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only amendment that was ever passed to limit the freedom of Americans was the 18th (prohibition of liquor), but later repealed by the 21st Amendment.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