Has it really come to this? Time magazine, one of our most respected magazines, seriously posing the question, “Does It Still Matter?” over the backdrop of the U. S. Constitution partially shredded as their cover page for their 10th Annual History and Fourth of July Issue. The second page of the ten-page article, authored by Richard Stengel, has the U. S. Constitution completely shredded vertically. This event signals a disrespect and ignorance of this document that I have not seen in my over 25 years teaching it.
The article’s overriding fallacy begins with the first sentence and continues throughout, “Here are a few things the framers did not know about: World War II, DNA, sexting, airplanes, the atom, television, Medicare, collateralized debt obligations, the germ theory of disease, miniskirts …” etc. In short, “How can it be relevant, without great alteration for our day?” Certainly the piece is a masterful explanation of the Constitution as a “living Constitution.” Among other things it criticizes the “Tea Party and its almost fanatical focus on the founding document.”
The truth is that the Constitution has nothing to do with these things nor did it have for the new things of the 1800’s, nor will it have for a new list the following century after the one we are now in. None of these things matter because this document is based upon human nature and natural law which do not change from century to century. Man is still power hungry whether he rides a horse, drives a car, or flies an airplane. Stengel does not seem to understand this.Details