Thursday, January 25, 2007

Forget Impeachment. Let's Have a New Constitutional Convention.

I find myself in a strange political state of limbo these days.

I've been mulling impeachment for awhile, and supporting it, but I found Sanford Levinson's Nation article, against impeachment, really convincing.

I now think that, given the variety and scope of the problems, and the huge disconnect between citizenry and government, exacerbated by the ever-consolidating blackout media, what we need is a new Constitutional Convention, modelled on both the first convention back in 1787, and the cooperative, sustainable principles being carried forward by the World Social Forum, now in its seventh year.

Thomas Jefferson would approve. In fact, he'd say we're long overdue.

I just finished reading most of the November/December issue of Mother Jones, including an excellent comprehensive look at the environmental disasters confronting us all, and the evolutionary benefit, even necessity, of altruism and cooperation. The essay, by Julia Whitty, is called The Thirteenth Tipping Point.

The same Mother Jones issue had a fascinating article called "When Is a Corporation Like a Freed Slave?" by Barry Yeoman, who interviewed Thomas Linzey, "a brash 37-year-old attorney," who is the director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.

Linzey, having fought on behalf of many communities trying to limit the environmental fallout from blind corporate monsters spewing filth from every orifice, has come to the conclusion that America needs a Constitutional amendment to explicitly strip corporations of the civil and human rights they've been granted by the US Supreme Court over the last century or so, with such disastrous consequences.

But I think the whole Constitutional edifice needs to torn down and rebuilt in light of what we've learned over the past two centuries about people, government, corporations and the Earth we live on.

I guess my limbo is somehow related to a sudden loss of direction now that the Democrats are allegedly "in power" and yet continuing to ignore the same elephants and further the same narrow interests. I didn't expect anything else, and have been focusing on local organizing for quite awhile anyway, because I'm convinced that, come the breakdown of electrical grids, oil supplies and federal agencies, we're all going to be needing our neighbors a lot more than our Congresspeople.

At the same time, my local organizing efforts took a big hit, when a simple but labor-intensive project to make a connection between relatively well-off white people and relatively poor Hispanic people ran aground on the shoals of racism, classism, anti-Christian bigotry and plain old-fashioned fear of change. Now there will be, as usual, more talk and less action, and I'm disappointed and frustrated: the picture I had in mind of what my work was about and where it fit into the overall scheme of preparing for a near future that will look significantly different from the consumptive and cancerous present, has grown somewhat fuzzy around the edges.

This too shall pass. I also just finished reading Sherman Alexie's novel Reservation Blues.

The novel, like everything else, turns on hope.

P.S. Alexie also wrote Smoke Signals, in case you're looking for a good indy movie.


  • A new group is forming to get a convention: check out my latest article:
    drop me a note after: articlev@gmail.com

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 8:38 PM  

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