Does the Constitution have a loophole?
I suppose I can be forgiven for relapsing into occasional geezer mode, given my advanced age and deteriorating mental capabilities. It helps to look for what is still positive in our rancid, rage-driven society and such positives can be found. At each level the contestants deliver their 10-minute prepared speech and then are given a blindly selected topic, usually based on one of the Amendments, with five minutes to prepare an extemporaneous, five-minute speech. At the national contest, I helped judge two speeches by each of 12 contestants.
The range of topics for the prepared orations was extensive and covered some topics not usually addressed. Another student argued for the importance of citizen juries as required by the V, VI and VII amendments. Perhaps the speech that has stayed with me the longest, for good and for bad, was one on the inherent self-destructive potential of Article V. I learned from the speaker that this ostensive flaw was discovered by Kurt Gödel, a logician who called this an “inner contradiction.
What did Gödel discover? Some believe Article V could continually be amended to weaken itself to the point of irrelevancy. Why was Gödel worried about this? He was an immigrant from Austria after the Anschluss with Nazi Germany. Can that happen here? Of course not, or so I tell myself. Judging the contest took a day of my time but I came away with renewed respect for these young people and their willingness to undertake the work required.
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