabet soup executive agencies: FDA, EPA... (long list) -- they have substantial
power to make business and environmental rulings which generally are not open to public discussion, which
bypass Congressional input in most instances. In effect, the president can legislate using these agencies. An
example of increased executive power is the much-criticized presidential signing statement in which a
president, when signing a bill, makes a statement suggestion how he or she intends to understand the law; the
American Bar Association has criticized this practice as unconstitutional, as well as academic critics such as
Dana D. Nelson[10] and others. Thinkers such as Naomi Wolf suggest that if the nation is seriously challenged
by terrorists with weapons of mass destruction, then there is the very real possibility of a dictatorship or tyranny
stemming from an overzealous president taking extraordinary steps to try to defend us

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