I have begun to wonder lately if the Founders had gone wrong somewhere in their designing of the Constitution. As a conservative, I find the document to be superior to any predecessor or successor.But did the Founders make any mistakes that have indirectly lead us to our current plight? I believe so.
Chiefly and controversially is the Constitution's assertion that all citizens have the right to vote. I think this has proved destructive to the Republic, especially since the dawn of the entitlement state in the 1930s. What does it mean in practice? Well De Tocqueville presciently warned when he said:
"When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic"
The right to vote, as currently practiced means that the lowliest moocher, who contributes nothing to the state in terms of civil service, defense, or even revenue, has the exact same say in the affairs of government as does the soldier fighting overseas and the producer who forks over 50% of his income. Worse yet, the moocher effectively has the power to vote himself more benefits for nothing in return, and to demand of the producer even more of his income. By what mental acrobatics must we engage in to conclude that this is a reasonable way to organize a society?
The idea of property ownership as a prerequisite for voting was toyed with in the Convention of 1787. Ben Franklin opposed it, while Governeur Morris of Pennsylvania supported it. Might the growth of the entitlement state and the rise of Progressivism been killed before birth had the winds blown in Morris' favor? Possibly.
A more relevant and current spin on property requirements would be the stipulation that you must pay a certain portion of your earnings each year to the state equal to that of all citizens in order to vote. (In other words, a flat tax) In that case, the alternate first amendment might say:
All citizens shall be afforded the right to vote if they pay at least 10% of their earnings/profits to the State for the previous two consecutive years.
Would this be a more equitable way of determining enfranchisement? Would the citizenry be more hesitant about massive entitlements if they were forced to pay for them? What say the Rico-terriat?