In the US: conservative versus liberal violence?

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Explorer, May 22, 2017.

  1. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Whole world of semantics here, but what the heck. :lol:

    If you question the term "living," then let's simply say that it's a document that contains within it the mechanism through which it may be modified. "Living" is often used as a metaphorical term for this because life contains within it the mechanism through which it may be modified, as well, but hey, suit yourself. I won't be a stickler for words - clearly, we both agree that Article 5 provides a mechanism through which the document can be changed.

    This poses a few questions, though:
    1) Where do you see evidence that the Founding Fathers saw a difference between "amending something" and "altering it radically"?
    2) Where does Article 5 prohibit the process for passing an amendment be used to "alter (the constitution) radically"? Or do you see evidence in the Constitution elsewhere?
    3) Where do you find evidence that the first ten amendments' repeal would be a "radical alteration," whereas the repeal of the 18th, for example, would not be?

    Or are these subjective rather than factual determinations on your part, just as referring to a document that contains the mechanisms through which it can be modified as "living" is evidently a subjective rather than factual determination on mine?
     
  2. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Living document: noun a written or electronic body of information intended to be continually edited and/or updated.
    Yeah, I see how both of you could see that definition either applying or not applying to the US Constitution.

    And, sorry, but you have to admit that it's pretty funny, ironically, how the semantic discussion here spiraled off of the discussion of how the different amendments can be interpreted differently. :lol:
     
  3. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    A living (or evergreen) document is one that is amended from time to time to reflect changes in the social, economic, or other environmental conditions that are affected by (or affect) the document. Sorry for the Wiki link, but it should help clear up your confusion.

    Living Document
     
  4. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Kinda my broader point, that constitutional law is really, really, really complex, and therefore you need to distrust simple answers. :lol:

    But whether or not you think "living" is appropriate, clearly it's a document designed to be changed. I'm still curious where Vick is getting his differentiations between "amendments" and "radical altercations," over and above "changes Vick personally approves of" vs. "changes Vick does not personally approve of."
     
  5. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Constitutional law is very complex, but the Constitution itself is probably the simplest legal document I've ever read. :lol:
     
  6. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I try to avoid legal documents like the plague. :lol: That said, it's relative simplicity (coupled with the way language has evolved over 240+ years as well as the 240+ year history of how it's been interpreted) is probably why it's so complex - there's a ton of room for interpreetation.
     
  7. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    I find the document deals in near absolutes....

    "right of the people shall not be infringed" "all men" "no men"

    Those who find "room for interpretation" simply don't agree with what is written.

    And it is their right to whine about it, ironically, per the 1st....

    There is even a mechanism to adjust the bill of rights. It does not include whining, blogging, or signalling virtue.
     
  8. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    It's simple.

    If by altering the document by amending it in such a way as to alter the purpose of the Preamble, or purpose the document exists in the first place, you have radically altered the document, not just amended it.

    "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

    Pretty clear cut there.

    So I ask you again. Which part of the Bill Of Rights would you repeal that by doing so, would not alter the purpose of the document as whole, as stated in the Preamble? Each amendment supports the others in the enforcement of the Preamble.

    "Living" implies it is a growing and evolving object, meaning it MUST grow and EVOLVE. Simply because the means are included for it to be altered, does not mean it IS growing, or NEEDS to grow. It's not semantics, it's obfuscation on the part of the people who would constrict the Liberty granted by the document. The Bill of Rights is basic and rudimentary to the Liberty of each citizen, and the meanings are timeless as long as there is a government and the governed.
     
  9. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Vick, you're missing the point. It doesn't matter if I want to change parts of the Constitution or Bill of Rights or not (and more immediately to the point if there was a proposed amendment to overturn the 2nd Amendment I don't know that I'd support it). What matters here is theoretically we could if an appropriate number of states voted to. You can glorify the Bill of Rights all you want (though, bostjan's point that lots of passionate 2nd Amendment rights advocates are oddly quiet on the 4th and 5th amendments is well taken) but the fact remains theoretically any part of the Constitution can be modified and revoked via a constitutional amendment through the process outlined in Article 5.

