The Constitution: Rock of Gibraltar or San Andreas Fault?

I had an engaging conversation after work today with a couple of colleagues, centered on the postulation that today’s judicial legislation is perhaps necessitated by the inability of a relatively inflexible Constitution to address the complexity of contemporary issues. I was reminded of Frank S. Meyer’s, Western Civilization: The Problem of Political Freedom, in which he says:

Men conscious of the vision of perfection, but forgetting that their vision is distorted by their own imperfection, can seek refuge from tension [between perfection and imperfection] by trying to impose their own limited vision of perfection upon the world. This is the Utopian temptation. It degrades transcendence by trying to set up as perfect what is by the nature of reality imperfect. And it destroys the freedom of the individual person by forcing upon him conformity to someone else’s limited human vision, robbing him of freedom to move towards perfection in the tension of his imperfection. It is in form a return to the womb of the cosmological civilization, in which the tension of life at the higher level of freedom was not required of men, in which they could fulfill their duties in uncomplicated acceptance of the rhythms of the cosmos, without the pain or the glory of individuation. But Utopianism is only similar to cosmological civilizations in form; in essence it is something different, because cosmological civilization was, as it were, a state of innocence, while Utopianism comes after the eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of the persons of God and men. It is a deliberate [emphasis mine] rejection of the high level at which is now possible for men to live, and as such it distorts and oppresses the human spirit

The U.S. Constitution is difficult to change (not impossible), but it should be problematic to transfer power from the people to the government, if only to constrain the destructive forces of Utopianism.

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