Thoughts and Perspectives

The Inherent Contradiction Between the “Constitution” and “Democracy,” More on the Hobby Lobby Decision

There is a deep on-going, yet unstated conflict in our nation. Upholding both the Constitution and Democracy are impossible tasks unless one has a fully homogenous nation or fully educated/open-minded/not greedy citizens. 

Of course, when the nation was created, Democracy only applied to rich White cis-Men, and the Constitution was written by and for rich White cis-Men. As said from a Critical Race Theory point-of-view, this has created an on-going White-centric legacy that has infiltrated all of the nation’s laws and institutions – institutionalized racism – racism that affects and hurts all individuals but functions from a White-is-default framework.

By process of amendment and interpretation, as a result of grassroots protests, the Constitution has evolved, somewhat — more often in theory than in practice. But those in charge of Democracy continue to be White and cis-Men far too often. And, with occasional exceptions, have always and continue to actually only represent rich White cis-Men. Consider the oligarchic nature of our CEO-controlled government today.

Additionally, we “elect” (but not really) people to “represent us” (but not really), so in theory violating the Constitution is legal if it “represents” the people –especially those with power and vocal voices. And since corporations are people (I still wonder what gender pronouns they prefer), these corporations further complicate the legality of representation, Democracy, and the Constitution.

Herein lies the irony and the problem: A fuzzy boundary between upholding the Constitution and representing the people, all of the people–two charges that are at competing odds.

Last night as I was planning this post I was asking myself “What happened to one person’s rights can’t limit another’s?” but quickly realized this is a misguided utopian view of the past. Our government has almost always limited the minority right for the majority interest.

Our nation continues down the trajectory if started as a colony of Britain: One group defines its freedom against the unfreedom of all others and sanctions this practice under the cloak of freedom and representation and liberty.

Check out part one of this post: The Supreme Court, (Male) Whiteness, and Why Today’s Decision “Makes Sense”

[Update 12:06 PM, July 1: Yes, I know the so-called Founding Fathers created a “Republic,” not a “Democracy.” This is touched on above. Additionally, in everyday practice in the United States, “Democracy” and “Republic” are synonymous.]

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