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Friday, 24 June 2011 02:00

Time Magazine Cover Story Asks: Does the Constitution Still Matter?

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Time magazineThe cover of the July 4, 2011 issue of Time magazine depicts a shredded Constitution superimposed with the question: “Does it still matter?” The tone of the cover article makes Time’s answer to that question obvious.

Richard Stengel is the author of the piece and his opening paragraph presents the thesis that he carries on throughout the rest of the story: "Here are a few things the framers did not know about: World War II. DNA. Sexting. Airplanes. The atom. Television. Medicare. Collateralized debt obligations. The germ theory of disease. Miniskirts. The internal combustion engine. Computers. Antibiotics. Lady Gaga."

The point, one made incessantly by those interested in unfastening the republic from its constitutional moorings, is that while the Constitution is an admirable document, it is dated and has served its purpose. Advocates of this position do not see how a document written over 200 years ago can adequately govern a modern country. Or, as Stengel restates his point in the third sentence of the very next paragraph: “Since George Washington didn't even dream that man could fly, much less use a global-positioning satellite to aim a missile, it's hard to say what he would think.”

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