The Constitution of the United States of Goldfish

If you started your own nation, what would be in your constitution?

Ah, I’ve always wanted my own country. I’ve claimed several times on this blog that, if I did, my country wouldn’t be so damn bureaucratic. My constitution would be very similar to the constitution of The United States of America with some minor changes.


New rules:

Everyone pays taxes.
I do mean everyone – from fry cooks at McDonald’s to multinational corporations like General Electric (who didn’t pay a plug nickel in taxes last year). I know a lot of citizens are grumbling right about now, but it’s only fair. If you take from the system, you must pay into the system. By taking from the system, I mean using roads and infrastructure, utilities and garbage collection, the police, firefighters and paramedics, public services like the Post Office, libraries and education, etc. If you live in my country, you use these things, therefore, everyone has to pay for them, everyone. However, because everyone will be putting in their fair share, that means that some people will be paying less than they are now, namely, the working poor. If you make $10,000 a year, you might have to put in $50.

Church and state are separate.
I mean really separate, not this half-assed separation we’ve got going now. I’ve written about the separation of church and state before and how I would change that part of the Constitution in the post New & Improved First Amendment Part 2, so I’ll just quote myself:

“The government of the United States of [Goldfish] shall not endorse, propagate or even acknowledge a religion, god, or lack thereof. Citizens of the United States have the rights to both freedom of and freedom from religion. The government cannot financially support nor otherwise endorse any religion or god over any other, or lack thereof. Public officials of the government shall not be required nor allowed to divulge their religious beliefs in order to seek a public office or to work in a public capacity of any kind. All religions will be administered solely by the public without government financial support, unless the religious group is willing to provide social services to all comers, even to those of different or no religious beliefs and customs, without judgment and without proselytizing those who seek services. All references to god or religion shall remain outside of the government unless such references are germane to a legal proceeding such as a civil or criminal case. There shall be no endorsement or recognition of a god of any kind on currency, in The Pledge of Allegiance, in public schools or in any other government forum or building. If those rules are followed, the government shall not prohibit the free exercise thereof.”

Free speech is really free.
That said, free speech has a price. When you have the right to voice your opinion, everyone else does, too. That means that you’ll have to hear a lot of nonsense with which you don’t agree. That is the price of free speech. From now on, no one opinion will be any more meaningful than any other, at least, from a government perspective. Government is a collaborative effort, and as such, not every opinion will be heard while some opinions are heard louder than others. Unfortunately, that’s not really going to change. However, in my constitution, everyone will at least have the right to speak. The majority is not the only opinion.

The two-party system is now a multi-party system.
It’s ridiculous and unrealistic to think that only two political parties could represent the entire country. In the spirit of free speech, everyone will get a shot at running for office if they so choose. You won’t have to be rich nor famous to get elected. If one candidate in an election chooses public funding, all candidates are bound by the same campaign dollar amount so there is a level playing field. You can no longer buy your way into office.

Equality for everyone.
Regardless of gender, race, handicap, sexual preference or belief, everyone has the same inalienable rights as a citizen unless they do something worthy of having those rights taken away, such as being convicted of a violent crime. All consenting adult humans can get married. The glass ceiling is hereby broken and discrimination will be severely punished to the extent of the law. We’ll be checking.

Citizens are responsible for their own actions.
This part of the constitution speaks to rule #1 of the universe: Handle your shit. If you make a mess, clean it up. This applies to everything from public facilities to financial catastrophes and oil spills. If you need help, ask for it, but you have to make an effort to clean up your mess on your own. You can’t just walk away, expecting us, the taxpayers, the clean it up. We’re all in this together. Think about your fellow humans who have to inhabit the same space, breathe the same air and live on the same planet as you. Be responsible for your own actions.