Just got back to the Bay Area from Washington D.C. -- but not before spending some quality time with Thomas Jefferson. It seemed as if he was kind of staring down his nose at me, in a sort of disapproving way. Sure enough, now that I'm back home I've found this quote from him (in the book Sins of the Parents, by my friend and former college classmate Brian A. Weiner): "Every constitution ... and every law naturally expires at the end of thirty-four years." What I take from this sentiment -- which Jefferson expressed in a letter to James Madison, after referring to mortality tables -- was that he felt each subsequent generation would have the responsibility to re-evaluate the Constitution, and if necessary to revise or even rewrite it.
Well, my generation first had to invent roller disco and then drive our nation's politics and economy into the sewer. But now that we have all that under our belt, have no fear, Tom -- we're all over the Constitution thing!
December 24th, 2006