Mount Union Celebrates Constitution Day
September 19, 2016
ALLIANCE, Ohio – The University of Mount Union celebrated Constitution Day by welcoming Dr. William Cunion to speak in front of community members and students on Friday.
Cunion was an associate professor of political science at Mount Union for 11 years and is currently the associate dean of liberal arts at the Cuyahoga Community College Eastern Campus. His topic centered around how the United States Constitution is not the fault of modern political tensions in the United States.
Cunion began his speech with discussing the political climate now as it relates to the Constitution. He stated, “The Constitution is very well designed. In fact, I think it’s almost incredible in a historical context in which they operated. The lack of previous models they had to work from… [makes it] astonishing that we still live under that same Constitution that was created in 1787 by a society in which the largest cities in the entire country were no bigger than Alliance.”
Part of his speech was devoted to discussing the concepts of the electoral college. Cunion mentions that the Constitution’s founders had the most trouble deciding how the president would be elected. The founders realized that the president would be a very powerful person, and their two options of election would be by Congress selection or popular vote. The founders revisited this issue 17 times over the course in which the Constitution was written before they decided to implement the electoral college.
Cunion said that in the beginning, the electoral college did not work as it was supposed to, but, as Alexander Hamilton said in the Federalist Papers, “If the manner of it be not perfect, it is at least excellent.”
Cunion went on to say that history developed in a way the founders did not see coming: “We have the right system, but we’re in a political environment with unhealthiness and political dysfunction.” Many Americans are uneasy about the current presidential candidates, but Cunion argues that the problem is not due to the Constitution, but due to other political developments. He proposed three possibilities that could change the climate: a return to Constitutional principles, a hope for a conciliatory leader and a constitutional revision.
However, he says, “Although I feel a lot of despair about the choices in front of us this November, I remain very optimistic about this country… It’s incredible that [through] changes and some catastrophic moments…the Constitution held… It’s incredible that we still live under that Constitution that was built in 1787. I think that is not only a testament to the founders, but also to the people in this country."