APPROACHES TO CHANGING THE COURSE OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT
There are five basic ways to enable change in the course of our government to move towards achieving a government that governs by the consent of the governed and works toward the goals of equal rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness equally for everyone. They are: 1) Protest, 2) Lawsuits, 3) Legislation, 4) Civil War, and 5) Constitutional Amendment.
Each method has its difficulties and advantages. Only Constitutional Amendment holds the effective, peaceful structure to ensure change per the consent of the governed that is comprehensive and lasting.
Protest can push for and potentially be a major causative agent in change. The civil rights protests were a major factor in the Civil Rights Act, for example. Peaceful protest is a constitutionally protected right. Too, it is a method of presenting concerns on a broad basis of both support and comprehension of the breadth and extent of the issue.
Protest has the drawbacks of attracting violent counter protests (Note: Civil Rights Movement) and not clearly defining the specific necessary changes. This often may result in changes that are deliberately watered down and inadequate.
Lawsuits can alter the law. One resulted in the Supreme Court ruling gay marriage is legal.
Lawsuits are expensive, time consuming, and frequently unsuccessful. Even after success with Supreme Court rulings, defiance of the law is becoming more common than ever. For example, the recent case of a Clerk in Kentucky refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
Legislation, of course, is intended to be and can be successful in changing course. Again, the Civil Rights Act resulted in major changes in our governance and our behavior in society. It has also been resisted every step of the way despite the adopted legislation.
Legislation changing the course of our governance will not happen because our Legislature is almost entirely dysfunctional. As of this writing, Mitch McConnell has over one hundred bills passed by the United States House of Representatives sitting on his desk. He refuses to allow consideration of any of them, including gun control legislation. Whatever else you believe our forefathers fought for in the Revolutionary War, it was not for one man to tell the rest of the Country, “No, I won’t allow you to even consider that.” That was an issue they waged war over with King George.
Civil War has no positives but if it fully implodes on us it will change our course.
Civil War has already begun with mass shootings occurring on a more than weekly basis and groups organizing for “resistance” on both sides. If you think this scenario isn’t possible, please understand the Civil War over slavery or “States Rights to have slavery” didn’t begin with an attack on Fort Sumter. There were multiple instances of violence before war was declared. It won’t require overmuch more violence now to expand these shootings and other violence.
into a modern Civil War.
Constitutional Amendments work. For just over a century now, women have had the right to vote. They still face multiple attacks on their equality and have to constantly deal with significant actions that treat them as second class citizens, but no one has attempted to prevent them from voting in a very long time.
Constitutional Amendments to change the course of American Governance will be the most difficult task our nation has faced since the Civil War. In some ways, it may be more difficult. However, it is the only effective, peaceful approach to ensure change per the consent of the governed that is comprehensive and lasting.