Revising the 15th Amendment   Leave a comment

I’m working my way through the US Constitution’s amendments. The first 10 enumerate natural rights that are unalienable. In other words, the listing there does not grant the rights. It merely acknowledges them and says “government may not infringe upon them”. Except for the 2nd Amendment, few people are seriously talking about repealing any of the Bill of Rights amendments and it is highly unlikely that 38 states could agree to repeal of any of them, including the 2nd Amendment. Therefore, I do not believe that the core principles of the US Constitution would be at risk in a states convention to propose amendments. I’m not saying there’d be no attempt to do, but that the system stacks the odds against making those changes.

The other 17 amendments may need to be reviewed and amended or repealed as necessary by a convention of the states and other amendments may need to be added to correct problems that Congress has refused to address.

I’ve reached the 15th Amendment. What could I possibly have against assuring the right to vote for all? I don’t. I do think that a comprehensive amendment that combines the 15th, 19th, the 23rd and 26th (acknowledging the natural right of all adult citizens to vote) might be something worth considering.

One risk of a convention of the states would be the possible elimination of the Electoral College which would (not might, but would) lead to a tyranny of the majority whereby big cities and large-population states determine ALWAYS who will be president. That is an extremely dangerous situation that our Founders recognized and sought to prevent.

If anything, looking at the red-blue map, the Electoral College should be reformed to reflect regional rather than state population distribution because far too often national politics are dominated by large cities, disenfranchising suburban and rural voters, a situation the majority of our Founders would have opposed.

Clearly, the map to the right shows we have a huge problem when a handful of “blue” regions can dictate the conditions the entire country must live under. We may need to amend the 15th and the clause establishing the Electoral College to reflect the reality of the modern American republic … although the real answer is returning usurped authority to the states so that the federal government lacks the power to tyrannize us.

With government, smaller and closer to the people is always better.

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