Lapses and Lacunae in the U.S. Constitution

Essay, 2016

4 Pages, Grade: 80.3


Lapses in the U.S.A Constitution

The USA constitution has been identified to have many flaws that have undermined the freedoms and the rights of the U.S.A citizens. The constitution, which was originally adapted in 1787, was an unprecented document which defined a then-novel structure of government until then unknown to humanity. It was indeed a well thought of masterpiece and acted as a leading light to the early society. It had clear cut checks and balances which served the people back then effectively. Over the years, the constitution has managed to hold the country together despite many National and International upheavals. However, in the frequent years, there has been numerous changes to the dynamics of the U.S.A population which has come with the pressure of amendment of some clauses of the constitution to respond to these varied views (Lafave, 120) .The constitution has had difficulty in keeping pace with this rapid changes and developments.Amongt the issues where the constitution has faults is include; two-party democracy, the electoral college, non-real citizens and dangerous concentration of power on the president.

The existence of the Electoral College in the U.S.A does not make sense based on the definition of a true democracy. Democracy is typically a system of government whereby individuals are free to choose their leaders. It is indeed a government of the people, by the people and for the people. The supreme power is vested in the people and they exercise it directly. The Electoral College in the U.S.A makes the country not to be a reflection of a true, pure democracy. Under the system, the presidential candidate who gunners the highest number of the majority votes is also required to gunner the highest number of the electoral votes to qualify to be the U.S.A president (Stepan, 255). Failure to do so may put them at the risk of losing the presidential seat. The system puts the fate of millions of American citizens under the hands of a small group of elected representatives. During elections, the American citizens are indeed not voting for their preferred presidential candidates but are rather voting for certain representatives. This is indeed blasphemy of democracy. The members of the Electoral College consists of the members of the House of Representatives in each state and two senators. Most of the electors are usually loyal to the parties that have appointed them. In twenty six of the states, the electors are bound by a set of laws that bind them to party pledges to vote in accordance to the popular vote in the specific state.

The founding fathers of the U.S.A created the Electoral College (Vile, 450).They did so as they were afraid of democracy. Some, like James Madison, believed that faction groups of citizens would emerge if citizens were to elect the president directly. This would in turn harm the entire Nation as these individuals pursued their own goals. No other democratic country in the world has a similar system where voters choose intermediaries to represent them in such important matters of National concern. Proponents of the Electoral College argue that it protects the interest of the minority group within the society but that seem irrelevant in the present day society (Lafave, 324). The Electoral College came under heavy scrutiny during the recent U.S.A presidential elections in 2017.The Republican president, Donald Trump, won the presidency even though Hilary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, received 1.3 million more votes. This caused outrage amongst millions of her supporters who felt the system was unfair. They signed a petition urging the electors to vote in Hilary but they did not succeed. It is evident that the Electoral College is an enigma to many citizens in the U.S.A.It interferes with the ethical and moral values of freedom which are enshrined in the U.S.A constitution. As a democratic society, it’s the high time that the leaders in the country enact constitutional amendments to do away with the system for it violates the will of the American citizens.

The two-party system is another limitation in the U.S.A constitution. Freedom of formation of Political parties is one of the main characteristics of a free democracy (Stepan, 260). Over the years, the U.S.A has become a weak democracy but a stronger republic of consolidated government. The Republican and the Democratic parties control elections and government with the two party system. The independents who do not identify with any of the political parties are usually left out in the cold. The winner-take it all election policy followed in the U.S.A has been the main hindrance to the growth of a third political party in the country. Research has revealed that at least 40% of Americans consider themselves independent (Stepan, 250). The trend is more common amongst younger Americans. It has been argued that more political parties would beter represent the interests of the American people. It is he high time that constitutional amendments are undertaken to create room for participation of more parties in the U.S.A political scene. This would allow for more tolerance within the country hence enhancing ethics in the society.

Another limitation in the U.S.A constitution is that it creates Non-real citizens. Overtime, the American people have been caught up in their daily lives at the expense of participating in the politics of their country. Americans hardly ever talk about politics and thus do not pay close attention to matters of National importance. This worrying trend has been attributed to the entrenched disconnect that exists between the people and the government. This in turn leads to frustrated citizens who exploit other avenues to air out their grievances. The Occupy Wall Street is a good example of such a scenario. These were protests by U.S.A citizens who were against social and economic inequality as well as the perceived greed and corruption of government officials (Lafave, 350). The original constitution which is in use in the U.S.A has been blamed for creating the Non-Real citizen scenario in the U.S.A.It failed to empower the American citizens thus failing to re-invigorate their political interest. It is evident that the American citizens feel as if they are not part of the government decision making process. This has in turn bred feelings of anger, resentment and bitterness amongst the citizens and it occasionally reveals itself through protests and demonstrations which have become part of everyday life in the U.S.A.Acts of violence witnessed in the recent years as American pour out their anger due to non-inclusion are clearly unethical. However, constitional amendments should be enacted sooner than later to look into ways of engaging the citizens in the running of the country (Vile, 400).

The concentration of political power on the president is another limitation in the U.S.A constitution today. There have been growing concerns in the U.S.A that the executive branch of the government has grown too powerful. When the president decides to exert considerable control over everything, then he/she has power which is vast and unanticipated Stephan, 254). With his power, the president is culpable of overriding the other branches of the government. Congress has failed in its mandate to curb the powers of the president and is actually responsible for the vast powers enjoyed by the president. The result of this has been a congress which is out of touch with the general public. Public disapproval of the senate feel to a low of 25% in the recent research. There is general feeling that if the president has a lot of powers, then he could take decisions that are ethically wrong and which can even put the U.S.A in conflict nd trigger animosity with other countries (Lafave, 300).

From the above, it is evident that the U.S.A constitution is in need of urgent amendments to look into clauses that do not go down well with the citizens of the country. The interests of the citizens must always be put first. The U.S.A electoral and party system defies the role of freedom and equality which the U.S.A Society I built on. The two deny Americans the freedom to exercise their wish and desires. It is paramount hat changes are made in order to address the loopholes that exist. The Non-real citizens is an issue of great concern in a country that boasts been the best democracy in the world. Americans should take it upon themselves to participate in government issues. Also, the senate should look into amendments to ensure equal inclusivity. Checks should be put on the powers of the president to avoid possible abuse of power. With the amendment, the constitution will be much better.


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Lapses and Lacunae in the U.S. Constitution
Kenyatta University
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Doctor Alfhonce Michael (Author), 2016, Lapses and Lacunae in the U.S. Constitution, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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