23rd Amendment

Conservative Right Wing Attack On The Constitution: The Threat Of Another Constitutional Convention Wiping Out Constitutional Amendments!

The Founding Fathers gave us a Constitution, admitting in the process that there would always be room for improvements, so made clear that amendments were appropriate over time.

So we have had 27 Amendments, including the first ten that make up the Bill of Rights.

When one looks at the amendments, particularly those that came after the Bill of Rights, one realizes that the vast majority of them were “progressive” in tone, designed to expand democracy in America, or else, amendments dealing with the office of the Presidency.

So the “progressive” amendments included the 13th (ending slavery and involuntary servitude); the 14th (promoting due process and equal protection and making African Americans citizens); the 15th (guaranteeing the right to vote for African Americans and others which had been denied that right); the 16th (providing for a federal income tax to raise revenue to deal with mounting social and economic issues); the 17th (granting the people the right to elect their two United States Senators by popular vote); the 19th (guaranteeing women the right to vote); the 23rd (guaranteeing residents of Washington, DC the right to vote); the 24th (preventing a poll tax for voting); and the 26th (guaranteeing young people 18-21 the right to vote).

So nine of the seventeen amendments after the first ten of the Bill of Rights promote progressive change, while the 12th, 20th, 22nd and 25th deal with the office of the Presidency.

The only amendment that was ever passed to limit the freedom of Americans was the 18th (prohibition of liquor), but later repealed by the 21st Amendment.

Now we have the real threat by right wing conservatives, including the Tea Party Movement, who want a new Constitutional Convention to wipe out these “progressive” amendments!

They do not like voting rights for African Americans, other minorities, women, residents of Washington DC (mostly African Americans) and young people; and they are unhappy that African Americans are considered equal under the law, and if they had the ability to do so, they would love to re-enslave poor people, which by corporate power is occurring in an informal way for many minorities, as well as white lower class people struggling every day to survive!

And they wish they could restore the US Senate elections to the corrupt state legislatures, taking away the popular vote. Finally, they hate the federal income tax, even though many of them avoid substantial taxation by having investments, rather than working for a living like most of us do. So they would prefer a sales tax, which is regressive, and would hurt the middle class and the poor much more than the wealthy elite!

But that is exactly the extremist right wing intention—to restore the “good old days” when they were in charge, and everyone had to kowtow to them!

We must not allow such a threat to develop, so the battle for progressivism is never ending, as a result!

The Republican Motivation For Power: Take Away Human Rights Already Granted!

America has developed over the past two centuries into a republic promoting democratic values and the advancement of human rights.

The Republican Party of 2011-2012, however, is making clear its desire to TAKE AWAY human rights already won over the past two centuries, with blood, sweat and tears!

We have seen the acquisition of voting rights in the 15th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, and 26th Amendments, as well as with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and yet now, the Republican Party in many states is working very hard to LIMIT the right to vote by unreasonable limitations that particularly affect African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, college students, the elderly and the poor of all races!

Women have gained the right to control their own privacy, including control of their own bodies, through a Supreme Court decision in Roe V. Wade in 1973 and other Supreme Court decisions and legislative actions, and yet now in many of our states, the attempt to take away women’s rights, including the right of abortion, is being fiercely waged, including encouragement of violence against abortion providers and closing down of locations where a woman can pursue her reproductive rights.

Gay men and lesbians have gained the right to serve in the military openly, be married in several states, adopt children in most states, and have other basic human rights, but now the move is on to take away these rights so hard fought for!

Working people, both immigrants and those born in the US, have fought for labor protection and representation through formation of labor unions, which have now been undermined for decades, and the attempt to impoverish workers by corporations and their Republican allies is in full development!

This has been a land of immigrants, and yet the Republican Party of today believes in polarizing Americans against undocumented immigrants who they would support deporting in the millions, even with the fact that 98 percent of them have committed no crime beyond entering the nation in an illegal manner, and just want the opportunity to work toward eventual citizenship through learning English, paying fees, and waiting patiently in line for the “American Dream”, and yet now work at low wage jobs that no Americans wish to fill, particularly in agriculture, retail, and home and hotel services.

Americans in general have been able to see improved educational opportunities, better health care, and opportunities for better housing and safer environment and consumer protection due to past Democrats and moderate Republicans working to better conditions for the middle class and the poor, but now the goal of the GOP is to take away these advancements and simply promote the interests of the top one percent and the corporations that sit on money, refuse to hire, and instead use government money that saved them to give bonuses to overpaid, under worked executives, and to lobby corrupt politicians who do their bidding!

Will the nation at large continue to accept an opposition party that works to DENY all of the progress on voting rights, women’s rights, gay rights, labor rights, immigrant rights, and the advancements for the middle class and poor gained over two centuries?

Only if the people are appealed to based upon ignorance, emotion, prejudice, and manipulation! For the future of America, this cannot be allowed to happen, as it will undermine the social fabric of America for the long haul!