The US Constitution has guided the country for a couple of centuries. Its framers did remarkable work. They are elevated by many to a heroic, almost godly status. For some the constitution is a manual, like an addendum to their Bible. Certainly the country needed, and still needs a guiding beacon, a direction to travel, a unifying theme.
There are three problems that naturally erode the effectiveness of this document, and all other historical documents. The language changes; Knowledge increases; and the document is not universally respected. This erosion is measurable, and curable. To cure constitutional erosion the document must grow, not physically, but effectively. The natural constitutional erosion is exacerbated by protecting the letter of the law over the purpose of the law. Law is purposeful. The purpose of the law is in the preamble.
Some things declared in the constitution simply cannot be decreed because they are counter to the laws of nature. For instance, no country can give its citizens the right to free speech because speech can be harmful to the speaker, to those who hear, and harmful to those who cannot hear what is being said. Lying is a right some people have that others are arrested for. Abusive speech is used to deprive people of their right to be safe. Neither lying or abusive speech contribute to common defense, domestic tranquility, or general welfare. “Toward a more perfect union,” is not where people go if free speech includes lying, abuse, or humanitarian disrespect. Electronically multiplied, and broadcast to, individuals, secret societies, or public forums, speech, must promote a more perfect union.
A more perfect union can only exist on a more perfect Earth. The framers were relatively isolated from foreign economies, and foreign conflicts. They viewed the nation as being self contained. As history progresses other nations, some institutions, and a few individuals have an ability to threaten or enhance our defense, our system of justice, and our general welfare. Our national family can only secure the blessings of liberty by allowing them to spread across the nation, and around the world.
Antiques are easily broken, but they have a quality that gives the future meaning. If they are thrown out, they become junk. When they are protected and revered, they reveal a direction, toward betterment. The constitution is old and fragile. It is but a step on the path to a more perfect union, and that step is not backwards.