#1 Fareed Zakaria suggests Constitutional changes on NPR
12-11-2011, 08:42 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
Worth going to the link for the full audio (when it comes up) and for the comments at the bottom of article.
Reforming Congress: Taking It Back To Formula
A Broken System
Congressional approval ratings are at an all-time low with only 9 percent in favor of the job Congress is doing. The 2011 legislative session has been the least productive session since 1995.
Whether or not it is the worst Congress or not is subjective, but it has sparked a discussion among thinkers and policymakers about whether it will only get worse.
Fareed Zakaria is the host of CNN's international affairs program GPS, and editor at large for Time magazine and a columnist for The Washington Post.
Author, CNN host and all-around big thinker Fareed Zakaria thinks that it will. He recently wrote a column suggesting it may be time to acknowledge that the Founders maybe didn't get it right in the end.
"The Founders were obsessed with the problem of absolute power," Zakaria tells NPR's Raz. "They were trying to ensure there would never be the kind of absolute monarchy that they were running away from."
That fear of concentrated power is what formed our current system of shared, checked and divided power, Zakaria says. But he says that now has resulted in a system that is so onerous that it is very difficult to get anything done and solve the problems America faces.
"The system in Washington is so unwieldy that in order to get everybody to agree, [it] would seem to take a miracle and would perhaps take decades," he says. "Meanwhile these problems are compounding themselves."
While some might say the current gridlock in Congress is a product of personalities and not necessarily the system itself, Zakaria disagrees. He cites the British parliamentary system, where the prime minister's ruling party controls both the executive and legislative branches, which allows them to move forward and pass legislation much faster.
"Then four years, five years later the voters decide whether it worked and they can throw the bums out," he says. "I just worry that we have reached a stage where it is simply impossible to exercise power at the speed that the 21st century needs."
Zakaria doesn't think the U.S. will ever go to a parliamentary system, nor is he advocating it. But he does think that we should have a system that more easily allows the majority in power to govern, and then voters can decide if they liked what happened or not.
Dismissing claims that the problems can be blamed on a particular politician or any one set of politicians, Zakaria says the structure of our government, originated by the Founding Fathers, is at the root of the problem and needs to be addressed.
"I think we, as Americans, really are reluctant to do that because we have this mythology of the Founding Fathers being demi-gods who came to Earth and gave us a perfect Constitution," he says. "But, there were flaws in the document."
In fact, revisiting the Constitution and looking at what needs to be fixed, updated and streamlined, would be in the very spirit of the Founding Fathers, Zakaria says.
"[These] were practical men of the Enlightenment who believed in looking at facts [and] trying to figure out a system," he says. "We need to bring that spirit back all these years later."...
Last edited by Elspeth; 12-11-2011 at 08:49 PM.
12-11-2011, 08:59 PM
He's late to the party. Obama's been wanting to change the Constitution for years.
12-11-2011, 10:26 PM
- Join Date
- May 2008
- Locked in a Dungeon, being tortured and LOVING IT!
They will call to change it when they have power to make it easier for them to pass what they want.
But the second they lose power, you will see a half dozen bills to make it far harder to do any thing.Rest In Peace America
July 4, 1776 - January 20, 2009
12-12-2011, 12:29 AM
Hmmm... I seem to recall the American people giving a group that absolute power, and became so startled by it that they overthrew it in just 2 years.
The system works just fine.In most sports, cold-cocking an opposing player repeatedly in the face with a series of gigantic Slovakian uppercuts would get you a multi-game suspension without pay.
In hockey, it means you have to sit in the penalty box for five minutes.
12-12-2011, 01:00 AM
By his definition, "getting things done" is an agreement on how to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.
When both political parties are completely bought and paid for by special interests, mega-banks, and mega-corporations, you get silly arguments over total non-solutions such as "cutting a trillion dollars over a span of 10 years" as if that will make any difference at all... A battle over nothing. You and I might as well argue over who saw a dollar bill on the sidewalk first.
When a government is this rogue, criminal, and sold out, it certainly wasn't caused by the "restraints" of the constitution. Corruption is the problem.
This is coming from a guy who recommended a domestic CIA (citizen spies) after 9/11. lol
12-12-2011, 03:30 AM
Fareed Zakaria is the elite Left's token dune baboon. I'm just sayin'."The efforts of the government alone will never be enough. In the end the people must choose and the people must help themselves" ~ JFK; from his famous inauguration speech (What Democrats sounded like before today's neo-Liberals hijacked that party)
12-12-2011, 04:02 AM
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
When you're not from a particular country...it's tea easy to make dumbass suggestions about changing the Constitution like he did.
12-12-2011, 11:45 AM
12-12-2011, 12:36 PM
Zakaria's whole raison d'etre is trying to talk America into decline, so I'm not particularly impressed with his ideas on how to accelerate the process. OTOH, there are a couple of amendments that I'd like to see adopted:
Congress shall make no law to which is exempts itself. All prior laws which contain congressional exemptions shall be null and void unless renewed by both houses of the congress and signed into law without those exemptions.This would force congress to comply with the laws that they pass for us. That means that their staff would be covered under OSHA, AWDA and all of the rest of the federal regulatory apparatuse, as well as not being permitted to use their insider knowledge to play the various markets.
Congress shall make no tax or fee for any purpose other than to finance the operation of the federal government. Direct payments from the Treasury to citizens or groups of citizens other than for compensation for goods or services provided to the federal government are fobidden, either directly or through the states.
The tax code isn't there to make us into better citizens, or to make us eat our vegetables. It's there to provide the means for the federal government to operate, and income redistribution is not a legitimate function of the government. Bailouts are right out.--Odysseus
Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.
Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
12-12-2011, 01:34 PM
- Join Date
- Sep 2011
Has anyone asked him if we should replace the Constitution with the koran?
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