A New Way of Constitutional Parenting : Not Return, Not Reform, Not Reframe, But Refound
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This project is not an indictment of any particular political ideology or party. It is an endeavor to identify the extent of the saturation of political apathy and the omnipresence of constitution worship in twenty-first century America, to recognize these simultaneous realities as problematic, and make the suggestion that the existing models to address this problem posed by returners, reformers, and reframers, alone, are inadequate. The author is calling for a revolution; "a revolution in our priorities, a reevaluation of our values, a reinvigoration of our public life and a fundamental transformation of our way of thinking and living"(West 2011).To that end, he submits that the revitalization of civic virtue is an imperative component of this revolution and a new constitutional convention is a potential revolutionary moment. Revolutions come from revolutionary moments, but not all revolutionary moments yield a revolution. He does not presume that a new constitutional convention is the revolutionary moment but the awesome power of the Constitution in the eyes of the American public situates a new convention as a viable revolutionary moment with minimal associated risks. A new constitutional convention is an opportunity, not a guarantee, to try and convert passion into action and patriotism into citizenship. The first chapter, "Worship and Ignorance" will identify the problem at hand: the oxymoronic discrepancy between the American brand of Constitution worship and constitutional ignorance. "A Fish Swimming in Water" will then introduce and establish the pervasiveness of the return, reform, and reframe mentalities. The subsequent three chapters, "Not Return", "Not Reform," and "Not Reframe" will delve into who returners, reformers, and reframers are, what they believe, and why their variety of constitutional parenting alone is not a viable solution. And finally we shall come to the fourth way, "A Refounding," the amalgamation of the other three styles, that calls for a passionate, aspirational, and deliberative reinvigoration of civic virtue within the American populous by constitutional convention and civic education.