Dear Dr. Boli: Two of my colleagues were arguing about something the president was doing. One of them said it was unconstitutional, and the other said it was just as constitutional as all get out. I couldn’t follow either argument. Can you explain the United States Constitution to me? —Sincerely, U. S. Representative Michael F. Doyle.
Dear Sir: Your confusion arises from the fact that the document you were probably shown in civics class as the “United States Constitution” is not the “constitution” your colleagues were debating. The written document is a useless fiction. The real constitution of the United States is, like the British constitution, unwritten. It consists of only two brief sections, and curiously enough it always speaks in the first person singular.
The first section categorically prohibits the President of the United States from doing anything of which I disapprove, and grants him near-dictatorial powers to accomplish things that benefit me.
The second section, also known as the “First Amendment,” guarantees my right to make you listen to any ill-conceived natterings I may wish to express and prohibits you from stopping your ears or contradicting me with reasoned counterarguments.
Now that you understand the unwritten constitution of the United States, you will understand any American political argument in which the participants are raising questions of “constitutionality.”