The editorial Celebrate the Constitution, concluded that "The Constitution is a guide for how to govern while retaining the concepts of equality and freedom."
It is a challenge to find a celebration in this statement related to America’s current state of unrest; specifically, voting practices, racial injustice and the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea above leads to the assumption that things are the way things should be.
It is essential to point out that humans are imperfect, and ideas, even those of the Constitution, always allow for improvement. Application of the Constitution to the way things are today needs careful examination.
Consider voter suppression; for example, in Georgia, voter suppression affected ethnic groups, women, the disabled and students. Reports showed that many voters waited five or more hours to cast ballots in the early voting polls, due to limited voting locations.
This instance of gerrymandering induces a double standard on the American people through inconsistencies and contradictions.
Under the Constitution, the XV Amendment states, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." Yet, in this election year, voter suppression curtails this Amendment.
Further on, "the Constitution is often referred to as a 'living document' because Americans still live by its principles, and it can adapt," is an oversimplification of the complex and unfair judicial system.
This statement is misleading because it twists and distorts the idea that the Constitution adapts to situations as needed. Under the Constitution, the IV Amendment was "intended to protect against arbitrary arrests as well as against unreasonable searches."
In the Breonna Taylor case, this assertion ignored the IV Amendment and was not considered by the police officers that unreasonably entered and murdered Breonna Taylor.
Finally, the article mentioned, “but the core values and established rights stated in the document remain intact,” is an irrational appeal to tolerance and tradition.
Additionally, because tolerance is good, it is not the right response to everything, specifically COVID-19. COVID-19 has devastated the world, yet U.S. citizens err on the side of self-expression rooted in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights: Freedom of speech, religion, press and assembly.
The people’s steadfastness in these rights, not wearing masks, social distancing and ignoring other precautionary measures, has resulted in a national pandemic with overwhelming 200,000 deaths in the United States.
So, celebrate the Constitution to remind America of its structured foundation developed by the forefathers that established this country. Celebrate the Constitution when it indiscriminately embraces the people that live under its law. Celebrate the Constitution when the rules legally apply to each person.
Only then will the celebration be enjoyed by everyone.
Robin W. Gray, Leesburg