Australian of the Year Adam Goodes says the Constitution is racist and ‘ancient’. He writes
If people get a better understanding of how long Aboriginal people have been here for, how we used to live, what happened when we were settled by European people and what’s happened over the last 225 years through government policies, then people might have a little bit of empathy for why Aboriginal people are still struggling out there and in some places living in very, very poor conditions.
Goodes seems to forget that his very existence is predicated on European settlement. If Adam’s ancestors from his father’s side had not arrived in Australia he would not be playing the glorious football he has demonstrated.
The Constitution is old, yes, and that’s why it is such a wonderful document. Here is what Daniel Hannan wrote about the even older US Constitution from which some of the spirit of our Constitution is drawn.
Above all, the nature of the war [Revolutionary War], and the arguments that had preceded it, produced the greatest constitution ever drafted, designed to prevent the concentration of power and written in full awareness of man’s fallen nature. Where most national constitutions come and go every few decades (or, in South America, every couple of years), the US Constitution has served the purpose for which it was intended for more than two centuries – that is to say, it has ensured that the government is constrained and the citizen is free; that jurisdiction is dispersed; that decisions are taken as closely as possible to the people they affect; that power is balanced.
That constitution was not just an American achievement. It was, as its authors were keen to stress, the ultimate expression and vindication of the creed of the English-speaking peoples. The ideals of the rule of law, representative government, and personal liberty, ideals that had their genesis in those ancient forest meetings described by Tacitus, had found their fullest and highest expression. (How we Invented Freedom and Why it Matters)
The Australian Constitution that Goodes condemns is what allows him to enjoy his freedoms in Australia, including the freedom to condemn the Constitution. Our Constitution is the very foundation for his wonderful life in Australia.
I love watching Goodes playing football, he is one of the greatest players who ever lived. But he lacks self-awareness when it comes to criticising the society in which he lives.