So here’s a proposal:
Who can we get to write a screenplay for “It’s a Wonderful Constitution,” to be produced and showing in theatres by midsummer? Can you see it now? A young man just trying to help people (think healthcare) is thwarted by the unconstitutionality of his dramatic plan of action. He is angered and disgusted by what he sees as selfish, self-righteous conservatives standing in the way by standing on their “constitutional rights” and it leads him to extreme despair, disparaging the Constitution as no more than an old, worthless piece of paper, as he sets out to end it all in the river below.
Then he encounters an angel (not Palin - too over the top) who must help him resolve this life crisis. He does so by sending him into an alternate universe where the American Constitution was never written, where the American colonials never got past their small-minded bickering because, by a quirk of alternate history, someone convinced King George he could keep the colonies in line if he just enslaved them at a kinder, gentler, slower pace. The revolution had no trigger, never took place, and while Jefferson and Franklin had some great tavern conversations, no one ever had the impetus of crisis sufficient to set down those words that have for so long been the guardian of American freedom.
So, as our protagonist ventures into this alternate world, he encounters a strange, unsettling culture where the protections of the Constitution were simply not there to protect him and the people he cared about from the many harms people inflict on each other, where the government had become this large, faceless machine that treated humans as commodities to be bought and sold at will by the privileged class. No freedom to speak. No freedom to gather with like-minded people. No freedom to practice one’s own religion. No due process. No equal protection. No warrant needed for the government to invade any home. On and on it goes. Adventure yes, action aplenty, but with an ever diminishing hope of final escape, a slowly growing sense of suffocation. .
Toward the end, he further learns there is nowhere else in the world he can go where freedom still reigns, because there was no America, as he had known it, to step in and help the other peoples of the world fight off their respective tyrannies. All had fallen, in the end, to the petty interests of small men.
Finally, as he approaches the apex of this dark terror, our hero has the epiphany that the lost dignity of man in this future horror show turned on a singular event, the absence of a decision by a relatively small group of extraordinarily thoughtful people to respond to a crisis of impending tyranny by putting down on paper a system of government which, by it’s power to limit government, could actually succeed in protecting the inalienable rights of all who must live under the power of that government. Yes, he says, that is the answer. If only it had not been lost, the opportunity not missed.
At which point the young man is returned to his own time and place, full of relief, to be sure, but also amazement and gratitude that he was privileged to live in a place that, however imperfect, had that wonderful old piece of paper known as the US Constitution, to stand as the timeless defender of his and everyone else’s inextinguishable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Good movie? Or not? What do y’all think? And what about casting? All (beneficial) ideas welcome.
That’s a keeper. I can’t help with the casting, but that plot gets my vote.