Though they haven’t articulated it as such, Americans want a new constitution that actually does what the original Constitution was supposed to do: serve the public good.
So, what would that document ideally look like?
It would surely reject outright the decadent, cowardly impulse to fashion a body of laws with special perks designed to prop up the few and wealthy while more or less throwing crumbs to the poor and powerless. Its overall function would be to improve the quality of life across the country, in places big and small. Let’s put it in all caps, and maybe stick it in the Preamble: TO CALL ITSELF A REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY, A NATION MUST BE REASONABLE AND EQUITABLE IN THE DIVISION OF POWER.
What systemic changes would take place under this new, more sensible, and decidedly just Constitution?
It would limit the number of terms a representative or senator could serve, so as to introduce fresh blood from a pool of more visible talent. (Does 12 years sound reasonable?) It would not allow ex-congressmen to trade on their insider connections for at least five years–which might then produce fewer power-engrossing lawyer-politicians and more–let’s be really optimistic here–systems engineer- or bioethicist-politicians, i.e., problem solvers with a useful trade to fall back on after public service.
Next, let’s reform the debased Supreme Court by reducing tenure from life to 10 years. (Honestly, who’s not tired of Scalia?)