Monday, July 20, 2009

Twittering the Constitution

I will Twitter the Constitution of the United States of America. And the Bill of Rights. You may well ask, why? The Constitution is readily available, in print and online, set down in full without the distraction or annoyance of abridgments, elisions, abbreviations, acronyms, emoticons, and constructions such as "i h8 u" to express our feeling about inherited nobility once it had ceased to be our BFF. The Constitution is there for everyone to read. Ah, reading. People just don't do much of that these days. Especially not kids. Of course today's young people are able to read (thanks to No Child Left Behind and other brilliant improvements in public education). But I see no evidence that youths actually do read anything except text messages. Thus my project. Tech-savvy parents can use their BlackBerry phones to send the 140-characters-or-less items of cyberspeak that I have prepared and thereby fill their children's minds with substantive tweets.

"Tweet" is what I mean, isn't it? I'm not a tech-savvy parent. I communicate with my children via the old-media format called yelling. I have never Twittered or Tweeted or even Chirped. (I have Quacked, but only to lure mallards toward my duck blind.) Excuse me if I don't get the jargon right. Nor am I conversant with all the initialism that adds speed and convenience to typing with one's thumbs. LOL may mean "laughing out loud" or it may mean "lardy, otiose loptopophiles." I'm not sure.

Speaking of clueless squares, I have a second reason for Twittering the Constitution. I understand Twitter has become popular among politicians. This technology allows them to stay in perpetual contact with their constituents. The electorate now has instant information about what politicians have been up to. Considering what Governor Mark Sanford, Senator John Ensign, ex-Governor Eliot Spitzer, et al, have been up to, is this a good thing? And imagine the embarrassment of the Sarah Palin Twitter feed letting everyone in America know what she's been doing when she herself hasn't the slightest. She has to consult her own Tweets.

Giving politicians a Twitter-ready version of the U.S. Constitution to send to voters in place of the politicians' own thoughts will raise the tone of America's political discourse while sparing us the pain and humiliation of learning anything more about our dreadful elected representatives, their idiot ideas, or their unwelcome whereabouts.

Continued here (The Weekly Standard, dated 20 July 2009)