Things I’d Like To See: The 28th Amendment
How do you suppose Congress would react to this?
Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States”.
The founders of this country went to great lengths to ban titles of nobility from existence in the US. They wanted no entitled “elite” on these shores, understanding first-hand what such an elite would and could do to the common man. And one of the signature problems of Europe’s elite (nobility) was the fact that they made rules for their subjects to which they were never required to adhere. Instead they exempted themselves and thereby lost touch with the effect their rules had on others. The French Revolution, among others, demonstrated the pure folly of such a system.
But that’s essentially what Congress does every time it exempts itself from laws it requires the rest of America to follow. It is also one of the reasons for the huge and growing disconnect between government and the people. When you don’t have to live by the laws you pass, it’s is hard to sympathize or empathize with those who do.
The concept of “nobility” or elite doesn’t necessarily require noble titles to exist. Congress making laws it doesn’t have to live by is enough for most to label those doing so an elite class.
Now I’m not particularly interested in parsing the language of the proposed amendment – you get the gist of the idea. Don’t you think, in the overall scheme of things, that requiring those who make the laws live by them would help reconnect them with the mainstream (and perhaps have them making fewer laws)? Wouldn’t doing so also give them practical experience concerning the effect of the laws they pass on the daily lives of ordinary people? Why shouldn’t they be in the Social Security system instead of a different (and much better) pension system? Why are they exempt from sexual harassment laws? If this health care system they’re contemplating is good enough for us, why not them?
My guess is most state legislatures would have no problem with passing such an amendment (given the mandates Congress routinely shoves down their throats). And my guess is it wouldn’t require much at all to get a popular groundswell behind it as well.
Last – aren’t you somewhat amazed we even have to have this conversation or propose such an amendment to begin with?