Liberty is the cornerstone of every constitution, and if it gives equality to people at all levels, the constitution will be a democratic one. The main concerns of the US constitution are (1) to strengthen democracy, (2) effort for peace, (3) caring human rights, (4) fighting dishonesty, (5) protecting the rights of native people, (6) support sustainable progress (7) ensure freedom to people, (8) provide equal justice to all. If these concerns are accomplished, the constitution will really be pro-democracy.
- Democracy should promote sustainable development, and it should avoid irregular distribution of political power. It should be liberal, and there is popular sovereignty to establish democracy. When the US constitution gives importance to public opinion, the constitution becomes pro-democracy.
- The prohibition of evil and appropriate punishment to criminals is another objective of a constitution. Terrorism and war are great threats to every nation, which often lead the country to the great loss of life and money. So it needs to be avoided at any cost, and if the constitution of a nation takes the necessary steps to prevent these evils, it will be a better democracy. Capital punishment is one such punitive measure the US government has devised for criminals and other terrorists whose offenses are of a grave nature. If these threats are eliminated from the nation, there will be good harmony and peace for the citizens.
- The constitution of a nation should protect human rights, especially the rights of civil and public such as to ensure the safety of life and liberty, economic, social, cultural rights to food, to work, and to education. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 concentrates on an outstanding collection of rights in seven groups: “civil, economic, cultural, political, social, gender, and developmental.” (Rasmussen and Coleridge, 4). Every man and woman after eighteen has the right to vote and has the right to select their leader. They have the right to work without any discrimination of caste, sex, color, and religion also the right to fight for their need through strikes. Any constitution that protects these rights can definitely be called pro-democracy, and the US is such a country.
- The constitution should fight to prevent corruption in the nation. Every country faces the problem of treachery and treason at all levels. Some systems, institutions, and other agencies often confront certain kinds of untruthfulness. People also engage in behaviors like deviousness, thievishness, misconduct, betrayal, and crookedness. When the constitution takes necessary steps to fight against such evils, the constitution becomes a pro-democracy.
- The constitution of a nation should give equal rights to native people and protect those rights. The constitution, which gives every right and freedom to the native people and works for their progression, is an ideal constitution and which is pre-democratic, and the US constitution is an example of this.
- The constitution must support the development of the nation at all levels, which will benefit the country. Progress is the main aim of a constitution, and when the constitution gives each and every support to progress, it is undoubtedly pro-democracy, and again, this is the case with the USA.
- The US constitution gives its public the freedom of expression as public opinion is an important element to construct a better constitution. Besides, it provides freedom of job selection and freedom to gain admission to the school they wish. The country also provides freedoms to non-Americans to enter their nation legally, and those who enter illegally will be punished. US constitution does not give unlimited personal freedom to people as it will be misused. So the US constitution gives freedom with certain responsibilities attached to it. Thus the constitution is pro-democracy.
- The justice system is responsible for administrating justice, and it should be equal to everyone. The laws, especially the common law, civil law, and religious laws, should be equal to native or immigrant people, and when this justice is equal to all without the discrimination of color, caste, religion, and wealth, the constitution is surely pro-democracy. If the constitution is capable of promoting and protecting the nation and the people, the constitution is definitely pro-democracy, as is the case of the US.
The constitution further makes an effort to secure the relationships between state and federal governments and among the three branches-legislative, executive, and judiciary. “Learning how the Constitution works, for whom it works better and for whom it works worse, and how and why it acquired its character, we discover not only what the Constitution has meant but what it may yet mean in our future.” (Ollman).
Thus the US Constitution has not only put forward an image of certainty, but through the situation’s domination on violence, it forces every citizen to act within the regulation of law, the impartiality of opportunity, liberty of the individual, and the detachment of the state which are encompassed in the constitution.
The way the US constitution is anti-democracy
It is through politics that individuals and groups become able to achieve communal harmony. Through good agreement and cooperation, only there be stability in political affairs. Often one can see that there is a regular disagreement over the aim of the communal deed. Generally, individuals and groups can receive encouragement from joint activities. Everything becomes difficult to do when the individual does it alone. Whenever they have been instances of an anti-democratic movement in America, it is the outcome of the union of Christian Right and the supremacy of white. This anti-democratic movement is a union of different groups – most of them held hostility in their minds which is the result of frustration. If there is no equal justice and freedom for the people in their native land, the constitution will be really an anti-democratic one.
In a nation, the constitution becomes anti-democratic if it does not give full rights to the citizens. Every citizen has the right to live in any place where he or she wishes. When the constitution is against such rights, that constitution is not a democratic one. If the rights of people to have entrance anywhere, and where discrimination is not prevented, that constitution is unworthy. The individuals are not getting any freedom of their own, and as a result, there arise disputes between the constitution and the common folk. There is no security, order, law for the citizens; the standard of living is very pathetic. The ordinary people will be subjugated under the dictatorship. Earlier, the system of voting was only allowed to the whites who generally owned large property and others. They were not allowed to vote in their country. And the people don’t have the right to elect the president as they were nominated by the influence of political parties. Here the members of the governing body were chosen by the state administration and not by the ordinary people, and the outcome of this was that there emerged anti-federalists. In the US at that time, women were not treated as a general public who had the right to vote or to have their own opinion in any governmental affairs, and they were treated as lower. The ill-treatment toward the women itself makes the then US constitution an anti-democratic one.
There, Negroes also were treated as mere slaves, and they didn’t have any civil rights. In every field, they were disregarded by the constitution for a long time. With the Emancipation proclamation led by Abraham Lincoln, things changed. However, yet there remained scope for improvement. As a result of this, the constitution becomes not only outmoded but also become a perilous one for the welfare of the nation. In the “Declaration of Independence,” Thomas Jefferson commented that:
“…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive…(of the rights of the people)…it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.…” (Why a New Constitution?). So in America, it is time to throw away this constitution as this became an anti-democratic one.
- Ollman, Bertell. Towards a Marxist Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. IED: The International Endowment for Democracy. 2009.
- Rasmussen, Virginia., and Coleridge, Greg. A U.S. Constitution with Democracy in Mind. Poclad. 2007.
- Why a New Constitution? 2009.