    Again, though - I'm totally prepared to accept that that's your opinion. I see nothing in the document itself to distinguish between a "radical" change and a mere "amendment," so yours is a subjective belief and not a factual statement.

    No room for interpretation? Sure, so can a woman buy and own a gun? Because as written, they can't. It wasn't until the 19th Amendment in 1920 that women were formally extended the same constitutional rights as men, including the right to vote and own property. Which, Vick, might I add, was a time a constitutional amendment was passed that modified the Bill of Rights. Considering I suspect you rather support extending gun ownership to women, I'm really having a hard time buying your argument that the whole Bill of Rights is somehow sacred and immutable.
     
  10. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Just because I love nit picking...the amendment actually only protects the right of suffrage.

    My favourite little conundrum regarding suffrage and the US Constitution, though, is:

    ..."or other tax"
    Yeah, if I get convicted of tax evasion, let's see how likely I would be allowed to vote. :lol:

    Anyway, that's just another example where the wording of the US Constitution is explicit and direct and leaves no wiggle room, yet the actual law is executed contrary to what the US Constitution says, and more along the lines of what seems practical to lawmakers and courts, in spite of the lack of wiggle room in the wording of the nation's supreme legal document.
     
  11. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I apologize - that was sloppy reading on my part. :lol:

    Still, I think the broader point that, as written, and as interpreted by the founding fathers at the time of ratification, the 2nd Amendment did not apply to women based on a strict interpretation holds - it's just less likely to cause Vick to melt down, here. :lol: Still, there's clear precedent that amendments can be used to restrict rights as well as overturn prior amendments; the 18th's prohibition on the consumption of alcohol, and the 21st's repeal of the 18th. Article 5 clearly allows you the potential to do whatever you want to the constitution, provided enough people are willing to vote for it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  12. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    I have no problem with amending to clarify or modernize, in the spirit of the purpose of the document as clearly outlined in the preamble. Examples of good amendments are the 13th, 14th ,15th and 19th. Bad examples are the 16th and 18th (repealed), now if we could just repeal the bad ones, like 16th. Those, and others, have nothing to do with limiting to power of government over the citizens, and are in opposition to the spirit of the preamble and purpose of the document. Others could be construed as harmful ad well, even though they only deal with procedure of elections of representatives, etc...

    I am fully aware of the blatant disregard for protections of the 4th and 5th and the violations taking place regularly, and the glaring need to reign in the government in such cases. That is point in fact of why I am so against anymore tampering with the lynch pin of the Bill of Rights, and the view that the document is "living". To amend is supposed to be a change for the better, in keeping with the purpose of the document, which is to protect the people by restricting the power of the government. It is not for stripping away those protections.
     
  13. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I'm not sure if you read XKCD, but their uncharacteristically-oddly-political cartoon from Friday was also oddly timely. :lol:

    [​IMG]

    This is our "living document" conversation in a nutshell. :lol:

    There IS a process where the Constitution can evolve. It's not done lightly, nor should it be, but it's definitely there, and just because you personally may not agree with some of those future evolutions - and, it's entirely possible one day I'll find myself opposed to a proposed constitutional amendment - the point of that evolutionary ability is for the Constitution to adopt to fit the needs of the people, and not to remain unchanged but maybe clarify a few poorly chosen words here and there. There's no "better" or "worse" in it because that's a subjective observation based on our particular viewpoints, and neither of us is an arbiter of social justice, but merely one voice out of the 200 million or so registered voters who would need to weigh in on that decision.

