There we were on New Year’s Day, discussing over coffee a finer point of the Constitution, since the Constitution is under siege by people who have never read it, when neither Dad or I could recall the precise language we needed to make a point, The language of the Constitution is sometimes incredibly vague, (see 2nd Amendment) or absurdly outdated, and in fact, much of it needs a total rewrite with some major cuts (see Electoral College). I think Dad and I were talking about the definition of treason and how it requires the testimony of two people in open court to the same overt act or by confession for a conviction. If you define the enemy of the United States as the corona virus, then did the President provide aid and comfort to the enemy by his statements and decisions? If so, then you have a lot more than two witnesses. You have 400 million.
We needed a Constitution to consult and I didn’t want to dial one up on my phone or tablet. Dad then mentioned he had one at the ready and he got up and retrieved one from his desk. Just like that! It also included the Declaration of Independence and was a handsomely bound pocket edition with a faux leather cover! I asked him where in the world he had purchased it. He told me he saw it for sale in a Plaid Pantry years ago when he was with my stepmother and she bought it for him as a gift! A Constitution for sale in a Plaid Pantry! It was an utterly preposterous story and made me laugh but soon enough I was looking in the index for words we needed.
After talking about the treason provision in the Constitution we moved onto the 25th Amendment and tried to make sense of that mess of a law for Presidential succession. To think that the drafters of this Amendment in the wake of the Kennedy assassination believed that a President’s cabinet would put nation ahead of President if the President went insane was naïve to say the least. It might one day prove fatal.
Next topic was Sylvia Plath as I reviewed a new biography of the tragic poet. Dad launched into some lines from her poetry and we worked through her moods.
I love having these kind of discussions with my father and I will be having a lot more in the future as I assist with his transition after losing his beloved wife and my incredible stepmother.