National Review: Jonah Goldberg: Constitutional Amendments and Citizenship Rights
Progressives love to tinker with the constitutional design. They simply do it by stealth, appointing Supreme Court justices such as Elena Kagan, who, her testimony notwithstanding, everyone knows will treat the Constitution like Felix the Cat’s magic bag; when she searches the document hard enough, you know she’ll find what she’s looking for.
But when conservatives who talk about reverence for the Constitution also want to update it in a way that is actually consistent with the “genius of our constitutional design,” they are hypocrites and radicals.
I happen to believe that the hand of Providence played a larger role in the formation of our nation than many now would be willing to admit, and perhaps even more than our founders realized at the time, in spite of numerous clues in their writings indicating that they were all too aware of the existence of divine intervention and its influence on the events of the time.
Regardless of their individual religious preferences, or lack thereof, so many of our forefathers spoke with such ease about the role of faith, virtue and morality not only in the establishment of our fledgling nation but in the steps necessary to ensure its stability and viability for years to come. Those imperfect men won a bloody war against the premier fighting force in the world at that time, and after doing so they set out and created, in America, the antithesis of everything from which they and those in the generations before them had run.
I look at the United States Constitution as a work of beauty. Unlike some other people we know, when I read our Constitution I don’t see a fundamentally flawed document — I see an instrument in which every paragraph, sentence, word and punctuation mark has independent significance, meaning rooted in the very triumphs and tribulations which brought this nation about. That’s why, when I saw Jonah Goldberg’s most recent piece yesterday at National Review, “Constitutional Amendments and Citizenship Rights,” I knew I would like it. And when I saw the deck below the headline, which reads “[c]entral to the Constitution’s genius are the mechanisms to change it,” I stopped everything I was doing and read every word.
Later, when the time is right, I’ll get into the evolving perspective of senior South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, mentioned by Goldberg at the top of the piece for his recent argument that the Fourteenth Amendment should be revised so as to eliminate automatic birthright citizenship. For now, though, please do what I did: stop everything and read Goldberg’s commentary.