There are actually a few scholars in academia who not only are familiar with the Constitution but can answer the question, “Where did we go wrong?”
“The main improvements in the Constitution are the end of slavery and voting rights,” John McGinnis, of Northwestern Law School, said at the annual meeting of the Philadelphia Society in Dallas last weekend. “What has declined is the ability of the government to deliver essential services without threatening our liberties.”
John Grant, of Hillsdale College, essentially agreed. “Our Constitutional decline comes from government interfering in things it should not be doing, for example, affirmative action, the Department of Education and the EPA,” he said. “But government does not do a good job of what it should be doing—equal protection of the law, security, genuine due process.”
Moreover, Grant points out, “Freedom of association has largely gone by the wayside. Look at who you can hire and fire.” Part of the problem stems from the very people, our elected representatives, who are entrusted with the care and feeding of the Constitution: “Representatives at every level do not want to represent the people,” Grant notes.
Yet and still, a certain level of conflict may have been inevitable. “It is in the interest of interest groups to get rid of the separation of powers and the enumeration of powers,” McGinnis argues.