On a Revisionist’s Proposal to Upend the Declaration of Independence

jeffersonUniversity of Virginia’s Center for Politics director Larry Sabato, citing the Founders’ approval of a Constitution open for revision, has proposed several revisions of his own.

One may argue over the merits of Sabato’s proposed revisions regarding war powers, Senate structure, elections, and Supreme Court terms. But no one can reasonably advocate his fifth proposal: a constitutional amendment to require every able-bodied American between the ages of 18 and 26 to “perform two years of national service, civilian or military.”

Not only would Universal National Service—which means involuntary servitude to the state—be in direct contravention to the Thirteenth Amendment; it would be nothing less than a repeal of the Declaration of Independence, the philosophical blueprint for the Constitution. The Founders could never have agreed or even conceived that the fundamental principles upon which this nation rests would ever be subject to repeal, in the name of “constructive change in a 21st-century world unimaginable to the Founders.”

A National Service Amendment would upend America’s very reason for being—that is, to protect the inalienable rights of the individual to pursue his own goals and happiness, by means of a government charged with the sole task of protecting those rights.

The signers of the Declaration pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in support of those ideals. It’s shocking that any American would so dishonor the ideals behind that pledge—and in the Founders’ names, no less.

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

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