I am wondering if the Constitution is even workable in our present situation. The principle of checks and balances is the core one that seems most viable, based as it is on a proper insight into fallen human nature, but it seems that it does not go far enough. Or that the wrong things are not being checked. The three branches of government seem to be supplanted by the real root(s) of (our present) government. Ultimately, financial powers and para-Constitutional authorities have all too often been able to do an end-run around Constitutional safeguards.
Maybe we need to get out of our minds the quaint notion of three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial. That is no longer the case. It hasn’t been so for a long time. We must either discard – or rewrite entirely – the branch metaphor of US government.
It is better to say that there are still branches, useful as framework. And crawling up these branches – up the entire American Tree in fact – are unforeseen vines: military, banks, corporations, media. Settled in likes birds of the air in Jesus’ parable. These vines use the trunk and branches for elevation and support. Slowly they crowd out the sunlight from the tree, weakening and – eventually – killing it.
In the end the vines become the Tree, pretend to always have been the Tree.