...Why [the] near-total silence over Magna Carta? In the US, the groundwork has been laid for a state of exception by reason of a “war” vaguely defined, against no specific enemy, and of quasi-perpetual duration. A Republican president launched, and his Democratic successor has deepened, the practice of perpetual imprisonment without charge, and even of summary execution, as legitimate presidential powers. Could it be that Magna Carta has become an embarrassment? Or that its name troubles the conscience of at least some of our leaders?
Magna Carta’s anniversary should be remembered, and its significance debated. It should be a moment for genuine questioning of the exercise of power in a constitutional republic, for an honest stock-taking of what is left of the ancestral liberties that the people must not allow to slip away out of some combination of apathy, distractedness, ignorance, and fear.
Let Magna Carta be honored, let Magna Carta be defended. Let it be criticized, let it be scorned as obsolete by those who see it that way. Remembered, studied, debated, … anything but ignored.