The Constitution and the Charter

Over at Balkinization, Sandy Levinson has a post noting that people in the U.S. are willing to speak openly about the defects of the UN Charter (that it gives Russia and other security council members a veto) whereas they are not willing to acknowledge defects in the Constitution.  Instead, Sandy writes that they display a “ridiculous veneration . . . toward our own flawed Constitution.”

It is worth noting, however, one likely reason for this divergent response.  In the U.S., the people generally support vigorously the Constitution.  By contrast, the public does not have much support for the UN or the Charter.  So the government and other commentators’ statements are responsive to public opinion.

As a result, people who do not like the Constitution do not normally (Sandy is an exception) open acknowledge their attitude.  Instead, they make believe that the evolved Constitution is the real Constitution.  The early progressives were open about their disdain for the Constitution, but the later left recognized that a political program of claiming to enforce the Constitution was much more popular.