At some point, we may need to rethink the constitutional freedoms. I know that this is a scary thought — especially given the fact that we have been conditioned to view the constitutional freedoms as ‘sacrosanct’. Yet the truth of the matter is that the constitutional freedoms were framed by people – our forbearers. Those people were thinking within the context of the times they were living in. And given the fact that times have changed, it may surely make sense for us to rethink the constitutional freedoms — in line with the realities of our times. These ideas shouldn’t be so threatening. All things are always being updated, in line with emerging realities. Like if, for instance, you last visited the Lowe’s employees’ website, at myloweslife.com three years ago, and then you visit it today, you will notice that it will have changed. The folks who manage it will have updated it. Isn’t it then incumbent upon us to keep on updating the constitutional freedoms in line with the needs of our times? Surely that line of thinking makes sense.
There are several considerations that we may need to make, while rethinking the constitutional freedoms.
We may need to add some new freedoms to our constitutions, in line with the needs of our times. Surely, today’s world is very different from the world of the 18th century, when the constitutional freedoms were first framed.
At another level, we may need to limit some of the old freedoms, again in line with the needs of our times. Like, for instance, the (controversial) freedom to own and carry arms – which made a lot of sense when the people were still trying to colonize a new – and hostile—land. Isn’t time for such a freedom to be rethought?
We may even go a step further, and decide to do away with some of the freedoms entirely. This thought shouldn’t scare anybody. After all, wasn’t there a time when people had a constitutional freedom to own slaves? Wasn’t that freedom done away with, at some point? And isn’t the world a better place for that? It therefore becomes clear that doing away with some of the freedoms may, in certain circumstances, be a good idea.