I recently watched and enjoyed the “Edi and American democracy” video, and wanted to add some comments:
1) America, as founded, is a constitutional republic. The Constitution (which includes the Bill of Rights specifically) does not merely list the rights of all Americans, rather it was written to point out that those rights are in fact inherent, natural and given by God to every man. They’re not gifts from the government that can be abrogated at will. In fact, the Constitution should never be misconstrued as limiting man’s natural rights; its express purpose is to actually limit government from infringing on those God-given rights. This is a fundamental principle on which the rest of the judicial system rests. The problem is that activist judges misinterpret and circumvent laws, and at times create laws out of thin air, contradicting the very laws enshrined in the Constitution.
Examples of this include gay marriage and abortion, neither of which can be argued as “God-given” or “natural” rights.
2) Your guest is mistaken or unclear: the Constitution cannot be amended by the “will of the people.” Any amendment to the Constitution requires both houses of Congress to submit and support a change by 2/3rds majority. This is an incredibly difficult process that completely bypasses the voting public at large, unlike the typical national referendums such as the one in the UK where the public voted – not once, but twice – to leave the European Union. Not even the President is included in the amendment process.
From the National Archives:
“The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. None of the 27 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by constitutional convention. The Congress proposes an amendment in the form of a joint resolution. Since the President does not have a constitutional role in the amendment process, the joint resolution does not go to the White House for signature or approval.” (https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/constitution)
3) Your guest’s understanding of America’s Founding Fathers reeks of revisionist history, which I understand is quite common in liberal progressive strongholds like Chicago. And while I’m no constitutional scholar (like Obama, for instance…), alas it is a false understanding of history. The intention of the Founding Fathers to limit voting privileges to property-owning males was appropriate for setting up a country in which only people who have skin in the game, so to speak, are eligible to have a say in how they’re governed and what laws may be passed. This directly affects topics such as taxation, military duty, property rights, commerce and so on. Although the Constitution now includes 27 Amendments, one can argue that some of them have contributed to the steady decline of Americans’ sovereignty and have resulted in a weakened system of government. Sadly it also reflects the steady decay of societal norms.
4) The natural God-given rights that the Constitution protects are intended for all LAWFUL citizens of these United States. By default then, entering into this country via illegal means automatically precludes anyone (or at least should) from benefitting from the free exercise of these rights. You cannot gain via illicit means that which others have fought, bled, and died to secure. This is particularly sinister when considering the “Anchor babies” which are born in the U.S. by expectant pregnant women who arrive here illegally. Even the immigrant community which lives lawfully in the U.S. is against this practice.
5) Continuing with the revisionist tinge, your guest’s understanding of the 2nd Amendment (aka 2A) is also concerning. The 2A was not written to protect Americans’ rights to shoot at deer, or for other sporting activities. The possession of arms was commonplace in the 1800s and “an armed society is a peaceful society” (https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/robert_a_heinlein_100989). The 2A spelled out that the government cannot infringe on the right of the people, who made up the militias in individual states (not a national army), to keep and bear arms. In fact, many would argue the 2A protects the 1st. It keeps the government in check from exercising tyranny on an unarmed populace that would otherwise not obey a given law however unjust it might be. The 2A therefore protects the individual’s right to keep and bear arms to protect himself, his family, his community, and his state as part of the militia in case of invasion (which we see happening in TX at the moment).
In addition, the 2A provides that Americans may lawfully defend themselves from bodily harm or threat of death by an aggressor (be it a criminal or the government) using any arms at their disposal. At the time that the 2A was written, there was no distinction between which arms the government may have and that the populace may not have. This artificial distinction has only arisen as the government has periodically infringed on the 2A particularly via agencies like the ATF and others, which prevent people from owning fully automatic weapons while the national army has them. The example given of the common man fighting with his AR-15 against an Apache helicopter is an extreme but it highlights the inequality of arms between the populace and the government that I pointed to earlier.
To date, the SCOTUS has upheld the 2A rights of Americans to own, keep, and bear weapons and has overruled various district courts that had rendered erroneous rulings such as often happen in the 9th District court. In response, at least 20 states have passed “constitutional carry” laws, also called permitless carry, which enables the legal public to carry a handgun, either openly or concealed, without a license or permit. This is the true intent of the 2A and the right to keep and bear arms as the Constitution protects.
(An aside: none of the January 6 “insurrection” participants had or brought ANY weapons to the Capitol that day, none were found. And it has been proven that the instigator elements that led to the so-called insurrection were undercover federal agents disguised as Trump supporters. This is established fact, and due to this, those who were jailed are now able to have their day in court and a good chance at freedom. They were elements of the Deep State which include infamous idiots like James Comey and Peter Strzok of the FBI and others. I’d suggest your guest probably spend less time on CNN, which is a lead promoter of the so-called mass psychosis phenomenon.)
As to the rest of the discussion on politics, parties, left, right, the Electoral College, etc. everyone is entitled to their own opinion. What is unfortunate fact since January 2021 is that the bumbling resident vegetable currently in the White House is responsible for uncontrolled inflation, violence in Ukraine, a disintegrating southern border and surging illegal immigration, loss of U.S. energy independence and the very real prospects of mass starvation and nuclear disaster.