Wednesday, January 27, 2010

We rock

So I was perusing an internet comment board this afternoon.  (I know, I know.  Stay away, those internet message boards are filled with crazies.  Nothing good comes from reading, etc.  I know.  Meryl's staging an intervention, but in the meantime, I learn interesting things about the general populace.)

Anyway, I found this comment on an article about a capital murder case:

The Constitution does a lot to protect fools, the undeserving, and pieces of human trash.

Reading that made me grin.  I felt all warm and fuzzy inside.  And I said with pride, "Hell, yeah, it does!"

I'm willing to wager that's not the reaction the writer was expecting.  Based on context, I'm fairly confident the writer wrote those words with a rueful shake of the head and a sense of outrage that the Constitution does protect those folks.  I suspect the writer would think it not such a bad thing if we added an asterisk to the Bill of Rights indicating these rights do not apply to fools, the undeserving, and pieces of human trash.

But, me, I think it's awesome.  (Yes, I'm a lawyer with an extensive vocabulary and that is the word I choose.)  It's easy to respect the rights of the pretty people, the popular ones, the charming folk, the nice guys.  No one's going to run roughshod over Mr. Rogers' rights.  We probably don't need a Constitution to protect the Prom Queen.  It's the assholes we need to write the rules for.  It's harder to treat them well, to be fair to them, to refrain from punching them.  So 200-some years ago, we wrote a contract with ourselves to make sure we would always respect the rights of the worst among us.  

It's easy to treat the good people well.  But the true measure of our character is how we treat the bad ones.  We choose to treat them fairly and with respect.  And I think it's awesome.


Steve Foster said...

I like the idea of a 200 year old contract, and I love the idea of assholes getting extra protection from our system.

I hate the concept of a "living document," though, because if it's a contract with ourselves to change at will, we may not like the changes in 10 or 50 years.

Another_pd said...

Thank you. I love hearing fellow warriors can still get warm and fuzzy over what we do.

Keep defending.

S said...

It makes me even warmer and fuzzier to know that others also think it's awesome that our system protects fools, the undeserving, and pieces of human trash.

I know my post isn't exactly historically accurate. It wasn't meant to be; it was meant to be more light-hearted than that. A quick rebuttal to a very silly comment. But, yes, I do think those behind the Bill of Rights had it in mind to make sure everyone was treated equally, whether they were politically in favor (aka the pretty people) or not.

And I think it's awesome that our Constitution treats people better than they might deserve.

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