@JMaxB @mdrockwell I once had a heated argument with a local newspaper editor who insisted that our (national) Constitution was created to protect individual rights. I pointed out that it was created to establish a form of national government, and that individual rights were an afterthought. He did not relent.
I've had other similar arguments, the more memorable ones being those with interlocutors who did not, and seemingly could not, recognize that the states are legally sovereigns, that they formed the national government, through the Constitution, for limited purposes and with limited powers, and that, originally, they were allowed to do things the national government could not, like establishing religions (as Massachusetts did into the 1830s).
@ReaderJohn @mdrockwell Interesting about MA establishment of religion. I dimly remember a story of someone who tried to set up an Orthodox church in some eastern city (NY? Boston?) but was told by the Man that Orthodoxy was just a form of Papism, which wasn't allowed there.
If they'd asked me (which for some reason they didn't) when writing the constitution, i'd have advocated for a parliamentary republic with no executive branch. The "two-party system" seems somehow to follow inevitably from the constitution, and I think that's a very bad outcome. I don't know about my other views, but I do think that the executive branch has done nothing but harm. So there are my marginal constitutional opinions.