Discourse Theory and the U.S. Constitution: Essay

Sample Essay

Words 1,393

Even as many people have been more than happy to embrace what they perceive as security and the curtailing of constitutional rights, others have maintained the importance of an older discourse about what it means to be an American. One of the difficult aspects of understanding (or influencing) political discourse in the United States is the fact that the country is so large and so diverse that there will never be a single discourse, a single language or narrative that all of us use to define ourselves. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, and indeed it is certainly arguable that a conformity of opinion about political matters lies at the heart of fascism rather than democracy.

This is not to say, however, that at different times there are not (or that there should not be) predominant discourses in the political life of a nation that help a people to define themselves. One of these, as noted above, is currently that as a people at war we must be prepared to sacrifice, and since few of us will actually find ourselves on the battlefield being asked to give up our lives we must instead give up an essential thing that civilians possess, which is liberty.

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