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March 20, 2004

Constitution Preamble

A Modest Proposal

There is a movement afoot to amend my Constitution. [I call it mine because each US Citizen enters into an individual social contract with the government, of which the Constitution is the cornerstone component. I also call it mine because I have sworn to bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and to defend it against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and I have risked my life to do so.] Fortunately, the Founding Fathers made it pretty difficult for us to tamper with their crowning achievement, so that this misguided effort is likely to die a well-deserved death. Those same Fathers were acutely aware of the evil that arises from a Tyranny of the Majority, and I think they would condemn the current efforts to weave a particular religious and cultural definition of marriage that is favored by the President and his friends into the most basic law of the land. Indeed, I would expect that they would counsel us to leave such matters in the hands of individual citizens, or of the States, as they are now.

If you are going to mess with my Constitution at all, William has a proposal more worthy of serious attention than those currently under consideration. It would add the following to Article I :

Section 11. Whenever the Congress shall consider any Declaration of War, or any Act or Resolution that authorizes the commitment of the Armed Forces to combat, or the funding of such activity, only the votes of those Members who have previously served in combat, and those who have children or grandchildren currently on active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States of America shall be counted.

A two thirds majority of such votes shall be necessary for the passage of any such measure.

The maximum term of any Declaration of War, Act, or Resolution that puts the Armed Forces into active combat shall be one year, although such actions of the Congress may be renewed and continued indefinitely after full and careful consideration.

US Capitol Building

11/6/05 Addendum: According to the Parade magazine that came with Sunday's paper, in the current Congress there are 37 members (8 Senators and 29 Representatives) who have seen combat. Only 14 members of both houses (including just three Senators) have children in uniform.

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