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The Sharpie in Sharpton

Why not a Constitutional amendment guaranteeing everyone the right to be rich?

By 8.15.03

I have seen the future and it comes from Al Sharpton and it is a beautiful thing.

The other night I was watching a debate among all of the Democrat candidates for President, and thinking what a bunch of whining babies and petulant self-promoters Democrat politicians are when suddenly the Reverend Al broke through like a thunderclap.

The candidates were talking about health care, and naturally blaming all of the problems on the gouging drug companies that save everyone's lives but are somehow evil anyway, and the rest of the fault was corporate greed, and then a big dollop was Bush's fault just for being Bush. But there was some genuine disagreement about how to pay for universal perfect health care like they have in all of those countries whose wealthy people come to America for our terrible health care. Then Reverend Al (as noted) spoke up like a Daniel come to Judgement.

The way to solve the problem, he said, was to amend the Constitution to make excellent health care a Constitutional right! Then, anyone who did not get perfect health care could sue anyone he wanted and get redress under the Constitution.

It was brilliant, but it is far too small an idea. Why not a Constitutional amendment guaranteeing everyone the right to be rich? Then, if you are not rich, you can sue the people who are rich, who obviously violated your rights by getting rich when you did not get rich? Why not?

And what about a Constitutional right to be good looking? That way, people who are homely could sue the big corporations and the fascists who made them not good looking. After all, it's a Constitutional right. Joined with Rev. Al's idea, all Americans would have an entitlement to plastic surgery if they could convince a judge that their right to be beautiful had been violated.

And what about a Constitutional right to be thin? And how about an amendment guaranteeing happiness?

Once you start thinking of the Constitution not as a way to protect citizens in their liberties, but as a set of entitlements anything goes. (And hey, now that the Constitution has been "found" to have a "right" to have gay sex, why not a right to be rich, and to be good looking too?) I am sure if the justices look hard enough, they may find those entitlements are already there even without those pesky amendments.

The Constitution as Christmas Tree, laden with gifts. Reverend Al, prepare to move to the White House. You have imagined the perfect Constitution for our whiny, entitled, adolescent age. You deserve the highest office in the land at least. And don't worry about paying for it. You'll amend the Constitution to make promises into money. Hey, maybe they already are.....

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About the Author

Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes "Ben Stein's Diary" for every issue of The American Spectator.