    Heck, the Bill of Rights itself was supposed to be 12 amendments. Only 10 were ratified initially, one of the remainders took 200 years to get the necessary votes and eventually became the 27th, and the other has been sitting ratified by 11 (of the 34 required) states since 1789. One of the proposed amendments still technically pending that's been ratified by 5 states would make "domestic institutions" - aka slavery - immune to the Article 5 process, effectively blocking the constitutional prohibition of slavery. This would make for a very interesting constitutional crisis, since it's approval by congress predates congressional approval of the 13th, and it would likely require the Supreme Court to step in if another 29 states were somehow to ratify it. Long story short, there's a lot more to the constitutional amendment process than whether or not you personally think an amendment makes the Constitution "better," and the fact we have amendments passed by congress that would ban the Constitution from outlawing slavery, and amendments like the 16th that you straight-up disagree with (and good fuckin' luck on that one, man :lol:) should be enough to tell you that your understanding of Article 5 is a bit off.
     
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  14. eaeolian

    eaeolian Pictures of guitars I don't even own anymore! Super Moderator

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    I've always found the objections to the 16th kinda funny, since it doesn't allow Congress to institute an income tax - Congress always had that power.

     
  15. zappatton2

    zappatton2 SS.org Regular

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    So one thing I hear a lot from people is that every time an Islam-inspired terrorist attack happens in the world, it's up to local Muslim communities to take some sort of responsibility and issue immediate condemnation (often ignoring it outright when they do).

    What I would like to see are vocal conservatives who are willing to admit that white nationalism IS a very real problem within their movement, and start condemning it in the strongest terms. It isn't just about these marauding racists; too many mainstream conservatives who are not self-professed racists are willing to accept a political climate that creates the very mess we saw in Virginia. They can't seem to acknowledge the reality of racism within their movement and within society without retreating into some weird diatribe about "political correctness". Of course I'm not saying all conservatives are so hateful, but the moderates need to start making their voices heard within the movement, and speak against those who portray decency and empathy as hardships being foisted on you. I can see more violence on the horizon, and centrists and leftists are not going to curtail the nutjobs, but if more conservatives are willing to take that banner and speak out against hate, we at least have some hope of dialing down this lunacy.
     
  16. zappatton2

    zappatton2 SS.org Regular

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    And further to this point, it is positively revolting that the man-child currently running the White House can claim that "both sides" are equally culpable in all of this. To pretend that the people fighting for equal rights and vocally opposing white supremacists are as hateful as the supremacists themselves is patent irresponsibility. He's pandering to literally the most disgusting dregs of society just because that's his voter base, but the office should demand a higher purpose (though it's clearly obvious he's been debasing it by leaps and bound since he took office). How can anyone with a human conscience justify any of this, I seriously need to understand because it's making me sick.
     
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  17. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    An American died while standing up to Nazis.

    Conservatives need address and condemn their community's tendency towards violence and racism.
     
  18. Science_Penguin

    Science_Penguin SS.org Regular

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    The thing is, the Left does have demons to conquer... but this is NOT the time to bring it up...

    Charlottesville was all the Far-Right. This is the moment for Conservatives to stand up to THEIR demons, not a moment to try and say both sides are at fault. At best, that's like a half-apology, and at worst, that's almost trying to justify the violence by saying "Oh yeah, well... YOU GUYS have problems too!"

    ...Though, I guess I shouldn't be surprised considering every problem his administration runs into, the defense he and his supporters always like to jump on is "Well... look at Hilary!"
    And, in the same vein as Charlottesville, yes I hate Hilary, she's got problems... but TRUMP is the one currently in White House and currently running our country...
     
  19. PunkBillCarson

    PunkBillCarson SS.org Regular

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    As someone who until not too long ago identified as a Conservative, I'm here to tell you that what has transpired is not what I'm about and not what I condone and damn sure not what Conservatism is about. These were truly disgusting actions and if you ask me, if this doesn't prove that everyone needs to start coming together to battle hate such as this, I don't know what will. We have room for differing opinions in this country, but we do NOT have room for senseless violence like what happened to these people.

    This is a plea that will not get far, I'm sure and it will mean next to nothing on the Internet, but I'm asking you all to put your swords away for a little bit and the next time you want to draw them, let it be against hate such as this. I don't give a damn if you're Conservative or Liberal, whatever label you have on you, surely the person behind that label can understand that actions such as these serve NO purpose in this world.
     
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  20. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    "Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - there was sudden and deliberate attacking on many sides."
     

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