Don't touch the constitution!

Coke. Make it real.

Richard Coke was Texas governor when the present state constitution was adopted in 1876. Back then, the entire document could be stashed inside Gov. Coke’s quite adorable beard. It — the Texas Constitution and not Coke’s beard — has been amended more than 400 times since its adoption.

One week from today Texans have the opportunity to amend the constitution nine additional times. Proposition 2 is getting all the attention because it would define marriage as “solely the union of a man and woman” and would ban gay marriage (or I suppose marriage between man and ewe — say “Baaaaa do.”) The remaining eight proposed amendments would do things such as making Halliburton the official state contractor. Not really! Not yet at least.

The present constitution was made in such a wacky manner because people distrusted government after Reconstruction. Things haven’t changed so much since then except there is a whole lot more government to distrust and the officials who run our government are probably even less trustworthy. But amending the constitution is really getting out of hand. Why the document has been jostled and erased and portions of it cut out and pasted in that it looks like one of those strange ransom notes cut from letters inside various magazine pages.

Now I know a lot of people fret that if they don’t pass Prop 2 and ban gay marriage, Texas will lose its exalted status as most reactionary state. But I still think voters should just not show up for the constitutional amendment election at all. Don’t vote. And when the next set of amendments come around in a couple of years, don’t vote on them either. Then perhaps we will send a message to our legislators that it is time to stop amending the state constitution and perhaps have a document which would make us proud. Crazy dreamer that I am.

This is not a paid political ad but I approve this message nonetheless.

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